Congratulations! AKBAYAN

Congratulations! To Akbayan Party-list  as one of  the  Party-list group winners in the  May 10, 2010 election.

Akbayan’s nominees are:  renowned economist and activist Walden Bello, agrarian reform and women advocate Atty. Arlene Bag-ao, peace crusader Tom Villarin; migrants champion Ellene Sana, youth leader Francis “Kiko” Isaac and peasant leader Ruperto “Ka Uper” Aleroza.

Akbayan is one of the pioneering groups in the party-list system.  In 1998, when the system was first implemented, former congresswoman Loretta Ann Rosales was the group’s first representative and was also represented  by Liza Hontiveros Baraquel in the 14th Congress.

The Constitution allots 20 percent of the seats in the House to party-list groups. For a group to get a seat in Congress, it must win at least two percent of the total votes cast for the party-list system.

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We need charter change

We need Charter Change

By: Bong Amora

I : 2010 Election a success

Majority of the Filipino people actively embraced the new voting system, the “Automated Election System (AES)” which basically contributed to the success of the Philippine May 2010 election. It also means that manual election system is now part of the Philippine history. Although there were isolated glitches but rectifying the same would be an overwhelming success in the future Philippine electoral processes.

Congratulations to the winners! Especially to my President. The mandate of the Filipino people has spoken and now Aquino is armed with that mandate. Please don’t disappoint us, the Filipinos is giving you a chance to eradicate corruption once and for all. Don’t tarnish the good reputation of Ninoy and Cory. Keep us out from poverty and fix the problems we so desperately want to fix, the infrastructure, education, energy and health care.

II: The Aftermath

However, the aftermath of election remains unresolved. For each election brought a landslide of garbage. These are the rubbish generated not only by voting the wrong people in public office. These are the waste left in the election campaign of candidates from local to national to village level fighting for elective positions in government – posters, brochures, banners, placards, pamphlets, sample ballots, stickers, calendars, pins, buttons, banners, and other printed materials. Not to mention the billions of Pesos the government spent every election. A taxpayer’s money used to exercise our right of suffrage is a lot of money that instead can be used in other form for the benefit of the poor Filipinos.

Perhaps a two party system is the answer to this problem. It can lessen waste of votes and waste of taxpayer’s money.

III: What is a two party system?

Two Party System

Two Party System

The two-party system is a form of party system where two major political parties dominate in most elections, in part, at any level.

Under a two-party system, one of the two parties in general has a majority of the legislature (the parliament or a house on a bicameral system),  and is determined as the majority party. The smaller parties as the minority party called.

Prominent examples of countries with two-party systems including the U.S., Honduras, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Malta and Japan. Even though these countries are often thought of as two-party states, other parties have little longer, but significant bases and have seen the candidates elected to local or regional offices. In general, a two-party system, a share of the political spectrum in a field right and left parties.

Some governments, certain chambers of a two-party system and the other similar to a multiparty system. For example, the policy of Australia largely two-party (if the Liberal Party and National Party are both parties at the national level because of their longstanding alliance) for the Australian House of Representatives are elected by a ballot of the majority. However, others are more common in the Australian Senate, a proportional electoral system uses more amenable to smaller parties.

IV: Federalism

One of the most complex foundations of the United States is the principle of federalism. This is the idea that the central government does not control all power in the country. States also have the powers reserved for them. Each state is responsible for its own affairs without always relying on the federal government.

I think the form of government that we are now simply too overwhelmed with problems, the services required by the people and other things that need attention. If it decides to somehow transfer the important services closer to people, then at least relieved the national government too much effort. Even the developing countries, the development of sub-economy, and then in different parts of the country is most likely to occur.

If Philippines will embrace a Federal system of Government, we will split into separate regions or states, each with its own autonomy and economics and law. Each region has to manage its own affairs of governance. Maybe, a Governor, the highest chief executive of the region, could head it. Each region will have a democratically elected member of the Senate. We don’t need hundreds of  “districts” lawmakers that will represents in Congress. We don’t need many elected officials. The lesser representations in the Senate or Congress the lesser the corruption in government and could perhaps eradicate rampant vote buying during elections.

Federalism could result in better consultation and cooperation that will lead to improvements in any sector and good management. In the social sector, a federal government can play a key role in ensuring a high quality of life for all citizens in their own regions according to their customs, traditions and beliefs.

The federal region will see to it that the public goods, the supply market is enough and perhaps can compete to other regions in the implementation of infrastructure, learning and training, transportation, healthcare and environment protection.  It will give opportunity for each region, instead of treating them as recipients of services from the national government.

It can also anchor for economic growth and development on a policy of genuine agrarian reform and true industrialization of the regions in the entire country. It will ensure that the Philippine economy produced from all over the country will be competitive in the world market.

The National Federal Government should impartially allocate and encourage foreign and domestic investments among the regions that should translate to the local employment, food on every family’s table, decent housing and medical care, and quality education for all. The delivery of basic social services will always take precedence, as the welfare of the entire nation shall never be sacrifices to gods of the global market.

To the new administration, perhaps it’s about time to think and study a two party political system and a federal form of government for a better Philippines.  But before that, we need  Charter Change. – Bong A.