Thursday, September 3, 2009

Reviving the Two-Party System

Philippine Daily Inquirer | 09/03/09: Former Sen. Ernesto Herrera expected Sen. Manuel Villar, the Nacionalista Party standard-bearer, to slug it out with Aquino.

He described Villar as a "credible opponent" whose "track record as an entrepreneur and able leader speaks for itself."

"Owing to his integrity, Noynoy offers real hope for change, especially in ensuring honest and upright governance, just like his mother," said Herrera.

"What we are witnessing now is the up-and-coming revival of the great rivalry between the LP and the NP, and the renewal of the system of two parties dominating our political affairs," Herrera said.

Truth be told, this is exactly what I am hoping for - - the two-party system making a comeback. Let party coalitions formed for the sake of political expediency fall by the wayside. Let it be the Nacionalista Party versus the Liberal Party.

What needs to be done is to get both the NP and the LP spell out their reason-for-being. Who is for big government or for limited government? Who is pro-Management or pro-Labor? Who is for Federalism or not? Who is for abolishing the Senate or preserving our bicameral Congress? Who is for tax reform or tax increase? Who leans toward more socialism or toward more free enterprise? Who is for a balanced budget amendment or not? These are issues aspiring national leaders ought to be discussing in public.

If this happens, those who do not have the necessary qualification will be weeded out early on giving way to meaningful presidential and vice-presidential debates for the benefit of the voting public.

If this happens, we will see a significant increase in public interest as to who gets elected resulting in greater citizens' involvement in ballot box protection and poll watch, effectively making it harder for incumbents to cheat.

If this happens, it will be less difficult for educators to raise more intelligent voters.

If this happens, and the likes of Aquino, Roxas, Pangilinan, the Cayetanos, Escudero, Santiago and Gordon in the Senate along side Party list representatives in the Lower House apologetically debating such issues, there will be reason for national optimism.

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