Political Parties and Democracy

Article excerpt

THE latest update on the ongoing consultations on the All-Parties Conference scheduled on May 3-5 is that agreements have been reached by its proponents on various political and electoral reforms.

House Speaker Jose de Venecia who is mobilizing wide participation in the highlevel meeting has announced that modernization of the election process and the political party system are high in the political leaders' agenda.

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This coincides with the recent proposal of Senator Edgardo Angara for the enactment of a political party law that he said would strengthen the country's political party system.

Angara talked of the present political system which he sees as weak, caused by the absence of shared commitment to certain agenda.

What is needed, he said, is the development of a collective leadership in the parties even as he slammed individual leadership of those who can raise money for political purposes.

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The political party law that Angara is advocating requires the government to directly subsidize national political parties.

His view is that political parties financially supported by the government would diminish their dependence on vested interests to underwrite their activities.

It will also discourage turncoatism.

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If there is any need for reforms in the party system, it must be on the more serious concern about commitment to principles by party members. …