Political Parties and Voters' Choices

Article excerpt

IN the democracies, citizens control their governments through their representatives whom they choose periodically in free elections contested by the standard bearers of political parties.

This concept immediately brings in focus the prime importance of political parties to the democratic process which is now the subject of much debate among our legislators who are directly involved in it, in the first place.

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This is not the first time that issues about political parties are being debated, but unlike in the past when lip service dominated the political discourse, now concrete measures are being prepared in their pursuit.

Senate Bill 2042 otherwise called Campaign Finance Reform Law, intends to reinforce political parties to make them the protected anchor of democracy.

In principle, parties are organizations dedicated to particular political philosophy espousing candidates for elective positions in government.

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With the proliferation of political parties, however, following the provision of the 1987 Constitution which favors multi-party system, the principle aspect has been blurred by the individual interests of politicians who change their party membership at will - without, well, qualm.

In other democratic governments, even in the United States, for examples, where party membership is taken more seriously, many Americans do not support the role of political parties play during elections.

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Some years back, a survey showed that 73 percent of the US population polled opined "the best way to vote is to pick a candidate regardless of party label."

Many of them said that "parties do more to confuse the issues than to provide a clear choice on issues. …