Party System with a Vision

Manila Bulletin, October 17, 2014 | Go to article overview

Party System with a Vision


From the very start, our politicians have preferred a small caucus of friends, family members, and sympathizers to a strong party system that can organize a national, regional, or provincial convention that would choose candidates for: president, vice president, senators, representatives, and local officials. The result is more fun in the Philippines: politicians nominate themselves for any office of their desire. After winning the election, they declare payback time for themselves and their supporters/followers. ELECTIONS EVERY 3 YEARS We have elections every three years for all national/local offices, except the office of president and vice president. Can we provide a few lines in the Constitution that only a duly organized and registered political party can choose candidates for elective national offices? This may run counter to the Bill of Rights. Old parties organized in 1906 (Partido Nacionalista) and 1946 (Liberal Party) exist today in name only. The LP and NP candidates in 2010 and 2013 were not nominated in a national convention, but they proclaimed themselves as national candidates or they were proclaimed by the parties most senior and prominent leaders. US POLITICAL PARTIES In the United States in the 1790s a group of Thomas Jeffersons supporters called themselves Democratic Republicans or Jeffersonian Republicans to show their belief in the principle of popular government. The party adopted its present name of Democratic Party in the 1830s during the presidency of Andrew Jackson. The Republican Party was formed in 1854 by former members of the Whig, Democratic, and Free Soil parties who chose the partys name to recall the Jeffersonian Republicans concern with the national interest above sectional interests and states rights. It opposed slavery and its extension into the territories. Republican candidates won 14 of 18 presidential elections between 1860 and 1932. Today Americans talk of presidential elections as a political contest between two major parties, to the exclusion of new parties or factions. …

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