Preparations Underway for 2004 elections.(Opinion &Amp; Editorial)
TRADITIONALLY, the campaign for the Presidency starts with the nomination of candidates at the national party convention.
The candidate who gets the highest number of votes becomes the party's standard bearer.
That is still practiced today, at least in principle, but because of the proliferation of political parties under the multi-party system, the selection process has become blurred and more complicated, dominated by party bosses and campaign finance supporters.
To survive party competition, a candidate must have the stamina to prevail over the contending forces that employ all available means to accomplish their own ends.
The situation now has not reached that level of frenzy yet, but preparations, it appears, are underway as evidenced by the increasing noises in the developing political arena.
Early this week, at least three prominent names have appeared in the media as the first group of prospective candidates for the Presidency, although one of them has denied he meant to announce his candidacy.
Senator Panfilo Lacson may be right when he denied declaring his candidacy in a recent speech before the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines.
What he said, according to him, was that he, along with Senator Edgardo Angara and actor Fernando Poe Jr., was a possible presidential candidate but that the opposition would choose only one of them to fight the incumbent President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to assure victory.
That may be true.
But by making such announcement, Lacson has already made himself a part of a political agenda that can no longer be ignored even by his rivals in the opposition. …