Reflections on the Philippine Political Party System

I was looking at the results of the elections for the president, vice-president, and senators for the Ang Kapatiran Party (AKP):

  • President: DE LOS REYES, John Carlos G. 39,502
  • Vice-President: CHIPECO, Dominador Jr F. 46,704
  • Senators: Not one close to the top 12

I voted straight for Ang Kapatiran Party, knowing fully well the Party’s slim chances of getting one their numbers elected in the National Elections.  I believed in their platform of government which is consistent with the Catholic Social Teaching.  Our problem now is how to convince other Filipinos, other Catholics in particular to vote for AKP as a party itself and not as individual politicians who simply happens to be in a political party with indistinguishable ideologies.

Can anyone tell me the difference in the vision and mission of the the Liberal Party, Lakas-Kampi, and Nacionalista Party, and the other political parties?  Most of these parties are defined more by the personalities who leads them, rather than clear principles of government.  This is still our prehispanic barangay system with political alliances formed by marriages and blood compacts.  How do we move forward?

I propose that Congress would be filled solely with party representatives, and these political parties may be by interest, language, or creed.  Why should we have a party list for Bicolanos and Ilonggos when we have congressmen?  This is duplication of representation.  We might just as well abolish congress representation by districts and adopt representation by political parties.  The people votes for the political party they wish to be part of and the number of seats in the congress will be determined by the percentage of votes cast.  At present, the Party-List representation is for marginalized political parties.  What if these political parties exceed the 6% of the number of votes cast, say 12%,  should we limit their representation in congress to three?  This has not happened yet, because the Party-List representation is only becoming to be appreciated now.  But when a party-list gets more than 10% of the votes cast, I think it is time to overhaul the Philippine Congress.

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LADLAD can now be voted as a Party-List: Some thoughts on the Christian roots of Democracy

The Supreme court has upheld the right of LGBT (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transexuals) to join the 2010 elections as a party-list. The Supreme court preferred to be amoral. This is now not a democracy of the people, but a democracy of ideas: all ideas are equally true and can equally compete in the public sphere.  C. S. Lewis warned us about this.  He calls this a demonic tactic in his Screwtape Letters.

Democracy is a Christian idea. It was not invented in Muslim lands with their caliphs and sultans. It was not invented in India with its caste system. It was not invented in China or Japan with their Emperors and Shoguns. Democracy was invented in Europe, which was part of the Roman Empire that converted by Christianity. And one of the defenders of the democracy idea is a Jesuit Doctor of the Church: St. Robert Bellarmine. He wrote:

“Secular or Civil authority (saith he) ‘is instituted by men; it is in the people unless they bestow it on a Prince. This Power is immediately in the Multitude, as in the subject of it; for this Power is in the Divine Law, but the Divine Law hath given this power to no particular man. If the Positive Law be taken away, there is left no Reason amongst the Multitude (who are Equal) one rather than another should bear the Rule over the Rest. Power is given to the multitude to one man, or to more, by the same Law of Nature; for the Commonwealth cannot exercise this Power, therefore it is bound to bestow it upon some One man or some Few. It depends upon the Consent of the multitude to ordain over themselves a King or other Magistrates, and if there be a lawful cause, the multitude may change the Kingdom into an Aristocracy or Democracy’ (St. Robert Bellarmine, Book 3 De Laicis, Chapter 4). Thus far Bellarmine; in which passages are comprised the strength of all that I have read or heard produced for the Natural Liberty of the Subject.” (Patriarcha, page 5.) (Catholic Culture)

This was quoted by Filmer who disagrees with this idea:

“Since the time that school divinity (i.e. Catholic Universities) began to flourish, there hath been a common opinion maintained as well by the divines as by the divers of learned men which affirms: ‘Mankind is naturally endowed and born with freedom from all subjection, and at liberty to choose what form of government it please, and that the power which any one man hath over others was at the first by human right bestowed according to the discretion of the multitude.’ This tenet was first hatched in the (Medieval Roman Catholic Universities), and hath been fostered by all succeeding papists for good divinity. The divines also of the reformed churches have entertained it, and the common people everywhere tenderly embrace it as being most plausible to flesh and blood, for that it prodigally distributes a portion of liberty to the meanest of the multitude, who magnify liberty as if the height of human felicity were only to be found in it — never remembering that the desire of liberty was the cause of the fall of Adam.” (Catholic culture)

Democracy is a a Christian idea. The equality of men is based in their common parents Adam and Eve. The equal dignity of men is based on their equal calling to be sons and daughters of God. Take Christianity away from Democracy and you will end up with a government which is like a house built not on the firm rock of the unchanging Catholic Faith, but on the shifting sands of public opinion. Everything becomes up for voting, even morals. The Supreme Court’s allowing LADLAD to be part of the Party List is a symptom of this de-Christianization of democracy. Without the cohesive moral force of Christianity, secular Philippines will be torn apart by various forces. Nature abhors the vacuum. Secularism is not a religion. A religion can only be replaced by another religion. Remove Christianity from Philippine Jurisprudence and we shall end up with Muslim Sharia courts or the one political party of communism.

With the Supreme courts decision in favor of LADLAD, we have lost a battle and not a war. I am calling on the Church Militant. Arise from your slumber. Awake! The war is on! Let us recover the word “militant” from the the militant Left. Beat your ploughshares into swords and join in this battle of ideas. The future of Philippine Christianity is at stake! Fire!  Foes!   Awake!