Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Gung Ho Congressmen Give Me the Heebie Jeebies

If Manny Pacquiao becomes president, I swear I shall stick a pump into my jugular and drain all the idealism out of me and bury it without ceremony into the deepest cesspit of this country. Well, okay, probably nothing that dramatic since by the time that horrible event would have come to pass, I’d have been out of college and into a crappy job. No sweat.

But seriously. President Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao is a strange, choke of a sound the more enlightened citizens of the Philippines would love to avoid uttering one day. That is why the proposed shift from a presidential to a parliamentary form of government appeals to some intellectuals. Since they come from the middle to upper class, they are aware that they are outnumbered by the non-intellectuals who would vote for the most popular, and not the most competent. Popularity is an easy variable to measure. But competence? Who has the right to and who will be right in measuring competence? The answer of the pro-Charter Change is a parliament.

In a parliament, the MPs or the members of the parliament will be elected by the people, much like the way we elect congressmen. They would, in turn, elect and remove the Prime Minister as honest representatives of the people. Isn’t that great? We would have MPs who are smart and rich enough to get themselves elected into office. It should follow, of course, that they won’t elect someone like Pacman as Prime Minister. They would know that competence should be the middle name of the highest governing official in the land. Not Pacman. Nor Poe. Nor Erap.

However, the above situation is theoretical. Theoretically, the MP’s would be elected by the people. Theoretically, once they are elected they would honestly represent the desires of their voters by choosing and removing the country’s ruler. Theoretically, they would know who is most competent to lead the nation because they would, theoretically, be an educated lot who’ve heard about economic equilibrium and political stability and lots of other for-smart-people-only gunk.

Theoretically. Looking into the activities of the House of Representatives in the past two week or so, we have a pretty good picture of our future Parliament. We saw congressmen railroading a proposal in two days, breaking their own house rules which they ordinarily, elaborately, and lengthily follow amid public outrage. We heard a congressman screaming ‘you are not representatives!’ to the same people he represents. They are the future members of the parliament. Please do not entertain the illusion that a new breed of selfless politicians will emerge once a parliament is established. Please do not also dream awake of a competent prime minister, given that the same selfish, educated idiots would be the one to vote for her—and worse, she comes from them.

Education would not necessarily give people honesty, responsibility, compassion, and public accountability. The competence to govern a country may be measured by educational background, but the competence to govern well can be measured by virtue. Education and virtue do not come in a buy-one-take-one package. Charter Change can not make it so.

4 Comments:

Anonymous jaywalker said...

Interesting article :) I'd write a rebuttal to this if I weren't to busy :)

11:23 PM  
Blogger lizette said...

that's sad then. :(

6:51 AM  
Anonymous jaywalker said...

That was supposed to be "^too busy" Anyway I'll give you a good rebuttal just wait :) http://tabulas.com/~jaywalker_1982

7:14 PM  
Blogger lizette said...

well, okay then. i'm good at waiting. anyway, i'm supposed to have considerably improved.

10:53 PM  

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