Editor’s Note: We now have a another contributor, Dennis Horner, who would like to respond to some of the points raised in Konrad’s post on the recent elections and democracy, Pinoy style. Dennis now lives in the UK but was a resident of the Philippines for many years until 2009. He has a new (second) Filipina wife, three grown kids scattered across the Philippines and Europe and restores old British Seagull outboard motors for fun and profit!
Once again, the views expressed by the writer are his own.
What About King Noynoy?
Why do we all seem to think that democracy is the only valid and viable form of government for everyone on this planet? Some races/cultures/ethnic groups actually prefer a more autocratic style of rule and respect a strong leader rather than enjoy being ruled by committee.
While we often lampoon the Philippines election circus they do try hard to emulate their previous American masters in style if not the actual spirit of things. But is a democratically elected (just bear with me for now, ok?) government the best answer for Pinoys?
Given they are only Filipino once they leave their country and until then they are Cebuanos, Bicolanos, Pampangans and so forth… is it right to expect them to all agree on one leader, one party and one ideology? What about a federated republic like Malasia or even the USA? Or a Constitutional Monarchy like the UK and Australia and I think, Canada and New Zealand? We could lend you our monarch but her successors are probably more attractive to Filipinos given the way they carry on in the media like telly novella artistas some times.
How about a benevolent dictatorship? Many old timers still feel they had that with Marcos but those snatched off the streets and hurled into Bilibid Prison might not share their view. Martial law and military junta’s have worked in some countries for limited times such as South Korea, Thailand and various South American locales with varying degrees of success.
Or what about a socialist state? Democratic socialism allows free enterprise and private capital but ensures everyone in the state gets a share of the wealth. This would upset the catholic church as the poor would finally be properly looked after and the rich would have little to whine about other than having to actually pay taxes for once.
But whatever system of governance is applied, the system is only as valid as the people applying it and the people it is applied to accepting and obeying it. An unpopular system will result in civil disturbance worse than we have seen in nearby Thailand recently. It would be wrong to impose a Burmese style of military rule and full blown socialism has proven to be lacking in the argy-bargy world of free market capitalism.
There are lots of factors to consider but the main one is would a different form of governance make any difference? Or would the same people who rule now, rule then albeit with a different title in front of their names?