Carvajal: What now?

Orlando Carvajal

AS I wrote in a previous column, we need a new political model that is predisposed towards an inclusive economic system if we are to move on equitably as one nation. But I also said that ruling political dynasties are not likely to allow a new system that is expressly aimed at loosening their exclusive grip on the bigger slice of the country’s economic pie.

Thus, I was not the least bit surprised when our lawmakers, most if not all of them pedigreed political dynasts, rejected a proposed provision in a new constitution banning political dynasties. The reason they gave was that such a ban is undemocratic. But I don’t believe they are that dumb to have this as their core reason.

The present system is undemocratic because the majority of Filipinos (middle class, working class Filipinos) have no representatives to protect their interests in the decision-making halls of government. Because their interests are not represented, economic policies, crafted exclusively by representatives of political dynasties, lean towards minority interests.

That is why the country presents a grim picture of massive poverty. And, this really is by no means an oversimplification. We have been ruled by political dynasties since the First Philippine Republic and because they are only after the protection of their selfish interests (there, I finally said the S-word) they don’t mind us having a smaller economic pie than South Korea, Indonesia and Vietnam for as long as they have the bigger slice of that smaller pie.

My question then is: What is more undemocratic, the exclusion of the majority from government as things stand now or the exclusion of a few? Isn’t democracy essentially the rule of the majority? Where is the logic in tagging as undemocratic the demand by way of a constitutional provision that the majority is guaranteed a proportionately bigger voice in government as it should be in a genuine democracy?

If this country is to promote the “greater good of the bigger number” of its people, it has to shift to a political system that guarantees proportionate representation of all sectors in the decision-making bodies of government. The middle class and working class majority should have majority representation in the legislature, unlike now when only the minority has representatives protecting its interests.

But the hallmark provision in the proposed new constitution that insures such proportionate representation has just been rejected by our lawmakers. What now?

If you ask me, it is absolute insanity for us, the majority, to allow the minority to continue a rule that has so far systematically marginalized us. A new political model via revolutionary government or people’s initiative is in order.