Shift to the Parliamentary System

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Federalism & Decentralization: Evaluating Africa’s Track Record         Juan Linz: The Perils of Presidentialism         Frequently Asked Questions (Tagalog)         The Parliamentary System can fix Philippine Politics         Presidential or Parliamentary – Does it Make a Difference?         Federalism in Africa: The Case of Ethiopia – Challenges & Prospects         Rediscovering the Advantages of Federalism         KITT vs KARR: Systems & Algorithms Matter         Why are the Monsods so anti-Constitutional Reform?         How does Federalism work?         What if we were Parliamentary back in 2009?         Marina Bay Sands is One Big Foreign Direct Investment         A Head of State and A Head of Government         No Parliamentary System, No LKY & No Mahathir         Rizal the Federalist; Bonifacio the Unitarian         Foreigner: Pinoy Inability to Improve is due to Escapism         The Philippines is run like a Mafia Network         Tacloban Tragedy: A Painful Wake-up Call         Ang Hagupit ng Bagyong Yolanda         The Coming Fall of the “Noynoy Project”         The Parable of the Mountain Bike         US Government Shutdown: The Presidential System Sucks         Infographic: Solutions to the Root Causes of the Pork Barrel         Nápoles & Pork Barrel: It’s the Lousy System         1987 Constitution Kicks FedEx Out         Benign0 is just as clueless as “Benigno”         Polls aren’t just for Metro Manila: Why Federalism?         Nancy Binay – Don’t hate the player, hate the game!         Should the Philippines Turn Parliamentary?         Chicken or the Egg: Culture Change or System Change?         Lynching Laurel         Constitutional Change Now         A Tale of Two Countries         Making the economic comeback w/ higher private FDI         Tables and Ladders (Exposing Esposo, Part 2)         It’s all about Competition         It’s the Economy, Student!         ‘Sensya na po, Sir…’         Let’s Talk Basketball – by Figo Cantos         Sen. Enrile Solidly Supports Parliamentarism         Crucifying Cruz         The CoRRECT™ Three Point Agenda         The Parliamentary System: Would it produce better leaders?         Problems of Presidentialism & the US Exception         A Good Constitution Must Reduce the Impact of a Bad Leader         Sen. Claro M. Recto on the Presidential System         Philippine Progress: Shift in Sports, Shift in System         Exposing Esposo         2 Filipinos: A Football Legend & A Spanish Prime Minister         The Parliamentary System Fits the Philippines         Sen. Pangilinan & the Parliamentary System        

Platforms & Competence: True leadership, not popularity politics.

The current Presidential System as defined in the 1987 Constitution is unfortunately a very unwieldy system whose electoral exercises have often turned out to be nationwide popularity contests. Worse, the current Philippine Presidential System’s inherent features have been found to be the cause of a lot of political instability as found in the research of numerous scholars such as Dr. Yuko Kasuya (“Presidential Bandwagon: Parties & Party Systems in the Phlippines“) and Dr. Clarita Carlos and Dennis Lalata (“Democratic Deficits in the Philippines: What is to be done?“).

Instead of allowing for a competent leader to easily emerge on top of the government’s hierarchy, the current Presidential System in the Philippines features a personality-based popularity contest, often causing candidates with little real track-record or competence to emerge victorious.

So much international research points to the superiority of the Parliamentary System of government when compared against the Presidential System. On practically all indices, be it GDP per Capita, Human Development Index, Corruption Perceptions Index, the Economic Freedom Index, the Democracy Index, and many others, the top 30 countries turn out to be dominated by countries using Parliamentary Systems. It is thus advisable that any exercise in correcting the errors of the 1987 Constitution will also tackle the need to shift from the unstable, popularity-driven, inflexible, and inefficient nature of the current Philippine Presidential System and thus adopt the internationally-proven, more stable, more efficient, more accountable, and more competence-based Parliamentary System.

The Prime Minister is the First Among Equals in government. He leads the executive branch which is known as the Cabinet of Ministers, who are responsible for setting the direction of each of the Ministries. He ascends to such office by virtue of being the leader of the majority bloc in Parliament, either as the leader of the party that wins the majority, or the leader of the largest party within a coalition of different parties that forms a majority bloc within parliament.

This explains why leadership quality in Parliamentary Systems is superior to the quality of leaders in Presidential Systems

As it turns out, within the different political parties, party members will compete against each other on the basis of their individual competence, leadership abilities, and track record, causing some of the best, most competent, and most seasoned party members to emerge on the top ranks as members of the front bench (poised to become Cabinet Ministers) and the best of them all to emerge as the leader of the party, poised to become the Prime Minister in the event that the party wins a parliamentary majority. The electoral contest, on the other hand, becomes a contest between parties. Different parties will thus compete against each other by showing that their Manifestos (called “Platforms” in the Philippines) are relevant to the needs of the People and will bring about a positive change in their lives. This has thus resulted in Parliamentary Systems having more policy and issue-driven politics where elections talk more about programs of government, plans and projects  and  “platforms”,  rather than the individual personalities of the candidates running.

Check out this page to find links that discuss the Parliamentary System in detail.

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