Petition Closed

End Political Dynasties Now

This petition had 123 supporters


It’s high time for the Filipino electorate, whether at home or in the Diaspora, to bring an end to political dynasties. Together in the coming May 2013 elections, we shall reject all candidates for elective office who are members of prominent political families and elect only those who are not related by blood or social affiliation to any political dynasty.

Although political dynasties have been with us for less than a hundred years, it is foolhardy to think they will go away on their own. Just look at our history. The first members of the Philippine Assembly elected in 1907 under the American occupation were affluent Filipino politicians. It was no accident that William Howard Taft, the American civil governor at that time, chose members of the oligarchic elite whom he believed were more mature and better prepared to run the affairs of popular government.

But as oligarchic as the membership of the Philippine Assembly and Congress was during the early days, nothing much has changed. Politics in the Philippines continues to remain under the control of a few families who are also members of the oligarchic elite. Today, dynasties that control Philippine politics have become the norm, where members of a politician’s family deem it their privilege and right to run for the same or other elective office when relatives who occupy political office have completed their term. Running for political office is about name recognition. If you’re part of a political dynasty and you carry the same name, you already have tremendous advantage over your opponent.

These dynasties are so entrenched in our political system that they corrupt the democratic process. They exclude others from having an equal opportunity to run for public office. Political dynasties undermine the principle of political equality, and as a consequence, the concentration of political power in the hands of a few families limits the liberating potential of the democratic process.

The current Philippine Constitution prohibits the establishment of political dynasties, and some members of Congress have proposed legislation that will implement this prohibition. But until such law is passed by Congress, a scenario that will not likely see the light of day, we need to develop alternatives for the people to harness their participation and inclusion in the political process.

In addition, members of notable political families today simply rotate holding elective offices among themselves with the exclusion of others because of term limits.  They can hold elective offices at the same time, whether as members of Congress or provincial or city local officials, which is an anomaly that is common only to dictatorships or in societies where there are no free and democratic elections.

It’s about time to break this ugly stranglehold of the family dynasty on Philippine politics. We can’t wait for a law to implement the constitutional prohibition against political dynasties because Congress will not act as it is against this ruling class’s self-interests. The people can enact legislation by initiative or referendum according to the Constitution, but this may also take an inordinate time granting it will be allowed.

What the Filipino electorate can immediately accomplish is to reject in this coming May 2013 elections all candidates who are related to these political dynasties. This will send a clear and strong message that the people have had enough, that they want to put an end to political dynasties now.Let us show them power still belongs to us—the people. With the power of our vote we can elect them or unseat them if we so choose.



Today: Joe is counting on you

Joe Rivera needs your help with “End Political Dynasties Now”. Join Joe and 122 supporters today.