Strong Parties Build Strong Leaders
December 6, 2009 1 Comment
As we have seen in the past months, many politicians, both of national and local stature, have been switching parties and alliances as if in a bandwagon of following a new product. This is a common trend when election season comes, particularly a presidential race. Politicians leave their parties and transfer to other parties with the probable winnable presidential candidate. This is truly a part of the democratic process where people are of liberty to associate themselves with the political organization of their choice; but this practice bred us with leaders who can be safely branded as “turncoats”.
Turncoatism in Philippine politics is common practice, especially for members of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Since the time when President Quezon said “my loyalty to my party ends when my loyalty to the people begins” [the pinnacle of turncoatism] was introduced in Philippine mainstream politics. And since then, it has been common exercise among Philippine politicians.
This exercise of partisan treason protects nothing but the interest of a politician. He shifts parties to ensure his own political survival; notwithstanding the fact that shifting parties means a new reintroduction and re indoctrination to his new party’s ideologies and aspirations.Nobody seems to care about these anymore.
In 2008, House Bill 3655 (An Act Strengthening the Political Party System, Appropriating Funds Therefore and for Other Purposes) was introduced in the House of Representatives to address the necessity for a strong political party system. This involves measures to be taken against politicians who switch parties and subsidy of electoral expenditures for candidates in the House and the Senate. THis brings a fresh address to the problem of unstable political party system, yet puts too much burden on an already-burdened taxpayer who needs to pay for election expenses incurred by candidates.
But I think if we have to spend a little more to elect fresh, forward-looking, and intelligent leaders, and to establish a strong political party system, I think it’s worth it. After all, strong parties build strong leaders. Take many progressive democratic countries, for example.