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2 Thesis Statement: Political dynasties should be banned because political and personal interests are promoted. 2.0 Basic Arguments 2.1 Political dynasties promote nepotism, favoritism and corruption. 2.1.1 Political clans are motivated by the preservation of wealth rather than the implementation of basic political ideologies. 2.1.2 Officials do not control only political power within themselves; they cultivate nepotism by appointing relatives. 2.2 Formation of political kingdoms inhibits democracy in the country. 2.2.1 Elections have become mere formalities rather that idle legal processes. 2.2.2 Dynasties are reflections of the prevailing socio-economic inequalities in the nation. 2.3 The existence of political clans prohibits economically- disadvantaged but efficient candidates. 2.3.1 Basis for qualifications of public officials are distorted. 2.3.2 People come to accept the existing succession of political clans as a tradition. 3.0 Counter Arguments 3.1 Dynasties make up an effective collaboration promoting good governance. 3.2 There is an increased devolution of power over the localities which empower them. 3.3 Refutation 4.0 Conclusion Christine Meredith E. Sarmiento Argumentative Essay December 10, 2009
Political Affiliations Uncovered
The terrifying massacre of civilians in Maguindanao was a grim eyeopener of the influence of political dynasties in the country and the danger it imposes on the people. According to a recent study by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, the emergence of political dynasties started when the Americans introduced electoral politics in the 20th century. The standards boxed the opportunities to the rich and the landed, who then monopolized public office. The image of this government system was passed through the years, validating the Marcos regime, which is the resilience of political kingdoms in the provinces. At present, the cultural importance of kinship affiliation explains the power and dominance of political affiliations (Bonoan, 2009). With this, political dynasties should be banned because political and personal interests are promoted. In our political setting, political alliances are defined along familial lines not by political parties with strong political ideologies and beliefs (Jayme, 2001). Most of the clans confine themselves on political structures for the essence of social survival, taking advantage of the weak nation. Emphasis is put on preserving family wealth rather than forming productive activities that will serve the country better. Immaturity of this political system leads to nonsense acts of protection of the clan’s interests by legislating for their own means. When dark-tinted SUVs rule the highways, luxury items are purchased and dozens of bodyguards sprout, we see the seeds of corruption. (Philippine Daily Inquirer, November 2009).
Officials held in public office do not have contentment with themselves. They do not control only political power within themselves, but they also cultivate nepotism by appointing their relatives. The kinship ties built by powerful families result to favoritism norms in the government, poisoning almost every mind in it. It has crept into their heads, distorting the rationality and dignity over their vocation. Another disrupted underlying factor is the individuality concern of the officials. Effective economic decision-making is tampered due to the surfacing of personal interests. In the course of the rising and expanding political kingdoms ruling over the country, it has become hard to tell where democracy is to be found. With rules distorted and morality questioned, people can never tell if they deserve more than what they are getting from the government. Political dynasties inhibit democracy, further adding instability and weakness of political institutions that are supposed to be working on their sense of rationality and individualism for the country (Jayme, 2001). A reflection of this phenomenon is the present day elections. Plebiscites are viewed as mere formalities rather than idle legal processes. Filipinos started accepting the fact that family succession in political institutions may be beneficial. They, too, are poisoned by this thought. The present set up of our government is actually a monarchy, not a democratic one. Bureaucrats held in public office are chosen through the value of inheritance, not according to their skills. Considering this, voters seem to forget the essence of their right to vo te. People should break apart from what they see is tradition. They have the right to choose who they think is efficient and capable of a position. People should be able to rationalize their minds and stop tolerating the overwhelming political dynasties.
With the plight of the horrifying Maguindanao massacre, people must take into account a brutal reality check – how deadly Philippine democracy is. Dr. Encarnacion Teresa Tadem, director of the Third World Studies Center of the University of the Philippines, said that the continued flourishing of political dynasties is a reflection of the socio-economic inequalities in the country. According to Conde (2009), political clans are inherently wrong because they give a head start in politics of the same family. With this simple launch, opportunities for other candidates are softly burned down. Families rising into power shoot prospective rivals from coming into their state. During the Marcos regime, Ferdinand Marcos stressed the abolition of political dynasties all over the Philippines. However, he must have driven away growing political dynasties. But then right after, he started establishing his own. He appointed relatives all over the fingers of his hands. Relatively, economically disadvantaged contenders are deprived of their freedom of holding public office. Once they try to peep in to the big world, they are kicked out in an instance by the prevailing political kingdoms. With the rise of different socio economic forces pulling Filipinos side by side, even the essence of choosing rightful political representatives are unconsidered. At present times, the basis for qualifications of candidates does not depend on his competence; it all depends on his seated master. Indeed, democratic rules no longer apply in the selection of candidates for public office. Presence of powerful political kingdoms remains to be the primordial obstacle to deserving but economically disadvantaged candidates from running or winning the elections. If one wants to have an iron grip in politics, he must have somebody powerful enough, a member of a dynasty, to pull him up. In short, running for public office is a matter of grasping the truth
about inequalityof opportunities with the prevailing power of the ruling elite. Many qualified Filipinos can improve public service but they are barred by these dynasties. It is evident that the formation of political dynasties inflicts detrimental effects on most Filipinos. However, the worst part is people come to accept the existing succession of political clans as a tradition. Embedded in their heads are the thoughts that there is nothing wrong with a family laying down its hand all over the country. It was considered as a tradition because of inaction. People barely oppose to what these political dynasties impose in their places. The system is a vicious cycle preventing the expansion of aspirants and candidates for representation. As a result, this political system is dominated by fraud, corruption and violence. (The New York Times, 2007). Although there is a widespread belief that political dynasties can never be terminated for injecting damage, there are certain points that serve as signs for positive change. Political kingdoms have earned its connotation as influential families dominating power and wealth to control the aspects of the nation. However, if dynasties are closely examined, it will turn out that not all yield negative outputs. Several young politicians from dynasties have broken away with their old ways of ruling specific areas. They must have been unfairly disqualified from public service. They had proven their capacity to govern responsibly. One example is Sergio Osmeña Jr., a worthy public official, who might have been inequitably barred for being the son of his illustrious father. With this, should Manuel Roxas be excluded also for being the son of Gerardo Roxas, the son of a former president? The credentials of this family are unquestionable (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 2007).
Another significant change that is attributed to the rise of political dynasties is the increased devolution of power over the localities. Kinship affiliation does not concentrate on urban areas only; they are creeping out to the provinces. In recent years, the provinces’ cities and towns have grown richer (New York Times, 2007). Because of local empowerment, good dynasties are becoming more responsive to the call of good governance. Similarly, as clans expand all over the country, competition rises among them. This opposition is viewed as a positive factor for change. Dynasties race out with other dynasties which might eventually result to better public service if they do the competition the clean way. Before, Manila, being the center of trade and industry was outshining the other spots in the country. But now, under the ambitious plans of the government dynasties other places are gradually revealing their own worth. On the contrary, we cannot have the assurance that all dynasties bear good intention and good heirs. Taking a risk with these unscrupulous dynasties will put us to great danger, even more than the Maguindanao massacre. In addition, some dynasties might really be attributed for local empowerment, but as we know, power comes with great responsibility. Empowerment of localities spoils with the fact that local politicians have more to gain personally from public office, fueling the cycle of violence (New York Times,2007). At this juncture, Filipinos should realize how vital their share is in running this country. Political dynasties are slowly sweeping our ways to efficiency, thus, pulling us down towards the marginalized section of society. Yes we have an anti-dynasty proviso\ion written in the 1987 constitution, but it is useless unless a legislation to impose it is passed by the Congress. Who should people hope for to make this happen?
No way the Congress is doing it, the reason is obvious; Congress is the principal haven of political dynasties and traditional politicians. It is time to have serious thoughts be devoted to this. We have to make a stand if we want this nation to survive. If not, the blood will be right on our hands. The Congress cannot stop it but voters can… and should. “Indeed, with one powerful stroke of the pen in our ballots, we can break the chains of political dynasties or further tighten the cuffs of corruption that tends to sap out our flesh” (Bonoan, 2009).
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