Stories of political parties |

BREAKTHROUGH – Elfren S. Cruz – The Filipino Star

October 7, 2021 | 00h00

In stable and functioning democracies, the common finding is that there are stable and relatively durable political parties with clearly defined objectives. The public is also able to discern the great differences in the ideas that bind a political party.

Japan is an example of a democracy that has been able to survive since the end of World War II or a period of around 75 years. In India, its ruling party is fairly new, but the Congress Party has existed since the days of Gandhi and Nehru. In the United States, the Democratic and Republican parties have competed for political power since 1860.

Normally, in a democracy, you can know which political party you are a member of, or at least with which you have closer ties, after discussing the problems with them.

In the Philippines, it is not the political parties that stand out and separate us. They are candidates. I sometimes doubt that the candidate himself knows the background and history of the political party he joined.

The PDP-LABAN party, which is now divided into two wings – Pimentel and Cusi – was a union of two political parties. The Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino or PDP was founded by a group of center-left ideologues and politicians from Mindanao. They came from two places – Cagayan de Oro and Davao City. They were influenced by a new ideology then gaining ground around the world called Social Democracy or Socdem. However, for this group it was Christian Democracy that was the ideology.

One of the pillars of the PDP ideology was democratic socialism. It is a leftist philosophy that supports political democracy within a socially owned economy with particular emphasis on economic democracy, workplace democracy and worker self-management.

In some readings, Democratic Socialists even argue that capitalism is inherently incompatible with the values ​​of freedom, equality and solidarity and that these ideals can only be achieved through the achievement of a socialist society.

The difference between Democratic Socialists and Communists is that Communism believes in an authoritarian form of government while Democratic Socialists believe in democracy. In the United States, the leading Democratic Socialist is Congresswoman AO Cortez from the Bronx, New York.

I have serious doubts that the Filipino politicians who have joined the PDP-LABAN are aware of this. The party was founded to be a center-left party. This is why members take the oath with the raised left hand and not with the right hand as is the case in most organizations.

Lakas ng Bayan or LABAN was founded in 1978 by a group led by Ninoy Aquino. Its aim was to present a group of candidates, led by Ninoy, to compete against a group of candidates led by Imelda Marcos for the Batasan. Through massive cheating and intimidation, the group led by Imelda, led by the KBL party, won all 18 seats. However, this was the first time we heard of sound barriers as a means of political protest.

In the early 1980s – 1982 I think – the two groups merged to become PDP-LABAN. This group became the first political movement against martial law and for the restoration of democracy.

I wonder how many current members and candidates of this party are even slightly aware of the real raison d’être and ideology of this party.

Perhaps this is the reason why political parties do not last. It is not the ideologies that bind its members but simply the thirst for power of the candidates.

The Liberal Democratic Party of Japan exercised political control over Japan for most of the post-war years. Right now there is a very intense fight between four candidates to be the next Prime Minister. However, once the issue is decided, everyone supports one candidate.

The Liberal Party remains an active party. Its story began when Roxas separated from Osmeña and ran for president in the first post-WWII presidential election. It was also the first election of the independent Philippines. He had a glorious part in our history. However, during the anti-Marcos struggle, he kept a low profile. Her first business in the post-martial law era was in 1992 when she entered into an alliance with PDP-LABAN and ran a Salonga-Pimentel tandem. The lost ticket. The Liberal Party tried again in 1998, but it was in 2010 with Noynoy Aquino as the presidential candidate that the party finally succeeded.

The party’s internal weaknesses were exposed when most of its members resigned following the defeat of its candidate – Mar Roxas – in 2016.

There have been attempts by the people to instill ideology in the party. I remember that Mario Taguiwalo spoke about it often. Sadly, he died prematurely.

Aksyon Demokratiko was founded primarily to be Raul Roco’s organization for his presidential elections in 1998 and 2004. He was a maverick politician and I always thought his political heir would be his provincial companion Jesse Robredo. If Raul Roco has a legitimate heir today, it would be Leni Robredo.

PROMDI has an interesting history. Previously, it meant “from the province”. It described someone from the province who had little education, spoke with a certain accent and had no sense of fashion. Lito Osmeña, then governor of Cebu, formed the party when he ran for president and made PROMDI a badge of honor.

Until the Philippines establishes a strong political party system and leans completely on personalities, this country will never have a stable democracy.

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October writing dates: October 9 and 23, 2:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., Young Writers Meetings with Danton Remoto and Bebang Siy, respectively. Contact [email protected] 0945.2273216

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