CONVERSATIONS: Political dynasties, what's a voter to do?
MANILA, Philippines – So the Philippines is not the only country with political dynasties. But what makes our case stand out?
A research done by the Asian Institute of Management shows we have too many of them compared to Asian neighbors and First World democracies.
For example, while in the United States 6% of the legislature are from political families, in our House of Representatives we have them as much as 70%.
The AIM study tries to show, through empirical evidence, whether constituents experience socio-economic improvements while being ruled by political dynasties.
The study does not make any generalization that political dynasties are good or bad, but it poses questions to the voters: Is this a dynasty that you can trust to bring you farther on the road to progress? Or is this a dynasty that limits your economic potentials so you will always find them relevant? Or would you rather take the risk with a new face and a new name that might be able to bring you beyond the bend?
A political science professor, however, is prepared to say dynasties are bad for democracy; their presence simply doesn’t jibe with the constitutional provision for equal representation.
Writing for Rappler, Edmund Tayao of the University of Santo Tomas acknowledges, though, that it will take a long time—and a new system of government—before we see an end to political dynasties.
He suggests that voters can instead make it clear to members of these dynasties: we are seriously looking for qualifications and the capability to deliver what’s best for their constituents.
What’s your take on these political dynasties? Tell us.
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