CONVERSATIONS: Political dynasties, what's a voter to do?

CONVERSATIONS: Political dynasties, what's a voter to do?

Rappler.com
Published 4:03 AM, October 24, 2012
Updated 11:43 AM, October 24, 2012

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.

Join the Rappler conversation on social media at 5pm today, October 24!

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