Reading through the commentary sections of the newspapers and scrolling through my favorite Philippine blogs, I detect little support for constitutional change as promoted by the president
and her political allies.
Apart from serious legal reservations, the rejection of cha-cha (as this project has disrespectfully been labeled from the outset) is motivated politically. Not a few see it, and I quote from Randy David’s column
in the Philippine Daily Inquirer
as “Ms Arroyo’s last card in her bid to survive till 2010 and avoid prosecution and imprisonment at the end of her term.”
In my last post, I discussed what I term “conservative people power.” Irrespective of the legal issue (and one can only hope that a legal solution accepted by all sides may be found soon), there remains the fundamental political dimension. From a democratic and liberal vantage point, it is not easy to simply discard a campaign that produces millions of individual signatures
The successful mobilization opines Prof. David “rests on nothing more than the notorious ability of her (GMA’s) political operators to produce outcomes by preying upon the poverty, the indifference and the ignorance of the masses.
Political indifference and ignorance are poisonous for democracy
. As long as they persist, democratic rule will not be consolidated. The solution, however, is not to further disenfranchise the masses as is often suggested by messianic leaders who profess to speak on behalf of the masses and to know better what they want than the masses themselves. This is the recipe of communists, fascists and other totalitarian ideologues.The liberal answer to indifferent and ignorant masses is education
. Yes, this is a long term approach. But history teaches that there is no short cut to consolidate democracy.tags philippines charter change democratic consolidation cha cha