OPINION: What role do the national Philippine political parties play?

Politics Society

Without ideological differences between them, what roles do political parties play today in the Philippines?

"Elected as the Commonwealth president in 1935, [Manuel] Quezon now buttressed his political ideas with some educational and social thought. He believed in Social Darwinism—that governments are products of political struggles for survival. He viewed political parties as necessary only when they have competing platforms of government because the partisanship is clear-cut. But he opposed political parties whose programs of government are not different from the party in power but whose existence is premised simply in criticizing the government in order to grab power. If political parties have no distinctive political programs, then a partyless democracy may be necessary," he believed. (Gripaldo 2006, 12)

What role do political parties play in the Philippines today? How did we get to this point at which the large national political parties are essentially indistinct from one another? Read Lila Ramos Shahani's analysis of our current political parties and let us know what you think they have to do with the question of democracy in the Philippines today.


Lila Ramos Shahani, "Political Parties and the Question of Democracy," Philippine Star







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