Thursday, May 9, 2019

Episode 21: Making your list, checking it twice (after "Bikoy")

As we head into the final week of the campaign, voters are starting to form their views, about who to support and vote for on May 13. They’re making their list, and checking it twice.

Questions have been asked during this campaign. Asked of the opposition, and by the opposition. About the overall framing of this election and of the policies that matter to voters.

With regards to framing, how would the opposition position itself against the administration? Would they pose as obstructionist fiscalisers to Duterte in the senate, or as constructive alternatives to the ruling coalition?

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Episode 20: EDSA Tragics and Voter Realists

There seems to be a message for the opposition contained in most recent polling. The slippage of support for Otso Diretso seems to reflect voter doubts over the false choice being presented to them.

As we reach the homestretch of the campaign, the final pitch for why we should vote for their slate seems to be that what we need is an independent senate that will block Duterte from having a supermajority that would amend the constitution.

Voters clearly don’t see it that way. They want to see the opposition present a credible alternative plan before voting for them. But what the opposition has presented so far, doesn’t really seem to appeal to them.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Episode 19: We need bridge-builders in the senate

As the homestretch of the campaign approaches, both the Catholic clergy and laypeople have joined the opposition in seeking to block Pres. Duterte's moves to amend the constitution in the next congress during the second half of his term.

It has given rise to the question, what do the times call for? Can there be no middle ground between the ka-DDS and anti-Duterte dilawan groups? What does history tell us about dealing with such a situation?

Back in 1983, the late Sen. Benigno Aquino, Jr. came home from his furlough in the United States to offer Pres. Marcos, his jailer for 7-1/2 years, an olive branch of reconciliation to work towards a modus vivendi or grand bargain. Does his example of seeking to work constructively with his staunch adversary offer lessons as to how the Opposition today can successfully disarm the Duterte administration's creeping authoritarianism?

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Episode 18: The Senate race is like an episode of Celebrity Apprentice

The Senate race has gone to new depths. From a Spratlys Island jet skiing by Otso Diretso to penis size comparisons between the president and Jim Paredes, and shirt stripping by SAP Bong Go to prove he has no tattoos in his back, and not a member of a drug gang. We’re no longer talking about the issues. It has gotten ugly really quickly.

We’ve forgotten what this election is meant to be about. As in every election we are meant to be discussing the key question: what should the role of government be in our lives?

In our last episode, we looked at the senate race of 2019, and saw how much of it was driven by personality and not principles. We said that a general trend in all senate races since 1987 was the popularity contest that it has become. This is evidenced by the growing number of celebrities or celebrity-related candidates that are present in the senate. So how do we make our senate more representative, instead of mimicking an episode of Celebrity Apprentice?


Show notes available here.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Episode 17: Otso Diretso, MaBaGoKoTo, Hugpong, atbp.

The countdown to election day begins.

We are now about 30 days away from the 2019 midterms. In this episode we’ll be looking at the senate race, and how that has been unfolding. We compare the competing candidates' platforms, namely Otso Diretso's campaign platform and PDP-Laban's.

When you put the two parties’ positions side-by-side there is a clear contrast between them, both in terms of their overarching philosophies and approach to governance and development. Those who say that this election isn’t about ideas are wrong. There are clear battle lines here, and they are not just personality-driven.

Get the transcripts of the show from here.

Erratum: in counting the number of senators that became VP, I mistakenly included Mar Roxas in the list.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Episode 16: Mahathir's Malaysia and the Virtues of a Parliamentary System

Malaysian PM Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad's visit to Manila in March 2019 has inevitably led some people to draw comparisons between the two nations. Malaysia follows a federal parliamentary system while the Philippines is unitary and presidential. They have reached a level of economic progress that the Philippines can only aspire to. How did they do it?

In this podcast we look at key differences between the two systems, and try to answer the question, would a shift to a parliamentary system benefit the Philippines. We avoid the chicken-and-egg question of what should come first: culture change or structural change? We do this by differentiating the incentives under either system and show how that shapes behavior and eventually the culture.

Read the transcripts of the show here.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Episode 15: The question of Philippine federalism (Part 3)

Now that congress has formally started hearings on charter revisions to shift to a federal structure of government, some legislators are asking: Well, what’s the benefit to the public? Is federalism worth the trouble? The same goes for the proposed adoption of a semi-parliamentary form of government. And is it appropriate for the Philippines, a country of over 100 million people, dispersed over 7,000 islands? In this third and final installment to this series, we seek to supply the answer to these questions, as well as offer a critique of the proposed revisions of the ruling PDP-Laban.

Listen to the podcast here.

Read the transcripts here.