Democratic thinking

Articles on democracy in the independent online media

August 18, 2005

Fixing democracy in Philippines

The opposition has failed to present a credible leadership option, even for an extra-constitutional process. Fernando Poe, the ostensibly cheated candidate, is dead. Some oppositionists have tried to recruit his widow, actress Susan Roces, but Roces hardly seems cut out to lead a nation. Former police chief Panfilo Lacson, who placed a distant third in the 2004 election, is waving his hand wildly in the background, but there is little evident interest in sending him the call. The Estrada faction of the opposition has vaguely proposed a “governing council” to supervise a new election: not surprisingly, the members of the council they propose would be drawn from their ranks.

A new round of scandal has brought democracy in the Philippines to breaking point. If democratic revival is possible it can only come from the people themselves, says Steven Rogers.

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