Sunday, August 25, 2019

Episode 26: Yellow Alert! How do you address populism?

In the first part of this series, we showed how the weakening of democratic institutions in the country can be traced to the establishment of neoliberal economic policies, which have given rise to a populist backlash. 

The Philippine debt driven, crony capitalist growth of the 1970s under Pres. Marcos led to the IMF prescribed austerity measures of the 1980s under Pres. Cory Aquino and the globalist trend of the 1990s under Pres. Fidel Ramos. The Philippine state and its economy was too weak for the state to say no to the imposition of policies from external lenders.

This led to a populist backlash from the left in 1998, in the wake of the Asian financial crisis. The election of Pres. Joseph Erap Estrada was a response to the austerity under which  the government had to spend more on debt service than education contrary to our constitutional provisions. It was also based on Erap’s charisma and cult of personality.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Episode 25: Yellow Alert! Is the Opposition drawing the wrong lessons from recent elections?

Is the opposition drawing the wrong lessons from recent elections?

Are they committing the same mistakes now, which could potentially make them obsolete in the future?

What lessons have the opposition taken away from the elections of 2016 & ‘19? Are they the right ones? What lessons could they have drawn, but are refusing to because it would mean admitting some painful truths to themselves? What are the implications for the future?

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Episode 23: Bayanihan federalism by stealth or initiative

One of the crucial factors in determining whether charter change will succeed or not is the public’s perception regarding the motives behind it. Are its proponents really sincere in bringing about much needed change for ordinary Filipinos, or are they simply looking out for their own interests?

We’re going to examine the case for federalism in the country. Is it justified? Or is it just a cover for unwinding the democratic system of checks and balances that were painstakingly restored over three decades ago.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Episode 22: Is Federalism fizzling out...or just getting started?

Following the resounding victory of his coalition at the midterm polls, the enigmatic Pres. Rodrigo Duterte seemed to back away from his campaign pledge to push for federalism. But are his statements to be taken at face value, or are they simply a way for him to spark a debate on the issue and incite those in favour of charter change to come out in support of it?

Recall that when he was considering a run for the presidency, he declined to be drafted several times. Was it a way for him to gauge the public’s sentiment in support of his candidacy? We know he eventually decided to run, and many said he had already made up his mind long before then. Is he working off the same playbook here? Is he gauging the public’s appetite once again, this time in favour of federalism?

Hi, I’m Doy Santos, and on this edition of The Cusp, we’re going to look at the push for federalism, and answer the question, Is Federalism fizzling out, or is it just getting started?

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 should 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.