Federalism: The Good and the Bad

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said last monday that the elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) was rather “peaceful" despite clashes between government troops and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighters in the provinces of North Cotabato and Basilan. In a press conference in its main office in Manila, the Comelec noted a 60 to 65-percent turnout for Tawi-Tawi and 60 percent for Lanao del Sur, Shariff Kabunsuan and Maguindanao. Henrietta T. de Villa, Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting head, said her group had noted a 60 to 70-percent voter turnout, contrary to fears that people might be discouraged to vote for security reasons, but 60 to 70 percent is still not 100.
The clash between the military and the MILF had cost lives ever since this erupted. Clearly this war is not what we, catholics or not want, and I think the Muslims agree. Then, what is the use of this non-sense, seemingly endless war mongering? How many more shall die before peace is achieved in Mindanao? Could Federalism be the answer to this endless strife?
The term federalism is also used to describe a system of the government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided.between a central governing authority and constituent political units (like states or provinces). Federalism is the system in which the power to govern is shared between the national and state governments, creating what is often called a federation. In BPS Politics' blog , he said that Jose Abueva, former president of University of the Philippines and a professor of public and administration we should take federal kind of government. He said that the Philippines would take a period of no less than 10 years to make a successful transition to federalism, involving a period of consolidation of several regions and intensive socioeconomic development in each of consolidated regions. Advantages of federal government are the following: (1) It ensures that government remains close to the people because the state government argue that they are more in tune with the daily needs and aspirations of people especially relevant to small and isolated places. (2) It encourages development of the nation in a decentralized and regional manner and allows for unique and innovative methods for attacking social, economic and political problems. (3) It provides a barrier to the dominance of the majority, while the disadvantages are the following: (1) It can lead to duplication of government and inefficient, over-lapping or contradictory policies in different parts of the country. (2) It can lead to inequality between the states and lead to unhealthy competition and rivalry between them. (3) It cal lead to over-government that will result to corruption. I have cited both faces of federal government in order to inform all of you that federal government is a good system of government and a good example of successful federal kind of government is the United States of America. But the question lies still, is federalism the answer to the endless strife in Mindanao?
I think it is possible to adopt a federalist system of government. While the advantages seem to be promising, the disadvantages should be weighed down carefully as adopting this kind of system would need a constitutional change. Responsibility is the main ingredient for this kind of system to run smoothly, and I think that the Philippines are not yet ready for this kind of government, as corruption poisons the country. With corrupted officials, the federalist system would bring terrible consequences for the constituents of the state.
But I should also point out that to say that federalism is not an answer would be fallacious and therefore illogical. This Catholic versus Muslim war are perpetrated by selfish people with the power to corrupt minds. They are selfish because their only pursuit is of personal gain and not of national or the general welfare of the people. They do not see the effects of war, the deaths it cause, the diseases it bring, and the costs it entails. They are the ones that seed this country with corruption, they are the ones that taint the image of this republic as a nation divided. But corruption can be corrected like the other problems that plague the country, all we need is to build this country once again as a nation that can stand through any challenge brought about by development. We need to change our system, a system that will cleanse our government of corruption and we can start now by having a mindset to battle the evil that beleaguers this country.


Post a Comment

GlossyBlue Blogger by Black Quanta. Theme & Icons by N.Design Studio
Entries RSS Comments RSS