Parliamentary governance originated in the Roman Catholic Church痴 election of the pope (prime minister) by the Conclave or College of Cardinals (parliament). England copied the system and today about 114 countries worldwide use it successfully. It is superior to the presidential system for the following reasons:
1. The legislative and executive functions of government are performed by one body, the parliament. Instead of maintaining two sets of very expensive bureaucracies, lawmaking and implementation of laws, the parliament performs both tasks simply, very economically and in less confrontational ways.
2. The duties of the Senate and the House of Representatives are done by one body, the parliament. Competition and jealousy between the two powerful bodies are eliminated and lawmaking is simplified, and made very speedy, more economical and less confrontational.
3. The offices of the President, Vice President and the Senate, always the source of intense, bloody and expensive national elections, are eliminated. Only the members of the parliament are elected, and the political party with the greatest number of elected members gets to choose the prime minister who in turn chooses his Cabinet members from the majority/ruling political party/coalition. They are removable for malfeasance, misfeasance or nonfeasance in office by a simple majority vote of the parliament any time. Their replacements come from the majority political party without the need for special elections. Without fixed terms, there is greater public accountability in public service.
4. The parliament attracts competent and the best qualified leaders nationwide, including those who are poor. Expensive national elections and dynastic families are eliminated.
5. Fewer elections will be synchronized: These will be for members of the parliament and officials of local government units and barangays, thus eliminating expensive, violent and divisive national positions.
6. Political parties will have programs of government where the people can make intelligent choices. We can have continuity of good government programs sans the emotional and often violent demonstrations.
7. The shift to a parliamentary system of government can be done most economically, most expeditiously and least divisively by the 2013 Congress sitting as a Constituent Assembly. In this transformation, everybody participates; the Senate, the House of Representatives and the people who will ratify the transformation.
In light of the rampant lawlessness in the country today where President Aquino seems helpless and where police agents kill one another, and where there is open corruption in the Senate led by the Senate President himself, all decent and peace-loving citizens are called upon to vote for candidates who will champion parliamentary governance.
Social Policy Advocacy,
15 Charleyville, White Plains, QC