By Bobby M. Tuazon
The daily dose of news on corruption involving powerful politicians escalates the public disgust against greed and rapacity. A headline-hogger since post-martial law times, the abuse of power and plunder are widely seen today as institutionally endemic and no longer involving isolated cases.
By Mahar Mangahas
“A fresh blast of discontent reshapes the political order” is how the multiawarded pollster Gary Langer titled his blog last Wednesday, analyzing the exit poll of his company Langer Research Associates for ABC News on the 2014 midterm elections in the United States (http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2014/11/a-fresh-blast-of-discontent-reshapes-the-political-order/).
The decision of the Supreme Court raising the cap on political campaign ads on TV and radio has been hailed as a triumph for the freedom of speech. That is an illusion. It upholds the freedom of speech of only one group, the politicians, and undermines democracy for everyone else. The Constitution speaks of equal access to opportunities for public service, and yet the Court will offer our democracy for sale to the highest bidder. It would make it appear that it is actually doing this for our own sake as voters. It pushes credulity too far.
For sheer showmanship, the woman hasn’t lost her touch. To mark her 85th birthday last July 2, according to a wire report, Imelda Marcos emerged from her private quarters in Batac, Ilocos Norte, in a blood-red terno with a diamond brooch and matching diamond rings, to be serenaded by a crowd of supporters and crowned by one of them with flowers. She was in her late husband Ferdinand Marcos’ hometown not only as its congresswoman but also as the torchbearer of a name and legacy that the region has continued to lavish with adoration despite the family’s controversial history.
By Vinod Thomas
Election victories everywhere are built on promises of faster economic growth and greater prosperity. But despite the evidence of the massive economic damage from climate change, few politicians here in Asia or elsewhere have successfully run for national office vowing to confront the problem.