Fed up with Imperial Manila? Go fed and change the power dynamics…
Many Filipino politicians are scampering to join the federal bandwagon, or shall we call it the Fed Xpress train? From the Liberal party to the Nacionalista party members, we hear the buzz words” Change is coming!”
I am a citizen . I do want change for the better. But I wont rush into charter change simply because the old constitution does not serve the needs of the current citizenry.
What is this federal system that PDP and Pres. Digong are advocating as part of the change we need?
Jose P. Rizal was the first to suggest federalism in the struggle against Spanish colonial reign. It was not clear why the Katipuneros did not elaborate it but Aguinaldo was known to support it. The Americans opposed it and during its colonial rule, the US established the presidential form of government.
There are three nations from where we can gain insights on how government systems evolved: United Kingdom, France and Germany.
The UK has a devolved system of government, but this is categorically not a system of federal government such as in the United States or Australia , partly because less than a fifth of the citizens of the UK are covered the three bodies in question and partly because the three bodies themselves have different powers from one another namely : The Scottish Parliament, The Welsh Assembly and The Northern Ireland Assembly. Furthermore,the British judicial branch is extremely complex. Unlike most countries which operate a single system of law, the UK operates three separate legal systems: one for England and Wales, one for Scotland, and one for Northern Ireland. Although bound by similar principles, these systems differ in form and the manner of operation.
France has been the laboratory of political experiments of federalism . It formed twelve (12) governments and had thirteen (13) constitutions.Since the French Revolution in 1789, France has had five different republican systems. All of them have been the results of violent crises. The fifth and current one was an outcome of the Algerian crisis in the 1950’s. It withstood several assassinations attempts and rebellions, proving to be one the longest lasting and most stable political systems France has seen so far. Quoted from Håkon Tranvåg.
What about Germany? Germany has a system of proportional representation for the election of its lower house, no one party wins an absolute majority of the seats and all German governments are therefore coalitions. Following the last Federal election in 2013, it took almost three months to form a new government. Unusually this is a coalition of the two major parties, the Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats – what the Germans call “Gross Koalition” or simply “GoKo”. The head of the government is the Chancellor (equivalent to the British Prime Minister). The current Chancellor is Angela Merkel of the CDU.
There are more lessons from these three nations but let me wind up at this conjuncture to study the cultural issues in the devolution of power .