To continue our coverage for the May 2007 polls, here are seven questions which hopefully would help us determine whether our politicians are too powerful for our own good. If they are too powerful, then maybe it’s about time to vote for other candidates.
1. Have they been in politics for too long?
2. When applying for a government job, do you have to get their blessing or endorsement?
3. Do they have other family members in government positions whether elective or appointive?
4. When they reach their term limit (three consecutive terms), do they run for another position or do their spouse or child or brother or sister or in-law or any relative run for the position they are vacating?
5. Do they buy votes?
6. Do they use the pretense of providing basic government services (which the government should provide in the first place) to entice you to keep supporting them?
7. Do they have any significant accomplishments to show for the years they have been in power?
I’m going to answer the above questions using Mt. Province Congressman Victor Dominguez as an example since he is from my province. Alangan namang I will evaluate Apayao Congressman Elias Bulut eh I’m not a part of his constituency.
Okay, here’s my personal reading on whether my Congressman, Rep. Victor Dominguez, is too powerful for my own good.
1. Has he been in politics for too long?
Yes! Noong bata pa ako Congressman na siya; panahon pa iyon ni Macoy.
2. When applying for a government job, do you feel that you have to get his blessing or endorsement?
Yes! Job applicants troop to his office/home for endorsements. Parang “Godfather” tuloy ang dating. Why applicants would think that they have to kowtow to him to get a government job is an indicator of his power.
3. Does he have other family members in government positions whether elective or appointive?
Yes. His wife is a Presidential Assistant (of something), an appointive political position.
4. When he reached his term limit (three consecutive terms), did other family members run for his post.
Yes. His wife ran and won as Congresswoman when his term limit was up sometime in the late 1990s.
5. Does he buy votes?
I cannot say categorically that he does.
6. Does he use the pretense of providing basic government services (which the government should provide in the first place) to entice people to keep supporting him?
Yes. The scholarships he gives to students (and meron din yata siyang binibigay na Philhealth cards but I’m not sure) which he funds from his pork barrel funds is a good example.
In fairness to the Congressman, he is just working with the system. So as long as there is pork barrel for Congressmen/Congresswomen, we shouldn’t be finding fault too much on how they decide to dispense their pork barrel (unless ibinubulsa lang nila). Ang dapat gawin is to remove those pork barrel and give the money directly to government agencies.
7. Does he have any significant accomplishments to show for the years that he has been in power?
Maybe the Mt. Province State Polytechnic College, the establishment of some hospitals, the nationalization of some schools. But these are run-of the mill things that Congressmen do. I guess my beef against the Congressman is that despite all his years in power, Mt. Province still has the worst road network in the Cordilleras.
So is he too powerful for my own good? You bet he is. Now it’s your turn to evaluate your own politician.
Note: You might want to try the image generator I used for George W. Bush above for your blog. It’s free so it’s worth a try.