Kasarinlan: Philippine Journal of Third World Studies, Vol 13, No 2 (1997)

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Meeting the Optimists

Moises Garcia Jr.

Abstract


The Philippine party-list system (PLS) was conceived with the goal of making every vote count. The goal requires, at the very least, optimism for in last half of the 20th century no administration has successfully provided a method for
marginalized and underrepresented interests to become part of governance. On May 11, 1998, the PLS will attempt to leap out of the statute books and into the Eleventh Congress. The obstacles in between are formidable. The PLS must overcome the ignorance of the electorate, the incompetence of the Commission on Elections (COM ELEC), the malevolence of the traditional politics and the inherent disunity of the Filipino people. Despite this, 123 optimistic political parties, sectoral parties, organizations and coalitions (giver or take several satellites) are willing to give proportional representation a try if the country's 34 million voters let them.

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