Oligarchical Politics and Its Implications on Regime Stability

  • Felipe Miranda


After the overthrow of the Marcos government, the expectation from the Aquino government veered towards the evolution of a more liberal democratic political regime. To pursue this ideal requires a national struggle against a longstanding tradition of oligarchical politics, which have been present form the advent of the Spanish conquest. In most cases, the growth of state power and the strengthening of the position of government authorities often lead to greater political stability but the opposite happened in the Philippines during the Marcos regime. The imposition of public order during the Martial Law did not serve the public interest but that of the oligarchical interest. However, the real strength of the government lies on the support of its citizens, which maybe equated with popular perceptions of regime legitimacy. To attain political stability, the government must not only be able to govern but must govern well. But the Marcos presidency had weakened public accountability of the ruling authorities. Thus, oligarchical politics and effective mechanisms for public accountability of the political authorities became incompatible realities. This in turn diminished the people’s confidence in the political institutions and ruling authorities which resulted to the ouster of the Marcos regime. The challenges of the Aquino government is to cultivate legitimacy before the citizenry, consolidate its national political authority and address the economic crisis


oligarchical politics; political stability; public accountability; political crisis; democratic regime; regime legitimacy