An anti-political dynasty law is not necessary under a federal system of government, a political analyst said.
Political science professor Edmund Tayao of the University of Santo Tomas explained that passing an anti-political dynasty will bring more harm than good under a federal set up because it creates a restrictive environment amid an already limited constituency.
Tayao issued the statement during a two-day forum on federalism that tackled the country’s prospects under a federal set-up wherein the country will be divided into 12 autonomous states or regions with each region having the authority to craft its own laws and manage its own resources.
The pending Anti-Political Dynasty bill provides that only two candidates belonging to the same family within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity (parents, spouse, children, siblings, grandparents and grandchildren) will be allowed to run in a certain election for either one national and local position, both national positions or both local positions. The measure covers those affiliated to a certain candidate through extra-marital affairs and even those children outside of marriage.
“I don’t see the need for an Anti-Political Dynasty law. I am from Pangasinan, and chances are, I will have a relative in every few blocks. In the countryside, only affluent families can send their kids to school. If you are going to ban a relative up to second degree of consanguinity, you will limit the candidates to just anybody, regardless of educational background, just because he or she is not related to the incumbent [official],” Tayao stressed.
He added that it is not the political dynasty that would pose problems in the shift to federalism but the unstable and blurry nature of political parties that are formed based on personalities rather than public policies.
“Dynasty tends to be bad here because they get elected in various elective positions. But that happens because there are no stable political parties, so the dynasties fill the gap that the political parties are supposed to achieve in the first place,” Tayao pointed out.
“It is negative in this part of the world, but political dynasty is not necessarily bad. Canada’s Prime Minister [Justin] Trudeau is from a political dynasty, and the US [leaders]are part of political dynasties as well. I see it as a family of particular progression. When both parents are doctors and their children turn out to be all doctors, we don’t call them medical dynasty,” Tayao said.
He said the draft for a new constitution should include political party reform which would mandate political parties to think of policies and provide them government subsidy.
“The political party reform should be included in the draft [new]constitution already to expand the constituency and allow as much number of political actors as possible,” Tayao explained.
“And with political parties being publicly funded, political parties will be more accountable with every peso and would be prompted to raise funds even in between the campaign period. We will be able to professionalize our political parties, make them into thinking political parties rather than being identified with personalities or colors,” he said.