by Alan Robles
The country's 136 sectoral political parties are "not enough," a heavy breathing source warned yesterday.
According to self-proclaimed political analyst Borgito Dracones, the "dire shortage" of party-list groups could lead to a "crisis of democracy."
In the Philippines, a party-list group is supposed to represent a marginalized sector of society in Congress. During the last elections, 136 such parties were allowed to run for office, but Dracones said "there are too few, we need MORE and we need them NOW."
Brandishing a list of the parties that were registered in the May elections, he said: "Here you'll find groups claiming to represent such marginalized sectors as fanatic Catholics, the young, the old, security guards, tricycle drivers, athletes, showbiz and media personalities, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) marketers, and Marcos loyalists.
"Is that all?" Dracones asked. "What about other sectors? What about Filipinos who eat potato chips? Who speaks for them and their concerns about chips staying intact inside cans? Where is the party representing the Filipinos who play Warcraft: Defense of the Ancients? I don't see them in this list."
Saying that "we need new party-list groups in time for the 2016 election," he offered his own "modest list" of marginal sectors that should be in Congress:
1. Politically Apathetic Citizens. Dracones explained this group actually is comprised of a huge majority of Filipinos -- "in fact, damn near all of them" -- who are marginalized because they couldn't care less. He suggested the name"Pakialam Namin?" and said if it won office, it can be expected not to participate in Congress proceedings. "Just the way Filipinos would like them to."
2. Usiseros. Dracones noted how "each and every time there is a public disturbance, fire, disaster, catastrophic explosion or violent crime, you can be sure Filipinos will turn up in large numbers to stare in morbid fascination." He said: "All these people need Congress representatives to fight for their rights to take as many pictures and videos as they want and post it online. Yes, I KNOW they already do that but the party I have in mind would get usiseros official accreditation, entitling them to bystander discounts on snacks."
3. Subscribers who don't get good WiFi service. The political analyst said this is a marginalized sector that's currently not represented because "most of them are too busy wasting time waiting for customer service to handle their call-in complaint."
4. Ang Kahoy. According to Dracones, this sectoral party would speak for victims of political ingratitude. "You pay for building a compadre's house, even providing the wood, and that compadre's son betrays you in public -- where's the justice? Shouldn't you have rights?"
The political analyst revealed he had been thinking of pushing for a "Mandurukot" party-list group. "This would represent all pickpockets who don't have the chance to assert their rights because they're too busy hiding, being chased or mauled or rotting in jail."
However, he said, he changed his mind on this group because "after all, it would be joining Congress; it seems redundant."