Monday, February 18, 2013

Experts: party line-up, leadership approaches matter in voters’ choices

QUEZON CITY, Feb. 15 — Voters in upcoming elections would take a close look at the line-ups and leadership styles offered by political parties, leading political experts said Tuesday.

Political Affairs Undersecretary Chito Gascon, in an interview over Paghahanda Para sa Hatol ng Bayan, said coherence is key to survive national elections and people will judge candidates on the basis of coherence or disconnection of their messages to their personal histories and experiences.

He also pointed out that people may look at coherence of party membership like what a certain party did in previous elections where candidates from both left-leaning and Marcos camps landed on the same ticket.

In the final analysis, Usec Gascon said leadership approach would also be a factor in the voters’ choices as parties and their candidates would face the same issues on the economy and poverty despite their differences in line-ups and political inclinations.

Gascon, a former member of the 1986 Constitutional Commission, also admitted that political parties remained weak despite constitutional provisions that encourage growth and maturity.

Quoting from the Constitution, Usec Gascon said, “A free and open party system will be allowed to develop in accordance with the choice of the electorate.”

For her part, Joy Aceron, program director of Ateneo School of Government, traced the weakness of the political parties to the lack of citizen-party linkages and absence of institutions and systems like political party development laws.

Ms. Aceron said citizen-party linkages make political parties relevant to people because, after all, politics is a numbers’ game.

As for the upcoming polls, Ms. Aceron appealed to the voters to go for candidates “with real platforms, track records and clear program of government.”

These pieces of advise from Gascon and Aseron coincided with the kick-off of the senatorial and partylist campaigns.

The Administration’s Team PNoy proclaimed its candidates in Quiapo, Manila while United Nationalists Alliance held its proclamation rally in Cebu. (Lyndon Plantilla/Media ng Bayan) #

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