It’s the Political System, Stupid!
- NOTE: This is supposed to be a Facebook post.
There’s no doubt that parliamentary system, which is a form of government (I need to stress this), is supported by flips who don’t understand the difference between form of government and political system, between economic freedom and government regulations, and between the structure of government and the institutions of rights and freedom.
Some Get Retarded flips argue that parliamentary system is better than presidential system because most progressive countries implement/apply this form of government. True, the only economic power that applies presidential system is the United States, while most European powers adopted parliamentary system.
But what these flips fail to see are the very institutions that make a nation great. It is the institutions of “ECONOMIC FREEDOM” that bring wealth to a nation.
What are these institutions of economic freedom? They are as follows:
- Rule of law
- Property rights
- Freedom of contract
- Access to sound money
- Freedom to trade globally
- Limited government
Both parliamentary system and presidential system may adopt any of these institutions. It is a country’s political system (which is not synonymous to “form of government”) that dictates its political direction and economic policies. For instance, a country (e.g., Spain) may adopt parliamentary system as its form of government while implement socialism as its political system.
Take note that “form of government” is simply defined as “the set of political institutions by which a government of a state is organized”, while political system is “a system of politics and government”, and “it is usually compared to the legal system, economic system, cultural system, and other social systems.”
Examples of form of government:
- presidential republics, full presidential system
- presidential republics, parliament supervising an executive presidency
- presidential republics, semi-presidential system
- parliamentary constitutional monarchies in which the monarch does not personally exercise power
- constitutional monarchies in which the monarch personally exercises power, often alongside a weak parliament
- absolute monarchies
- states whose constitutions grant only a single party the right to govern
- states where constitutional provisions for government have been suspended
Examples of political/social system:
- Anarchism (Rule by all/no one)
- Capitalism (Rule by objective law)
- Democracy (Rule by majority)
- Monarchy (Rule by monarch)
- Communism (Rule by all citizens) Classless with common ownership and decision making
- Meritocracy (Rule by best)
- Technocracy (Rule by scientist/intellectuals)
- Republic (Rule by law)
- Sultanates (Rule by Allah)
- Islamic Democracy.
- Theocracy (Rule by representative of God)
- Westminster system (rule by republic and representative democracy through parliament)
- Feudalism (Rule by lord/king)
Form of government and political system are not opposites. They are BODY and SOUL. The first simply sets the rules of the “political game”, e.g., the structure of government, the manners by which the people elect and fire their leaders, the ways to appoint and create public positions/offices, while the second sets the political and economic policies of a nation. It is the second (political system) that determines whether politicians institute measures to protect property rights, establish an objective rule of law, nationalize the economy, implement protectionist policies, limit the entry of foreign businesses, etc.
For instance, both Kenya (presidential) and Bangladesh (parliamentary) have poor economy because of their degree of economic freedom. According to the Heritage Foundation’s 2011 Index of Economic freedom, Kenya’s “weak protection of property rights and extensive corruption continue to hold back overall economic freedom. Corruption is perceived as pervasive, and non-transparent trade regulations and customs inefficiency hurt trade freedom. The judicial system remains underdeveloped and vulnerable to political influence.” Kenya was ranked 106, with an overall score of 57.4 (most unfree).
On the other hand, Bangladesh was ranked 130, with an overall score of 53 (mostly unfree). The Heritage Foundation points out Bangladesh’s “weak governance and structural problems” that continue to constrain the country’s development.” It further states that “the inefficient regulatory regime is often heavily politicized, and the substantial presence of state-owned enterprises crowds out private investment. Corruption, coupled with onerous bureaucracy, is still perceived as pervasive, and the underdeveloped financial sector impedes the growth of a more dynamic private sector.”
Therefore, the people may elect to change their form of government, but I don’t think this would spur significant changes in our political system and economic policies. We may adopt parliamentary system, but influential people may still choose to maintain the 60-40 protectionist clause in the charter, regulations, and our current economic policies.
Every country’s political system is composed of the economic policies and political programs that its representative government adopts. For instance, in a country that adopted parliamentary system as its form of government (e.g., Spain and Sweden), the ruling socialist party has the power/authority to guide or lead the country’s political direction by implementing the party’s economic policies and political programs. Thus, the ruling party as the power to influence or form a country’s political system. A country’s political system may be established in the following manner: 1) revolution, 2) constitutional amendment or revision, 3) gradual process of political centralization or decentralization.
However, I strongly disagree with the current format of our presidential system, as well as our political system. We have a semi-socialist, semi-republican political system bordering on dictatorship. In economic terms this system is called mixed economy, a mixture of freedom and government controls. Both our political system and form of government are defined in the 1987 Constitution.
As to our form of government, I disagree with the following systems:
- The party-list system. I believe that we have to abolish this mediocre, pro-socialist system.
- Multi-party system. A well-conceptualized federal system, with electoral college as the means to elect the President and Vice President, would force parties to form coalitions according to their respective ideologies, aspirations and political goals, thereby reducing them into TWO parties.
- There’s a need to properly define executive privilege exercised by the President. We all know that Gloria Arroyo perverted and abused her executive privilege.
- There’s a need to properly define our impeachment process. What is this betrayal of public trust, etc?
- Remove the pork barrel of our lawmakers.
- Remove the power of the president to distribute largesse.
- There’s a need to define and delimit the power of the executive branch to issue executive orders.
As to our political system, the following principles must be taken into account:
- Individual rights. Rights are the central principles of any political system. Rights must be RECOGNIZED by the government and limited only to the following: Life, Liberty, Property, and Pursuit of happiness. There’s no such thing as a right to education, health care, housing, etc.
- The proper role of government. The only proper role of government is to protect individual rights. This is called CONSTITUENT function.
- Limited government. Limited government is the only way to decentralization.
- Economic freedom.
- Removal of income tax, estate tax, capital gains tax, and other forms of taxes. The only acceptable form of taxation is consumption tax.
Also as to political system, the following systems, policies, programs must be abrogated/removed:
- The so-called political autonomy of certain regions.
- Protectionist policies, including the 60-40 ownership ratio. This is actually a redundancy once the government guarantees limited powers and economic freedom.
- Welfare programs.
- Government-owned and controlled corporations.
- Government subsidies and protections.
For those who promote limited government, economic freedom and free market capitalism, the best system is limited Republican-presidential system. I believe that parliamentary system is more consistent with dictatorship or political oligopoly. Parliamentary system is a European fantasy. And this issue is a fight between America’s founding fathers who introduced limited-Republican-presidential system and the European political oligarchs who created the parliamentary system to turn Europe into a Soviet-style EU bloc.
So for those who support limited government and free market capitalism they only need to reflect upon Benjamin Franklin’s historic reply to a lady who asked him what kind of government did the convention create. A very tired and very wise Franklin replied: “A Republic, ma’am if you can keep it.”
America is now moving towards collectivism because of the progressive era that significantly changed America’s political and economic landscape, with the creation of the Federal Reserve Act in 1913, the introduction of income taxation, the series of constitutional amendments, the creation of antitrust law, etc. Thus, America’s children failed to keep the spirit/essence of American Republican system.