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Aquino's Forty Percent Is Not a Majority

May 17, 2010

All the drumbeating about Noynoy’s “mandate” misses the fact – forty percent (40%) is not a majority. While it can be said that ” 60 percent can be said to have gone against Aquino, then 75 percent went against Estrada, 85 percent against Villar, 89 percent against Teodoro, 97 percent against Villanueva, and 98 percent rejected Gordon, and so forth. So the end result is the same: more Filipinos wanted to confer a mandate on Aquino than on any of his rivals; and the end result is that the national will has been expressed and a national mandate conferred.”

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True – the end result is that Aquino has the higher number of voters – BUT it still does not negate the fact that while the figure is the highest among all the candidates – 40% is still not a majority – never was, never been, never ever.

Election as Referendum on Presidential Form of Government?

To say that because the people participated in an election for a president therefore, they support the presidential system is absurd.

An election is an election – and is not a referendum. The conclusion does not see the long view, not even close to a short view  – a non sequitur.

If there was a referendum after the pros and cons where exhaustively discussed and people voted NO  – then one can conclude that “the country has shown it overwhelmingly prefers to directly elect its head of state and government. It puts in place the parameters that should confine any talk of constitutional reform”.

Otherwise, in the absence of a prior process which debates and defines the operational details, and the subsequent ratification or disapproval, such a conclusion is wrought with errors.

The forces of reaction and stagnation clearly want the personality-centric trapo-politics where it is a lot easier to fool the largely ignorant Pinoy voters.

Downplaying vs Hyping

Funny that the yellow zombies opine that “the game plan of Aquino’s critics is to downplay the significance of his mandate and to create artificial controversies like the chief justice appointment. They cannot allow the meaning of this mandate to sink in: Our first indubitably legitimate government in nearly a decade.”.

On the flipside – what’s up with all the hype? In the first place, Aquino winning the elections only proves he has the highest numbers – it does not make him any more competent nor does it make him more honest, it does not make the Hacienda Luisita issue go away, nor does it erase the fact that he only had nine bills in his three years in the Philippine Senate. The only significance of this election is that the Philippine idiocracy has arrived.

“Mandate” of the Decade?

There was no indubitably legitimate “head of state” in nearly a decade – for the first part – because of the yellow mobs who mounted a putsch against Estrada.

AP commentator manila paper succinctly narrates the backchannel horsetrading that the Aquino forces undertook in Estrada’s time:

When Erap was ousted, Arroyo was only supposed to be sworn in as ACTING president. Maybe the plan then was to hold a special election to elect a new president. But when Chief Justice Davide saw the EDSA II mob, he felt pressured to swear Arroyo in as president, not just acting president. That’s the version of the story in “Shadow of Doubt”.

Arroyo at that time was the yellow darling. The mob wanted her in position right away. If a special election was held, an Erap proxy backed by the masses could have challenged the elite’s yellow darling. So nanigurado na.

The rest is history. Arroyo turned the tables on her principals and did not turn out to be the malleable puppet they thought she would be.

I do recall that my friends who were with FVR that time as saying they couldn’t stop the Erap “landslide” and will just have to wait for two years to get Erap impeached. Arroyo will slide in as ACTING PRESIDENT then work to have special elections and get FVR back. The yellow bots didn’t anticipate that Gloria will go rogue.  EDSA II was not an accident. It was already planned even before Estrada took the oath in Malacañang.

It seems that people forgot Cory Aquino asked forgiveness from Estrada.

Artificial Controversies?

The only “controversy” here is best explained by the Dean of the UP College of Law:

Marvic Leonen, dean of the University of the Philippines College of Law, and who criticized the High Court in allowing Arroyo to appoint the Supreme Court justice despite the two month pre-election ban said Aquino should “respect the office and not necessarily the incumbent.”

[…]

Leonen further said, “There is a difference between criticism of a decision of the Supreme Court as a private citizen and the acts that you do as the potential incumbent of the Office of the President of the Republic. As a citizen you are accountable only to yourself, your community and your culture and its people. As the President, you represent more than yourself or your immediate communities. You take on a formal persona. In many constitutional doctrines, you even shed some of your rights as a citizen.”

Leonen gave Aquino his unsolicited advice: “Be the President of the Republic of the Philippines. Act that part. Take your oath before the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, whoever its incumbent may be. There are many other ways to improve the administration of justice. (For example, immediately get a good Secretary of Justice and a competent Solicitor General).”

My colleague Benign0,  consistently points out that “Of course, this is the sort of advise that simply flies over the head of the typical Pinoy Mind. And Noynoy having enjoyed the “mandate” of Da Pinoy goes about reflecting that which characterises his constituency.”

The good news is – CJ Corona ain’t dancing to the Pied Piper’s tunes because he DOES stand on solid legal ground. Sen. Miriam Santiago might seem like a loose cannon but when it comes to the legal stuff – more often than not – I’ll go out on a limb to wager that she is right on the money  when she says Corona appointment as chief justice is unassailable.

By Christine O. Avendaño
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 21:55:00 05/17/2010

MANILA, Philippines – For Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, the controversy regarding the appointment of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona was a “closed” matter.

The controversy had been “laid to rest under the doctrine of res judicata, meaning it can no longer be re-litigated in court, because it has already been decided with finality,” Santiago said on Monday.

“After the Supreme Court decision in De Castro versus Judicial and Bar Council last March, which settled the issue, any petition is now precluded, on the theory of so-called collateral estoppel,” the senator said in a statement.

Santiago was referring to the fact that the high court had decided twice that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo could appoint a replacement for outgoing Chief Justice Reynato Puno, who retired Monday.

She also reminded critics on the need to obey the law, which she defined as “the doctrine that general constitutional principles are the result of judicial decisions determining the right of private individuals in the courts.”

“The problem with critics is that they mistake the law as it is with the law as it ought to be, according to their layman’s interpretation. A line has to be drawn between the rule of law and the dystopian concept of freewheeling ethics,” she said.

Santiago also said critics of Corona were guilty of “doctrinal confusion.”

She said it would be “naïve” for one to think that the appointment process was “not politicized,” citing the fact that American presidents “have emphasized partisan and political motivations, and have relied on personal relationships” in appointing justices in the US Supreme Court.

Santiago cited for instance the move taken by the late US President Franklin Roosevelt to alter the makeup of the high court then, which had blocked his New Deal policies.

“He [Roosevelt] justified the court packing as an effort to avoid overworked elderly jurists,” she said.

Santiago also took the opportunity to slam former president Fidel Ramos for asking Corona to refuse his appointment.

Reiterating her accusation that Ramos had cheated her in the 1992 presidential elections, she said the former president was “pretending to be moralistic, when he cheated the Filipino people of the presidency in 1992” and said his “self-serving statements” served to “simply draw attention to himself, like a spoiled brat.”

The only way to take Corona out is via impeachment – ball is in Aquino’s court. By the way, Congresswoman – Arroyo is playing ball, too – the people of Pampanga gave her a indubitably legitimate “mandate” to represent Pampanga. 🙂

Gridlock and the Economy

It will be interesting to watch whether Arroyo’s methodical and slave-driving work ethic will stand up against an incumbent who as a lawmaker mustered only nine bills in three years. Even now, Congress is shaping up to become anti-Aquino. as Sen Santiago further points out:

Santiago said in an interview over dzBB radio Sunday that Villar had the “numbers” to regain the Senate presidency, while Ms Arroyo, being a shrewd leader, may just clinch the House leadership.

But she said that Ms Arroyo could only be the next Speaker if her alliances would hold.

“You know politics. Even if they (Arroyo’s allies) belong to parties against Aquino, the minute he is proclaimed as president, they would change parties because you get so many benefits under a sitting president,” Santiago said.

Ms Arroyo last week retook the chairmanship of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD party and her advisers said the party was determined in fielding her for the House speakership.

Santiago said she had recently spoken to Villar and he “seemed interested” in taking back the Senate leadership occupied by Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile.

She said over 10 senators who would likely vote for Villar, including, those like herself, were Pia Cayetano and Ramon Revilla Jr. who ran under Villar’s Nacionalista Party, and supporters Lito Lapid, Alan Peter Cayetano, Loren Legarda, Joker Arroyo and Gregorio Honasan.

No happy days ahead

Santiago said that with the opposition in control in Congress, Aquino would have a hard time pushing his legislative agenda. She added that those close to Aquino also would have difficulty committing graft and corruption.

“I myself am not raising any doubt on his honesty and integrity, but I do entertain very serious doubts about the honesty of some people (around Aquino),” she said, adding it was wrong to think that “happy days are here again.”

“Oh no, that cannot happen because Congress would be watching them,” she said.

Santiago said it would soon be known if these people were really sincere “in putting President Aquino as the embodiment of the ideals represented by his father and mother.”

Apparently speaking about former Cabinet officials who left Ms Arroyo during the “Hello Garci” scandal of 2005, Santiago also said these people around Aquino sought Ms Arroyo’s resignation because they could not get what they wanted from her.

“If they left President Arroyo, we will know if they also would leave President Aquino if they realize that they will not get what they want from him,” she said.

“I’m very sorry to give them the bad news: Guys, you are not going to get rich this time,” Santiago said.

The very voters who elected Aquino, elected lawmakers who will shoot Aquino down – doesn’t this smell like gridlock? Chalk one more to the list of Pinoy voter dysfunctions.

And, yeah, AP has called out the possibilities of – gridlock inside and outside the Aquino administration – which of course is bad for the economy.

Landslide – That’s the Hype Talking

Usually one winds up taking the long route – because more likely, one is LOST.  Try this for size:

Estrada’s 1998 win was a landslide in terms of his getting twice as many votes as his nearest rival. In that sense Benigno S. Aquino III’s victory over Estrada is a landslide, too, though not as vast. But whether in absolute votes or percentages, it eclipses Estrada’s 1998 victory and puts his victory at the very least at par with Garcia’s 1957 election. He won in 51 out of 80 provinces (plus the overseas vote), in contrast to Estrada who won in 23 provinces. A 63 percent victory in provincial terms: a landslide.

The “expert” in this case got lost in the forest made up of provinces when he should be in a forest of individual voters. I would agree that Aquino has a landslide if he had an absolute  majority (not a plurality) of the total votes AND a double digit lead over his nearest competitor.

You can have 14 provinces with a small population versus three provinces with huge voter populations. The three can outnumber the grouping of 14 in terms of absolute voters. I will hold off using provinces when the Philippines has an electoral college that uses the provinces. For now, let’s stick to absolute counts, “mr expert”🙂

PLURALITY VERSUS MAJORITY

A plurality vote is a vote in which a candidate takes more votes than any other candidate without winning the majority of votes. In order for a plurality to occur, there must be at least three candidates, as in a two candidate race, one candidate would obviously win the majority of the votes. Many nations around the world use a plurality voting system to determine the outcome of their elections, although some people have criticized this method, arguing that it allows candidates to win without a clear mandate from the people.By contrast, a majority vote involves a vote in which one candidate takes at least 51% of the vote, indicating that the majority of voters selected that candidate. Some people use the term “absolute majority” to differentiate this type of vote from a plurality. In England, for example, people use “majority” to refer to a plurality, and “absolutely majority” to refer to a majority

Benefit of the Doubt?

The swearing in, Kris leaving the country as part of her promise if Noynoy wins, the Hyatt 10 vs Kamag-anak Inc, Noy-Bi, narcopolitics and the LP – Aquino isn’t even in yet.

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Of course this would prompt a “let’s give him the benefit of the doubt” comment as one commentator in one blog site said

“Most of the Filipinos have put their trust in Noynoy so – they should wait and see what are his decisions and then they can respond accordingly. We owe it to him to give him a benefit of a doubt otherwise we can become a nation of paranoids.”.

The comment got a quicky reply which went

“Exactly! Remember how they screeched the COMELEC and poll automation.”

Seriously guys, these topic was covered in AP before the elections – and now this other site is just coming around to it..

And now, the apologists are trying to downplay the already-predicted brouhaha now ongoing

“Noynoy Aquino may not turn out as some would hope for but at least he will be a legitinate president. No question about his legitimacy unlike the short dark woman that you patronize. You’re still hoping to pull the chair from under him. Why don’t you guys move one? Noynoy Aquino will be the legitimate president for the next six years, live with it”

Actually, he will be living with Aquino’s incompetency as will the rest of the voters – and will be reminded of this for the next six years – live with it!!!

AP’s authors are no longer in the other site, but people who have the realist attitude will always raise the questions that matter, as in the case of commentator, Mario Cruz

“The man has not yet ascended in power. Now, they are quarelling about the spoils. Filipino way, I think. Our election is like a melodrama, bordering to metafiction. People in the Aquino campaign, stabbed people in the back. They campaigned against their own candidates. Some people are positioning themselves, for good positions in the incoming regime. It is a rubric of questionable characters in play. Will these people solve our serious problems? Can they come to their own senses?”

Lastly, the benefit of the doubt was given but it was withdrawn after seeing Aquino’s doubtful performance in the Senate.

Epilogue

In Jan 2010, surveys showed that 55% of voters were not voting for Noynoy.

On May 10, it was actually higher – 60%  did not vote for Noynoy – live with it!

Noynoy has a plurality, not a majority – and therefore, it’s a bit of a stretch to call it a landslide.

The lack of a run-off leading to plurality presidents needs to be changed if we want a truly majority President – and a true mandate, starting at 50% + 1.

Not surprisingly, the Aquino administration is shaping out to become a train wreck even before it takes office.

The countdown to 2016 is on the way.

From → Politics

14 Comments
  1. BongV,

    Let’s wait until the day Aquino take an oath. Let’s see the wave of balimbings going on his side just to get the highly coveted Pork & influence SARO – the weapons of the incumbent president to lure opponents to his fold.

    As to the 40% mandate, that’s the problem with multi-party system. If I recall right, FVR only got 33%.

  2. Bong, this is long overdue insight on the current chatter across the blogosphere and the Kamaganak Inc Media!

    I also have to give a thumbs up to our arch-blogger Ellen Tordesillas for some really sober thoughts on the matter as well:

    Sabihin natin bastos si Arroyo. Tama yun. Pero ilegal ba ang ginawa niya? Sabin ng Supreme Court hindi.

    Ngayon, sabi ni Atty. Avelino “Nonong” Cruz, adviser ni Aquino ilegal daw at sinabi niya kay Aquino mag-isyu ng executive order na bale wala ang appointment ni Corona at mag-appoint siya ng sarili niyang Supreme Court justice Baka si Justice Antonio Carpio yun na kasamahan ni Cruz sa kanilang law firm dati.

    Sabi naman ni Atty. Harry Roque, ipa-impeach niya lahat ang mga justices na bumoto sa desisyon na pwede mang-appoint si Arroyo ng kapalit ni Chief Justice Reynato Puno na kaka-retire lang.

    Maraming justice ang kailangan i-impeach. Kaya ba nila bumili ng mga congressman sa ngayon dahil sa House nanggagaling ang impeachment.

    Kung mag-appoint si Aquino ng sarili niyang chief justice, saan yun mag-oopisina? May nagsabi sa aking blog na kung hindi makuha sa People Power si Corona, pwede siyang takutin ng military at pulis.

    Ito ba ang gusto ni Aquino na simula ng kanyang administrasyon?

    Ito ang aking hindi niya hininging payo: piliin mo ang laban mo.

    I also earlier posted a response to commentor “J which I think would be well worth re-posting:

    @ J, (re Noynoy is “our president”) indeed I agree; he is our president in the sense that he will be occupying the Office of the President of the Republic. So as much as I’d respect that office, I would also expect him to respect the Office of the Chief Justice which by transitivity would constitute a respect for the Supreme Court and by an even bigger leap of transitivity, the overarching institutional framework of the State.

    Notice how the above lacks the one concept that seems to perpetually IMPRISON the small mind of Da Pinoy: personality.

    In order for us to move on, Noynoy should tell his henchmen in the Media (such as the one I cite above and bozos like de Quiros and other emo “experts” on many matters) to stop filling the vacuous minds of the Pinoy with idiotic small-minded notions of how Noynoy has it in his right to act like a brat. Instead they should encourage this little boy we voted to the presidency to grow up and get over his politicians’-son upbringing and BE A MAN. More specifically be a statesman.

    Also agree and have myself highlighted many times. The numbers at Edsa 2 (though huge) by no stretch of the imagination actually represent the people. Even if they numbered in the tens of millions (the flaccid magnitude of vote numbers required to elect presidents in our pathetic country), they would STILL not represent the “people’s will” as long as they exercise this vacuous “will” OUTSIDE of the framework of The Law. So, the number of people itself is not even the issue. The issue with “people power” moronisms espoused by bozos like Abe Margallo, Conrado de Quiros, and Neal Cruz, is the channels through which they exercise their strength, all of are OUTSIDE the framework of the Law and therefore ILLEGAL and (considering the intent which is to overthrow a legitimate state artifact) all constitute a more nefarious ACT AGAINST THE STATE.

  3. Pinay Goddess permalink

    There 3 branches of government- executive, legislative and judiciary should be independent for the purpose of check and balance. So why is the president apparent and his cohorts so bent on assailing a legitimate appointment of a Chief Justice? I heard the so called “The Firm” is pushing for the appointment of Justice Antonio Carpio to replace SC Chief Corona. I’m sure it’s not for the greater good, so whose interests are they advancing?

  4. It is actually a very interesting move for Noynoy as if he’s still on the campaign spree to appease his followers he’s on the right track.

    The next few weeks would be very interesting. Though I don’t like GMA being recklessly corrupt, I admire her spin on the system to spare her from direct onslaught.

  5. That’s a pretty good sum-up of the trouble with Noynoy nowadays, J.B.: He is still on CAMPAIGN mode!

  6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippine_general_election,_2010 cites that there are about 50,723,733 registered voters and 29,018,157 are valid votes or 57.21% turnout. This means that 42.79% or 21,705,576 is a collective representation of:
    1. invalid votes;
    2. voters who’ve opted not to vote; and
    3. voters who have not been able to vote due to some circumstances we can only speculate at the moment.

    The pundit “expert” has to go through these figures first and the above mentioned logical assumptions first before coming up with his egoistic ERGO.

  7. Arvin Q permalink

    Aquino must’ve realized the implications of his ill-advised January announcement of not recognizing an Arroyo-appointed CJ, but is too afraid of losing face and too proud to take back his words, thus his persistence in “continuing the fight”. “Napasubo na e, ituloy na lang ang laban.”

  8. kamoteQ permalink

    @PinayGoddess
    Obvoiusly their own. Justice Carpio *is* one of the founders of The Firm. He is also perceived to be anti-Arroyo based on his past decisions, notably the SC’s decision on the People’s Initiative on 2006.

    @Arvin Q
    looks like LP is doing the job for Noynoy on saving his face
    http://ph.news.yahoo.com/gma/20100517/tph-noynoy-s-decision-to-defy-corona-not-d6cd5cf.html

  9. What a bunch of idiots on that other blog site realizing only now what AP has been chirping out months ahead. And they’re still so transfixed on fixing corruption that they’ve shut out all ideas of fixing the economy. They think, fix the corruption and the economy will follow. Wrong. Fix the economy first, then the corruption will be fixed. Take away protectionist clauses in the constitution.

    It’s the start of “we told you so,” here at AP.😉

  10. Hey Chino, when you’ve been in the GR business long enough, you will find that this whole thing is, indeed, all about playing the I-told-you-so card.

    A lot of our ideas are, by their very nature, counter-intuitive and therefore not fully appreciated when first introduced. It is only when the proverbial sh1t hits the fan that people look back (usually with a bit of “help” from us) and say “oh so that’s what they meant back then…”. Of course you won’t see too many people publicly admitting that.

    The great thing about this is that it is all in writing and posted in a publicly accessible medium. So what we are doing is really amassing a portfolio of I-told-you-so material that we can invoke come the time that the sting makes learning a bit more relevant for those who march a few steps behind the wave of enlightenment we push forward.

    Like most juveniles, Pinoys will not take insight on board, preferring instead to stumble first. In a way that’s ok. The sting of the fall makes the learning more embedded in the psyche — specially when one faces people (such as us) in a position to gloat.

    On that note though, I do wonder sometimes how many idiots need to get voted into Malacanang before any sort of learning starts to take effect in Pinoy society…

  11. Jay permalink

    Well, the gloating surely won’t be long lived. Much like the potential schadenfreude I can experience once Noynoy takes office and betrays his supporters uh, lack of expectations of him. I mean honestly, at least if anyone else besides Noynoy won, the public would at least have immediate expectations of what is to be done, what promises to be kept and what promises are going to be an uphill battle to keep. It may even promote people to look INTO the things they are going to change.

    Which I am curious. Did people have expectations on what GMA will do (which basing off what I read from that other blog, she was off to a decent start)? Or expectations to what Erap would do or what promises he kept, despite being in office for 2 years? I’m just not used to people expecting LESS, unless you are aware of what they are capable of. The dichotomy is that some of the public are expecting MORE out of a guy who has PROVEN LESS. And even before he becomes official, the entire government body is clearly showing its allegiances already.

    So how exactly are they expanding ‘Walang Korrupt walang mahirap’ campaign? Besides the potential joy of one poster who was eagerly looking forward of noynoy’s promise to imprison the 6 corrupt officials?

  12. t0da permalink

    If wikipedia is to be believed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippine_general_election,_1992), Ramos got even less than that. He only got 23.58%. Less than 1/4.

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