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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Are Political Dynasties in the Philippines Merely a Symptom of Democracy?

Those who defend political dynasties in the Philippines often argue that it's merely a symptom of democracy since most democracies possess them. For example, the US have the Kennedys, the Bush family, etc. However,
The clearest manifestation of the oligarchy in the Philippines and how it impacts politics is the existence of political dynasties. Now you’d be right in noting that every country in the world has political dynasties. The US has the Bush dynasty, the Kennedy dynasty, Colombia has the L√≥pez family, the Lleras family and the grandfather of the current president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, was president between 1938 and 1942. Winston Churchill’s son was even a Member of Parliament for the Conservative Party in Britain.  
But the extent of political dynasties in the Philippines is off the chart compared to any other country in the world. 60% of congress-people elected in 2007 had a previous relative who were also in congress. To give some sense of how high this is, the analogous figure in the US was 7%...
From Why Nations Fail.