Just when you thought everybody meant well in this time of the world credit crisis, here comes the ‘sad’ truth behind the much touted US bailout of the failing big US companies–the ‘sweeteners’ were insertions that benefit each senator’s constituents.
A Philippine Daily Inquirer editorial yesterday pointed out that the ‘insertions’ in the bailout bill showed that US lawmakers effectively used a global issue to “prove that all politics is local.” In contrast, while the US lawmakers may make an advantage out of any political issue in the house to benefit their stay in the August Hall, Filipino lawmakers are definitely out to make everything happen for a law to be passed–as long as it will benefit them, personally, in the long run. The PDI explained in its editorial:
Instead of insertions in the budget to pander to the businesses and industries of their constituents, our legislators have shown themselves inclined to make insertions along two broad lines. First, for specific infrastructure projects which may redound to their benefit not necessarily in the form of kickbacks, but certainly in the form of real estate improvements. Second, to provide for broad slush funds (lump sums for vaguely-defined purposes) the release of which still require the legislators’ pandering to whoever is chief executive.
In the recent WA election, I saw, in a gist, how most politicians would decide on their affiliation–they almost act like their US counterparts–they put their constituent’s benefit first (well, there’s an ulterior motive to stay in politics probably but it’s the voting public that wins big time). Now, with how lawmakers in the Philippines, is it a cultural thing unique in Southeast Asia or is it ‘only in the Philippines’???