PolWonk is a conjugation of three words policy, political and wonk which, in various aspects have been associated with the career and training she had over the years. PolWonk sums up her interests and advocacies. It is a weekly column, appearing every Fridays, in The Lobbyist

PolWonk is a conjugation of three words policy, political and wonk which, in various aspects have been associated with the career and training she had over the years. PolWonk sums up her interests and advocacies. It is a weekly column, appearing every Fridays, in The Lobbyist.
 

IN every presidential election, there are “three possible campaigns any candidate can run: challenger, trying to regain the top position for his party; incumbent, trying to stay in the palace by the river for the party in power; successor, the toughest campaign, offering continuity.” But first, there is ambition. But anyone audacious enough to run knows already how to bluff. Then, one has to project grit and determination.

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IT would seem that in order to be the leader of the pack, the Liberal Party has adopted the stance of trying to hit everyone when it can and leaving enough room to further rein in the opponents for 2016. The call of winning at all cost has reached the decibel level that one can penetrate the glass cover of all potential candidates for 2016.

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MUCH has been said about the kind of leaders we elect and the kind of voters we have. In every election cycle, we just cannot find the “ideal” candidate we want; short of saying the best of the lot is not enough. Why? Because the best just do not like politics and our system of politics do not even allow the best to reach first base. The sooner we accept this, the better for our democracy.

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WITH just eight months before this administration passes the baton to the next, a meltdown looks in the horizon with the way things are shaping to be. From traffic management, flood control, the Lumad killings, the revisionist Mamasapano about to be reintroduced in the frame, exit strategies not yet defined and executed and one by one, Cabinet secretaries seem to be lining up for the proverbial “burn out” resignation excuses. Less than a month will be the filing of the Certificate of Candidacies and then hosting the APEC in November, approval of the GAA by December and campaign season kicks in.

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NOW this I don’t get. Taxing and opening Balikbayan Boxes (BB)? At the start of the ghost month, the Aquino administration is playing a joke on us, both to the sender and the receiver. Oh Mar, the joke is also on you!

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BY June 2010, there was talk that only a few hundreds of billion was left for the incoming administration. “In the first six months of this year (2010), government expenditure exceeded revenues. Our deficit further increased to PhP196.7 billion. Our collection targets, which lack PhP23.8 billion, were not fully met, while we went beyond our spending by PhP45.1 billion. Our budget for 2010 is PhP1.54 trillion. Of this, only PhP100 billion – or 6.5% of the total budget – can be used for the remaining six months of the current year. Roughly 1% of the total budget is left for each of the remaining month.”

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A SECTION of the Yellow Brigade (YB), if not the whole group, launched quite early and too often, a word that they tried to shape 2016 into: bobotantes. These are voters who are dumb. Making further the argument that if the voters are supporting candidate JB, then they are dumb. Ergo, the supporters of candidate MR are not. A simple strategy that even got a German political foundation put together an animated video for distribution to the tribe. Unfortunately, the video lumped all previous political personalities, ex-presidents or family members of ex-presidents as the epitome of choices made by dumb voters. juxtapose that with the lay of the land and they effectively alienated more than a majority!

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WASHINGTON, DC: The Supreme Court is said to be the last court of resort for all parties on questions of law. With 15 members, 4 appointed by BSA3 and 11 appointed prior to BSA3, the Supreme Court will be the major arena of any action against the outgoing administration and issues related to 2016.

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THE lay of the land is such that the independents seem to be dictating the shape of things for the Aquino administration come 2016. One would notice the offensive of the independents in the news cycle over the weekend, hugging the news and going on overdrive so it dictates the pace at the start of the week. Denials are made during the days going to the weekend, thereby creating a buzz. Even the so-called Third Force is gaining imagined strength when a major broadsheet decided to make it news and do a front-page shout out, “powerful 3rd Force shaping up.”

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BEIJING, China: Taking a trip sponsored by The State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China and ASEAN-China Center, organized by the China International Publishing Group and the China Report, as well as representing The Manila Times is a unique experience to say the least. Learning about the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road is an opportunity one cannot pass. So despite the load of work and the increased noise to herald the oncoming political exercise, a nine-day break was most welcomed.

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When surveys are released, immediately media kicks in with an array of interpretations, even declaring whoever is ahead as already the winner. When much has to do with the research design (qualified voters, likely voters or registered voters) and question framing and then you will have the field work and the data crunching that eats almost three to four weeks causing a result that is dated when released. And that is where the problem lie–we react on dated results.

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ALTHOUGH BSA3 has given the go signal to use machinery and resources to promote the presumptive candidate and every event is being used to extol the presumptive’s qualities, we now know that it seems being on top of the list is not assurance of endorsement despite the calls of party leaders and officers to already make a declaration.

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