EP 27: Patronage Politics in the Philippines


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They say that if you don’t like the way our country is being run today, go out, vote smart, and pick new leaders in 2022.

This is the right thing to do but not as easy — or cute — as it sounds.

Because before one can even cast his ballot, a lot of factors come into play and ultimately influence the outcome.

It’s basically money — that, which provides politicians a strong grip on voter behavior regardless of whether he performs once in public office. worse, it allow political clans to occupy elective positions for across electoral cycles facing no real threat unless their power is weakened by equally moneyed or wealthier clans.

This explains why, despite efforts to improve our level of voter education, we’re still basically stuck with the same leaders: those who have the money, the machinery, and the popularity.

Once in a while, a new breed of reform-oriented leaders come but it’s just a matter of time before the system pushes them out or eats them altogether.

The problem, indeed, is systemic.

In this episode, Christian Esguerra sits down with Prof. Julio Teehankee, author of the study Clientelism and Party Politics in the Philippines, Ronald Mendoza, Dean of the Ateneo School of Government, and Atty. Michael Yusingco, a fellow at the Institute for Autonomy and Governance to better explain to you the voters how money and patronage politics work in the Philippines and what we can all do to fix our fractured political and electoral system before all is too late.

86 episodes