The Philippines and Democracy

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The Philippines
And the struggle for democracy

The second half of the 20th century brought many new countries in Southeast Asia. A majority of these countries began to use western democracies to shape their government. The Philippines is among the newly democratized developing states. The Philippines has been directly influenced by the United States in developing its autonomy as a democracy. Because of continuing corruption and dynastic rule, contradictions in political culture, and semi-authoritarian rule the Philippines is still far from a representative democracy and will take many more years before they do.

Background always forms the backbone of current structure. For this reason it is important to value the history of the influencing ideology just as important as the current structure. Current structure shares an equal importance in predicting the future of a state, along side with its history. The most vital issues that face any country and their chances with democracy lie in the current problems. Not only is it important to recognize these problems but also address possible solutions. Once the issues, historical and current, facing the Philippines are addressed then it becomes apparent why the country not represent a true democracy, but also why it will take much time before it does.

Ideological development
In order to understand the future of the Philippines and democracy, it is important to comprehend what democracy is and what historically has occurred in the country. Democracy even among scholars has formed many shapes. It is very important to consider all the factors and weight them accordingly to grasp the future of a country. But what is democracy?

Democracy has found a blurred definition among the average person with only the understanding that it provides liberty to its people. Although democracy has been around in history for many centuries it now demands several pillars that uphold its purpose. Along with several requirements are many tenants that intend to aid its success. What democracy is and is not is pivotal to comprehending how the ideology will be reflected within Azerbaijan.

Democracy favors small government and personal liberties over a strong government and personal freedom. The voice of a states citizen and their liberties are the most important factor. This is achieved through a representative government. There must be free and fair elections of those who are in representative roles. Elections cannot be rigged or dominated by a single party. Non-elected officials cannot influence elected officials. Although lobby groups help represent special interests, they cannot dominate elected officials. There must be freedom of speech and of association. A citizen must be able to voice his opinion without fear of governmental retribution. Also there must be freedom of the press. Media cannot be influenced or controlled by the government. This eliminates propaganda and allows the media to act as a check against the government by informing the people.

Helpful tenants of democracy are not necessarily required but they help the mission of democracy. It is strongly suggested that there is an open market economy. This promotes entrepreneurship and competition, which creates wealth and the opportunity to gain wealth. A constitution is encouraged, which provides a contract from the people over what the government can and cannot do. Equality is strongly emphasized. Universal suffrage, which allows citizens above a certain age to vote regardless of race or gender, helps achieve equality.

In the 16th century the Philippines where became a colony of the Spanish empire. The Spanish motivation for laying claim to the land was motivated by natural resources. Most of the other Southeast Asian countries became colonies of Western Europe with the exception of Thailand. This occupation of the Spanish ended in June of 1898. Three hundred years of...
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