Gloria Macapagal Arroyo RESIGN !
To all my American friends and stumblevisitors,
Okay, I’m not confident I can express my opinions on the issue of politics well and I don’t usually dabble into US election ongoings, but seeing that it is always quite a hot topic, and seeing that the results of your elections will significantly affect the world (and my home country whose politicians are salivating Pavlovian puppy puppets of the US government) here’s the deal —
Pragmatically, there are only a few things that a President can do to significantly change the political structure:
1. Veto stuff. This puts up resistance to marginal or contested bills, but it doesn’t stop anything that has a great deal of support in Congress. As most politicians are corrupt enough to engage in logrolling (for your reference: see the Philippine pork barrel system), Presidents often use their veto power to cut deals to get their “pet projects” passed. But again, this only works on things that are marginally acceptable to Congress to begin with.
2. Make speeches. The symbolic value of the President can influence people’s opinions on certain things. This, of course, is an odd kind of equilibrium, because the kind of person that this is going to work on is normally the kind of person that isn’t going to really understand the issues anyway. (For your reference, see the definition of the word, “sheeple.”)
3. Control the military. A determined anti-war President could give orders to the troops that would place them out of the action, effectively ending any conflict. And he or she could keep them out of situations, where they might provoke new conflicts to begin with.
4. Declassify documents. As the at least nominal head of every executive agency, the President could order all sorts of documents declassified. This may not seem like a big deal on the surface, but that’s only because almost every politician buys into the idea that it’s “okay” for the government to keep secrets. I suspect any President who tried this one would be assassinated. Or severely threatened in some way.
5. Selectively prosecute people. The President can use his or her power over the Justice Department, FBI, etc, to selectively investigate and prosecute, or even blackmail people. This isn’t a “good” power, but I think it’s naive for us to believe they don’t use it at all, whenever possible. Enforcing the “law” after all is one of the main functions of the Executive branch. (For your reference, see the heinous mess Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has done to the country I love, the Philippines.)
6. Presidential pardons. Presidential pardons, or even the absence of pardons, is sort of a big deal. For example, if there is going to be any attempt to prosecute members of the current administration then the President could choose to cooperate or not. (Again. For your reference, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has exercised this to the full, pardoning criminals in the current and past administrations here and there.)
7. Picking the Cabinet. The fact that the President has the privilege of handpicking the heads of different government entities, and essentially be their boss, means that he or she president can at least coarsely “dictate” what they do. Congress may get to choose whether to accept the President’s nominations, but they don’t get to pick outright. This is how the President sets up his or her “administration.” Which I think we’ve all seen has allowed your current incumbent Bush to rather significantly affect what has gone on in your country for the past, what, eight years.
So, my American friends, if you feel you must vote,
imagine how the various candidates of your current election
will exercise these powers, and vote accordingly.
Or else, you’re doomed like us Filipino people. Best of luck.
Your Friend in the 3rd World