It seems the new administration game is the electoral game, albeit aiming for electoral posts locally. President Macapagal-Arroyo has been busy floating trial balloons for a possible run for the 2nd congressional district of Pampanga. New presidential legal adviser Raul Gonzalez, on the other hand, wants to be the Iloilo City mayor. Other cabinet officials will run for the senate, house, or local positions. What gives?
The name of the game is hunkering. Anticipating the loss of central power in the 2010 elections, they all want the insurance to weather the expected political retribution in the aftermath. It also preserves the political option.
The Marcos family did it after 1986 when the children were fielded in Ilocos Norte to preserve the family political base. Now, it’s Pampanga, Negros Occidental, and possibly Camarines Sur.
Aside from political defense, this type of option maintains the possible reentry into national politics via constitutional change. With the capacity for long-drawn legal battles (like the Marcoses), the Arroyo family and their allies can work for the reversal of political fortunes.
This is a bottomline strategy that can be complementary or added to grander options such as negotiation with presidentiables, foreign exile, charter change or even martial rule.
Classic dynastic politics… Will it fly?