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The 2004 Philippine Elections: Political Change in an Illiberal Democracy

JOHN L. LINANTUD
Contemporary Southeast Asia
Vol. 27, No. 1 (April 2005), pp. 80-101
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25798721
Page Count: 22
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The 2004 Philippine Elections: Political Change in an Illiberal Democracy
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Abstract

This article, based on an analysis of the 2004 elections, argues that illiberal democracy in the Philippines rests on strong foundations. On one hand, bad government, armed men, and the mainstreaming of military activism and People Power have deepened the illiberal strain of political culture since the ouster of strongman Ferdinand Marcos in 1986. On the other hand, the reassertion of democratic nationalism by prominent institutions and public opinion, and new technologies and types of representation, have reinforced a democracy that rests on relatively solid footing even though it may often appear on the brink of collapse. Public religion illustrates the complexity of these issues. If one defines "liberal" as seeking to change the status quo, the Catholic Church has become one of the country's most liberal institutions because it has challenged a frequently abusive and kleptocratic state for secure elections and basic rights.

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