'Tandem vote' for president, VP pushed

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 29) — A lawmaker is seeking the establishment of a single ticket system for the two highest positions in the next polls.

Senator Win Gatchalian filed Resolution of Both Houses No. 3 to mandate a "tandem vote" for president and vice president in order to push for a "more unified and consistent ideological or platform-based election that will promote policy continuity and assure implementation efficiency."

"By institutionalizing a single ticket for the president, the focus of election will shift from the personalities involved to the political party's common and unified policy agenda and contribute to more programmatic political debate and more effective governance," Gatchalian said.

The senator specifically sought the amendment of the provision under Section 4, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution.

He said this can be done through the concurrence of three-fourths of the members of Congress, with each chamber casting votes separately.

Gatchalian also suggested that each tandem be floated even before the conduct of general elections within political parties or their coalitions.

"The election returns that will be transmitted to Congress for canvassing procedure will be as a single ticket," he added. "The ticket of candidates for president and vice president that will have the highest number of votes shall be proclaimed elected."

Gatchalian stressed the need for a "stronger" political party system, citing the "animosity" or "coalition of convenience" that happens when the country's top leaders come from different parties.

Such was the case in the last five presidential and vice-presidential polls which yielded a split ticket of winning bets, he pointed out.

A single or general ticket, or the type where voters opt for candidates of the same party, is a system used in the United States.