(From Philippine Daily Inquirer)
Byline: Randy David
TWO major forces determine the political life of the country today: the poor and the middle class. One decides the outcome of elections, the other decides the fate of administrations. Their aspirations for a better life have made them conscious of the power they can wield. United, they can change the system. Divided, they become tools of conservatism.
The dying years of the Marcos dictatorship saw the emergence of an articulate middle class committed to the ways of modern democratic governance. The vanguard of this class is what we today call "civil society." It made its debut as a reform constituency immediately after the 1983 Aquino assassination, and demonstrated its awesome power by taking down Marcos in 1986 and Estrada in 2001. Marcos and Erap bore the brunt …