Has politics become a family business?

With the presidential elections coming up in not only the United States but in the Philippines as well which is where I’m from, a huge question has come up in my home country: has politics become a family business? An issue among many Philippine citizens nowadays is if political dynasty is a good thing or a bad one. Political dynasties are families wherein several members are involved in politics. In 2014, a study done by New York University’s Department of Politics estimated that between 50-70% of those in the Philippine Congress were part of a political dynasty. Even the current president of the Philippines is from a political dynasty.

The reason why Filipinos have become so interested with political dynasties in recent years is largely because of social media. More and more people speak out about how they believe political dynasties are the source of the never ending corruption in the Philippines, and they aren’t afraid to speak up anymore since many social media platforms allow users to post anonymously. In fact, this issue has become so controversial that many Filipinos, even a few politicians, are saying that political dynasties should be expelled.

But if a specific member of a political dynasty is corrupt, then should all of his/her family members who are involved in politics be targeted as well? Also, would coming from a political family lessen a politician’s motivation to work harder or make them want to do better in order to live up to their family’s reputation? And while this is a prevalent problem in the Philippines, political dynasties are present in many other countries as well. For example, the Bush and Kennedy families in the United States.

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