Ang Ladlad, pluralism, and lechon manok

Everybody is bashing the Comelec for refusing to accredit the Ang Ladlad as a partylist group of gays and lesbians for the coming elections. They accuse the Comelec of deciding on the petition on the basis of morality, which is beyond its authority and competence to decide.
That may be true, of course. But could the Comelec have acted otherwise? This country is not the kind of society some would like it to be. It was thus a very valid fear on the part of the Comelec that a far greater backlash would have swallowed it had it chosen to rule otherwise.
Let us not be too harsh on the Comelec by saying it overstepped its bounds as electoral overseer because if there was only some way the poll body could have avoided deciding on the Ang Ladlad challenge, that would have been the way it would have taken.
The Comelec did not relish the job of deciding on that petition. Unfortunately for the poll body, it was doomed from the first moment the Ang Ladlad set its sights on Congress. For there was only one way to take up that challenge, and that was by way of the Comelec.
Unfortunately for the Comelec, it is now reaping the whirlwind that is not of its making. For this controversy is not about Ang Ladlad per se. The real issue is so much bigger than the bill of particulars. The Ang Ladlad is just an incidental symptom of a larger mess.

The mess is rooted in the partylist system itself. The partylist system is the result of the pluralistic pretensions of a society that is not ready or suited for it. That is what happens when the politics of accommodation and pretense comes masquerading as open democratic space.
In the desire of the government of then president Corazon Aquino to be the exact opposite of what the Marcos dictatorship was, its so-called Cory Constitution introduced pluralism on the mistaken belief that this replaces oligarchy and repression.
So, never mind if the partylist system duplicates everything, from representation to compensation, for as long as the then Cory administration can bask in the mistaken illusion of pluralism, where every sector of every shape, color and persuation earns a place in the sun.
But Filipino mentality can stretch the idea of pluralism too thin. An apt microcosm of the folly of the partylist system is lechon manok, among other things, and how it has sprouted in every streetcorner of the land. Now there are more lechon manok stands than lechon manok eaters.