One Step Forward, One Step Back

It's an irresistible coinage: "cha cha," short for charter change, has become the Philippines' preferred catchphrase for President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's push for a constitutional amendment that would shift the nation from an American-style bicameral legislature to a single-house parliamentary system. But political wrangling over the proposal is looking more like a rugby scrum than a pas de deux.

The latest dustup came last Thursday, when the House of Representatives, controlled by Arroyo allies, outraged the opposition-led Senate by voting to convene a constituent assembly that would allow the House to push through the measure without the Senate's...

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