Formulating Reforms in the Philippine Electoral System: A Public Lecture by Paul Hutchcroft on Oct 25

The UP Center for Integrative Studies (UPCIDS) Program on Social and Political Change together with the UP Department of Political Science will be holding a public lecture by Paul Hutchcroft on Formulating Reforms in the Philippine Electoral System: Insights from the ‘Electoral System Redesign for Development’ Project on 25 October 2017, 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. at the Department of Political Science AVR, 3rd flr. Silangang Palma, University of the Philippines-Diliman. The lecture is free and open to the public, but seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

About the lecture

In many settings throughout the world, development outcomes are commonly undermined by political systems that a) privilege the quest for patronage over the implementation of policy; b) skew service delivery to narrow electoral considerations rather than broader development objectives; and c) incentivise corruption to finance election campaigns that are centred around give-aways rather than programs or issues. Arguably the most promising way to address these constraints on development outcomes is through electoral system redesign, where relatively small changes can have big impact. (By electoral system, we refer in part to the formulas used to convert votes to legislative seats: ‘first past the post’ plurality systems, proportional representation etc.)
 
This talk surveys a project on ‘electoral system redesign for development’, part of the Coalitions for Change program of the partnership between the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and The Asia Foundation. As the Philippines is considering highly ambitious revisions to its constitution, the goal of this project is to highlight the capacity of well-considered electoral redesign to contribute to larger and long-sought-after goals of political reform. While there is of course no magic bullet when it comes to building stronger political parties and curbing entrenched patronage structures, electoral system redesign has the capacity to begin to promote these goals with relatively low risks of unintended consequences.

About the speaker

Paul Hutchcroft is a scholar of comparative and Southeast Asian politics who has written extensively on Philippine politics and political economy. He has recently reassumed his post as Professor of Political and Social Change at the Australian National University after serving for four years (2013-2017) as Lead Governance Specialist with the Australian aid program in the Philippines. Hutchcroft joined the ANU in 2008, and was founding Director of the School of International, Political and Strategic Studies (since renamed the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs) in the ANU’s College of Asia and the Pacific from 2009 to 2013.
 
Hutchcroft served on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1993 to 2008, and has had shorter term appointments with the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies (1991 to 1993) and the Asia Research Institute of the National University of Singapore (2004 and 2005). He holds a B.A. from Macalester College and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University. Since Hutchcroft first arrived in the Philippines in 1980, he has returned as often as possible and travelled throughout the archipelago: from Basco to Bulusan, Puerto Princesa to Catbalogan and Zamboanga to Tandag—as well as lots of places in between.

If you are interested in attending the event, sign up here: https://goo.gl/forms/91jUQpMhTqMWFihH3