3 Responses

  1. Jan Kees van Donge
    Jan Kees van Donge September 13, 2015 at 11:25 am

    The insights in this blog are of course significant, but raise also questions. First, it may be worthwhile to look more closely at situations where big spending did not produce the desired outcome. It may be that “candidates who campaigned with money and gifts performed better than those who did not”, but this is too general. It may be that the popular voice can overrule the influence of money. Secondly, PNG elections have many candidates and therefore many losers. It has to be explained why many candidates spend a lot of money while the chances to win are very slim. Is this conscious gambling or being driven by a dream? Many candidates in Western Province in 2012 dreamt that they would win. (Information from Wesley Serber). Thirdly, there is a question where the money does come from. The benefits from natural resource extraction are distributed much more widely than before. The increased access to money may be a more important factor than the introduction of LPV.

  2. Warren Dutton
    Warren Dutton September 1, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    It was full Optional Preferential Voting in the Elections from 1964 to 1977 which delivered Members who were largely representative of their whole electorate. Vote buying was established by the First Past the Post system. Limited Preferential Voting for only 3 candidates never had any chance of remedying the problem. This is why the Members, who had been elected by buying votes agreed to its introduction. Having to buy 3 preferences was never going to be a problem to them. They knew they had to appear to being doing something, so they agreed to the limitation of 3 preferences, knowing that they could still buy themselves back in. Full Preferences would not only have been too expensive, but also to complex and difficult to manage. Do not underestimate the political nous of PNG politicians!

    1. peta colebatch
      peta colebatch September 4, 2015 at 6:44 am

      I concur. As someone who was part of the team assessing the introduction of photo ballot papers many years ago and who has observed early PNG elections, I believe it was a tragedy that the ‘first past the post’ system was introduced. It accelerated other divisions in society, and PNGians have shown themselves to be most adept at using systems for their own benefit. However, I would like to know if the authors did some quality control on the estimates of how much money was paid by candidates, and considered where the money came from!

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