Strong Patronage, Weak Parties: The Case for Electoral System Redesign in the Philippines

A lecture by Dr. Paul Hutchcroft

The UP Department of Political Science, UP sa Halalan 2019, and the UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies (CIDS) invite everyone to a lecture by Dr. Paul Hutchcroft on “Strong Patronage, Weak Parties: The Case for Electoral System Redesign in the Philippines,” on February 8, 2019 (Friday), from 9:30 am to 12:00 nn at Palma Hall 400, UP Diliman, Quezon City.

The current combination of electoral systems in the Philippines essentially guarantees the perpetuation of weak and incoherent political parties. As long as parties are weak and lacking in coherence, the primary focus of political contention is much more likely to be on patronage and pork than on policies and programs. As political reformers seek to address these fundamental problems of the Philippine polity, there is no better place to start than through a well-constructed set of changes to the electoral system.

This talk draws on the insights of an edited volume being launched this month (published by Anvil with the support of The Asia Foundation). In the volume, expert contributors survey major types of electoral systems found throughout the world, explain their powerful influence on both democratic quality and development outcomes, and explore the comparative political dynamics of reform processes. A recurring theme is the virtue of a mixed electoral system involving some element of closed-list proportional representation—known internationally as one of the most effective means of building stronger and more coherent political parties. This, in turn, can be expected to encourage the emergence of a more policy-oriented (and less patronage-driven) polity.

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By raising greater awareness of how other countries have constructed their electoral systems, the volume seeks to contribute to current discussions of constitutional revision in the Philippines. Its contributors are the speaker (who also edited the volume), Edward Aspinall (ANU), Ramon Casiple (Institute for Political and Electoral Reform), Allen Hicken (Michigan), Socorro Reyes (Center for Legislative Development), Nico Ravanilla (UC-San Diego), Ben Reilly (University of Western Australia), Julio Teehankee (DLSU), and Meredith Weiss (SUNY-Albany).

Access the briefer here: Strong Patronage, Weak Parties Briefer 

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Photos by Herby Esmeralda (Research Assistant, UP Department of Political Science & UP sa Halalan 2019)
Photos by Herby Esmeralda (Research Assistant, UP Department of Political Science & UP sa Halalan 2019)

Book Launch

held at Max’s Restaurant, Scout Tuazon, Quezon City, 11 February 2019
held at Max’s Restaurant, Scout Tuazon, Quezon City, 11 February 2019
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