Saturday, April 17, 2010

Proposed Electoral System for the Philippines

This topic was very new to me but I found it exciting and inspiring for several reasons. First, it was here that I learned various electoral systems such as the SMP, AV, TRS, PR and MES. Whew! those were lots of acronyms but to tell you the truth, it was only in this class that I met the hardest question ever posed: which electoral system would be best for your country. I started my report citing the positive points about Philippine elections: high voter turn out (70-80%), increasing women elected in national offices (10-12%) and having experienced two women presidents. From there, I said I was alarmed when I read about an editorial saying, GMA will be seizing the speakership of the Lower House by massing 159 votes to her favor. So, given those reasons, I would like to propose two goals: a strong government and viable party list system.

The presidential elections would be conducted using AV (alternative or preferential voting). Here, we will use an ordinal ballot structure where voters rank order their candidates. As to counting, it involves two round: first round would be counting votes for first preference. Those with the least votes will be rejected and their votes will transfer to the second preference candidates. The process continues until the winner got an absolute majority vote.

For the Lower house, I proposed for a 70:30 ratio where the former is the constituency candidates using SMP or single member plurality and the latter use PR closed list for the party votes. I was thinking it would be very hard for the "president" to mass up a 70% votes. The closed list would be zipped, women nominees would amount to 50% of the party nominations. I also would like a 30% quota legislated for women elected in the House. I am retaining the bicameral structure, the senators would be voted using SMP. In essence, I am just refining the present mixed electoral system of the Philippines.