Melanesia Electoral Systems Workshop
The PIANZEA program delivered a five-day BRIDGE workshop on electoral systems in Honiara, Solomon Islands from 7-11 March 2016. The workshop was conducted by a team of PIANZEA facilitators (Fiji, Australia, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu). Twenty two participants from Melanesian PIANZEA members (Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and PNG) took part in the workshop which was formally opened by the Australian High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands, Mr Andrew Byrne and Acting Chief Electoral Officer, Solomon Islands Electoral Commission, Mr Alphonsus Pero. The workshop introduced comparative electoral systems and sought to: 1) introduce alternative approaches to and classification of electoral systems; 2) introduce the main principles and criteria for electoral system design; and 3) consider the implications of alternative electoral systems on the various groups in society, their cost, and on the sustainability of electoral institutions. The module aims to help participants understand how to determine the respective pros and cons of the different electoral systems and their suitability for particular jurisdictions. workshop content responds to an identified emerging need among PIANZEA members to better understand and appreciate the merits of different electoral system designs.