10 Jul 2004

Conference to examine electoral systems in Pacific begins in Vanuatu

9:16 am on 10 July 2004

A conference examining the electoral systems and political institutions in the Pacific is to take place in Vanuatu on Saturday ."

Academics specialising in Pacific electoral institutions, practitioners engaged in electoral administration and people concerned about the politics of representation in the Pacific are to attend.

Recent electoral reforms in Papua New Guinea and Fiji will debated, as well as the working of the matai system in Samoa, the monarchist model in Tonga and proposals for federal government in the Solomon Islands.

One of the organisers, Doctor Andrew Ladley who's the director of the Institute of Policy Studies at Victoria University in Wellington, says this is the first time such a conference has been held.

"There's major issues about electoral systems and it's interaction with political culture and that hasn't been studied in a comparative base across the Pacific ever. Quite a lot of detail is known about individual countries but on a comparative basis this hasn't been done, so this is the first substantial gathering of scholars and people involved in elections that any of us can recall.