Afghanistan Electoral System

November 30th, 2011 at 4:35 pm by David Farrar

Had a fascinating meeting this afternoon with a group of a dozen or so people from and Democracy International. They were from civil society and/or the Electoral Commission, and were out here to observe our referendum, plus meetings with various experts, lobby groups and commentators.

Afghanistan uses SNTV, and we discussed the pros and cons of MMP, STV and FPP, plus associated issues such as thresholds, list MPs, stability vs inclusion.

We also talked a bit about polling and focus groups, and specifically polling around the teacup tape which they had all heard about.

A very enjoyable discussion, and a real privilege. I’m going to add Afghanistan to my list of countries to monitor in terms of electoral politics.

At one point I discussed the importance of the right vs wrong direction country indicator in polling, and how this tends to indicate a Government’s survival chances. I was surprised to learn that a recent (independent) poll in Afghanistan had 70% saying the country is heading in the right direction. It’s a reminder that we often only hear the bad news.

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7 Responses to “Afghanistan Electoral System”

  1. jaba (2,143 comments) says:

    was Chris Carter there?

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  2. mara (788 comments) says:

    70% heading in the right direction. What direction is that exactly? Oh spare me. These “democracy” chappies would be well advised to scrap their privileged, overseas junkets and spend a bit more time in their land of harsh reality. Pandering to these escapenick dissemblers is a total waste of valuable time and lives.

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  3. Inky_the_Red (760 comments) says:

    I like SNTV I think it should be one of the options I our local body elections

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  4. JMS (331 comments) says:

    SNTV is probably one of the worst electoral systems out there. Once you’ve decided on a party, thinking about which of their candidates to vote for is a waste of time, just flip a coin.

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  5. adam2314 (377 comments) says:

    It has nothing to do with democracy DPF…

    Religion raises it’s ugly head again..

    Plain and simple .. Religion.. Greed .. and Poverty..

    China is heading down the same road..

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  6. Mary Rose (393 comments) says:

    >70% saying the country is heading in the right direction.

    I’m curious. (Echoing Mara slightly): Did they specify what they thought ‘the right direction’ was?

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  7. niggly (830 comments) says:

    I think it is good that NZ engages with Afghanistan officials and observers in this manner (and good on you DPF for accepting their invitation to meet and talk), as all we hear about are certain fringe groups shouting down NZ’s involvement to help them.

    Sure we can’t impose our (foreign) Western values on them, but discussing and understanding each other’s values and systems is all good.

    Ensuring the conditions there are reasonable and stable, to allow continued dialogue with their own people is also good. (Granted this isn’t easy).

    So why is it that the likes of Keith Locke and Nicky Hager want NZ to withdrawn her efforts in helping maintain stability over there? For if there is no stability, there is no framework to, eg, increase participation in education for all Afghan citizens, and certainly no chance of infrastructure and nation building….

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