From April 11- 13, 2011 delegates from the PIANZEA Network gathered in Brisbane Australia to participate in the BRIDGE Electoral Systems module. Participants gathered from many countries including Cook Islands, Indonesia, Marshall Islands, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Australia.
Topics covered during the workshop included: What is an electoral system; The types of electoral systems; Representation and Representatives; District Magnitude; and Ballot structure.
To enable participants to tie all of their learning together, the last activity of the workshop was to design their own electoral system, including ballot papers. This gave participants an opportunity to put their new found knowledge of electoral systems into practice and design a system that they thought would be fair, understandable and achievable. The resulting conversations clarified the learning’s from the earlier parts of the workshop.
The BRIDGE facilitation team consisted of Ross Attrill and Lisa Bradford from Australia and Michelle Aisake from Cook Islands. At the conclusion of the workshop Michelle gained accreditation as a workshop facilitator, congratulations Michelle. Thanks must also go to Erik Scholte for his assistance preparing and administering the workshop.
As always, it was very rewarding to share information with other electoral administrators within the energetic atmosphere of BRIDGE. The creativity of BRIDGE participants continues to amaze with much laughing, singing and very animated displays coming to the fore.
Feedback from the workshop was overwhelmingly positive with the following comments being received.
“I found out as usual that this workshop is very useful to help me improve me in my job.”
“Very well facilitated! BRIDGE is so relevant to my role.”
“Great few days, it all came together in the end. Well done!”
“A great course and very interesting. I would highly recommend it to others.”