« Anna Gelpern makes the case for optimism | Main | Bad representation, proportional representation, and military persecution in the Philippines »

May 14, 2010


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

First, let me say that this is a great series. I've really enjoyed it and I hope you have more to say.

Second, I think there's another aspect, and that's the expectations game. I've seen a lot of this in Africa. If elections are consistently dirty and regularly stolen, people get used to that. If, on the other hand, there's a string of clean-ish elections, people get used to that too. I don't know if some political scientist has tried to quantify this, but it does seem to be a real effect.

So helping to make an election clean -- or at least cleaner than the last one -- can have effects that go beyond documenting the nastiness. All of this is very context-sensitive, but on average you're likely to be raising the bar, even if just a little.

Doug M.

For Suresh,

I wish I had met you during your stay in the Philippines. I belong to a group called Action for Economic Reforms (www.aer.ph). Your observations are stimulating and even amusing (especially the one about the guerillas wearing Crocs; what indeed explains this?). The Philippine situation is very complex and the post-election tasks to rebuild institutions are gargantuan, but am hopeful that reforms, even if incremental, will happen under the administration of President-elect Aquino. I do not subscribe to the Pagbabago analysis, which exaggerates the role of outside forces. Noynoy Aquino won convincingly, despite the many barriers he faced. I wish we could continue exchanging ideas re the Philippine political economy. Men Sta. Ana

The comments to this entry are closed.