Chile: The Unexpected (and Expected) Consequences of Electoral Engineering

Peter M. Siavelis

in The Politics of Electoral Systems

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780199257560
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603280 | DOI:
Chile: The Unexpected (and Expected) Consequences of Electoral Engineering

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Chile’s binomial open-list PR system was selected by the Pinochet regime as the most likely to optimise the parliamentary strength of the authoritarian right given its level of electoral support. The system was intended to lead to the fundamental reshaping of the party system, but instead, two broad alliances have arisen, incorporating many elements of the pre-Pinochet party system. The small district magnitude puts a premium on the need for parties to form alliances, and leads to extensive intra-alliance negotiations regarding candidate selection. The electoral system is unpopular with parties of the centre and left, but institutional barriers to electoral reform are high.

Keywords: Chilean politics; Pinochet; party system; district magnitude; party alliances; candidate selection; electoral reform

Chapter.  9040 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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