[EM] re: Brazil
stephane.rouillon at sympatico.ca
Thu Jul 17 12:07:35 PDT 2003
Even with no rankings, this system (which I think is used in Finland on a regional
I do not know if it is used on a national basis in Brazil) allows the voter more control
over which other candidates you're helping to elect than closed list.
With closed list I have to help to elect all candidates of the same party before
I can contribute to the one I like. With the Brazilian method, I directly go to my
Now to continue your discussion about "surplus", I would need first to understand
if one voter is supposed to elect one single candidate or severals. It was not clear to
reading your previous descriptions...
I do understand that if multiple elected members are to be selected, such a system would
restrict voters to choose their favourite and after, without any freedom, forces them to
support the next best candidates of the same party according to other voters.
I would prefer such a system when there is only one candidate per riding of the same
because I agree with you about the unfairness of such a restriction. For single-member
ridings, it vanishes. But you can still average all supports to identify the right
each party, and after elect their best representatives. The main problems is that at
you (rarely) would end up with some ridings with no winners, others with several, and
the first non-elected but a lower one elected. It all comes to learn to see an election
representative exercise and not as a horse race... Finally, to be able to make such
between ridings, you need equivalent ridings. That's what SPPA tries to build, using
or other non-discriminatory samplings of the population.
Finally, I cannot understand your analysis of the Brazilians political parties'
It seems clear to me that a "neo-liberal" that attracts votes should still be kicked out
a comunist party, or see it differently, (s)he should kick out the rest of the party!
Else the system makes it very obvious which parties and politicians are rotten
and it is in the hand of the public to vote or not for them... No system can cope
for rotten voters.
Kevin Venzke wrote :
> In Brazil you can only vote for one candidate. That means you have no control
> over which other candidates you're helping to elect. No doubt the system would
> be much improved if you could give a ranking. (It might also be better with smaller
> districts; I think they elect over 15 members on average.)
> You (not sure who I'm addressing actually) say it is a good thing that people
> vote based on the individuals, and I agree with that. The problem is that an
> INDIVIDUAL doesn't earn the representation corresponding to his earned votes,
> he just gets a single seat. If he gets "surplus" votes they work to elect
> other candidates from that party.
> The parties don't stand for much because they can't discipline their candidates.
> What I mean is, it doesn't make sense for a party to "oust" a person if that
> person is capable of bringing votes to the party. This tends to make the parties
> primarily alliances to get candidates elected, without specific policy ideas.
> Party-switching, once elected, is common. So although, as James said, the parties
> nominate the candidates, the parties are not generally the ones with the clout.
> Did anyone else study Brazil in Comparative Politics? I'm regurgitating all this.
> I'll try to back it up if someone genuinely disagrees with this.
> It's possible I'm confusing the method for the effects of the method in a certain
> (Brazilian) context. In that context, the method seems to me quite bad because
> the proportionality is among parties which may not stand for any particular
> Adam Tarr said:
> >>Parties can't discipline candidates because parties aren't what earn votes.
> >To me, that is an unqualified positive - strong party discipline in closed
> >party list democracies prevents the voters from getting candidates who
> >match their views more closely than a standard party platform.
> The side-effect is that (in Brazil, IMO) it's not a safe bet to "transfer"
> votes automatically to party mates. Note that a voter has no way of preventing
> his surplus vote from being used, and at least in Brazil, the voter may not
> even know his candidate's party (there's little incentive for the candidate to
> focus on it).
> Incidentally, the main party on the left is supposed to be well-organized, and
> based on policy rather than "local interests."
> Kevin Venzke
> stepjak at yahoo.fr
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