Determinants and effects of electoral party coalitions: The case of Brazil

Aline Moraes Machado, Florida International University


Since the 1985 return to democracy, Brazilian politicians have resorted to vote-pooling arrangements to elect representatives. A puzzle thus presents itself: What drives parties to join these electoral cartels? The dissertation unraveled the incentives party elites have to participate in coalitions under a presidencialist system of government. I also investigated the effect of electoral coalitions on congressional representation. I applied a model of binary outcomes and relied on standard deviations to assess the ideological homogeneity/heterogeneity of electoral coalitions. I also calculated the Index of Disproportionality to measure the gaps between the proportion of votes and seats received by all parties in Brazil with and without electoral coalitions. Finally, I assessed the effects of the electoral formula on proportionality. An unexpected exogenous factor resulted crucial in explaining proportional electoral coalition building: The district's majoritarian election for governor. In each district, political actors often synchronize coalition partners to maximize winning results while minimizing electoral efforts.^

Subject Area

Political Science, General

Recommended Citation

Machado, Aline Moraes, "Determinants and effects of electoral party coalitions: The case of Brazil" (2011). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3471598.