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

Recommended Citation

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