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The Politics of Electoral Systems$
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Michael Gallagher and Paul Mitchell

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199257560

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199257566.001.0001

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

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

(p.433) 21 Chile: The Unexpected (and Expected) Consequences of Electoral Engineering
The Politics of Electoral Systems

Peter M. Siavelis

Oxford University Press

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

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