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Legislative Institutions and Lawmaking in Latin America$
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Eduardo Alemán and George Tsebelis

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198777861

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198777861.001.0001

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Presidential Power, Legislative Rules, and Lawmaking in Chile

Presidential Power, Legislative Rules, and Lawmaking in Chile

(p.92) 4 Presidential Power, Legislative Rules, and Lawmaking in Chile
Legislative Institutions and Lawmaking in Latin America

Eduardo Alemán

Patricio Navia

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the agenda setting powers of Chilean presidents and the positional constraints with which they have had to govern. The latter has been caused mainly by the lack of unified government and super-majority requirements for changes on several policy areas. Presidents initiate most laws and have a high rate of bill approval, which is consistent with the view that strong legislative powers can contribute to overcoming some positional constraints. The chapter finds that most major presidential bills passed include legislators’ amendments, and that presidents fight off unwanted changes with amendments of their own offered during the committee stage or via amendatory vetoes. With regard to plenary votes, it finds that majority control in the Chamber of Deputies has led to significant advantages for the governing coalition, while in a split Senate there have been no significant differences between the two coalitions. It also finds that conference committee proposals, always voted under closed rules, are highly successful.

Keywords:   Chile, presidents, legislative rules, conference committees, amendments, roll call votes, legislative success

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