Opinião Pública – Vol. 19, Nº 2 2013
Articles in this issue
This article "revisits" the old Uruguayan party democracy - the eldest and one of the few in Latin America- reviewing well-known contributions as well as my own proposals, to point out persistence and changes during the last century. Trying to avoid “exceptionalism”, the text interweaves comparative references, which provide a framework for the originality of the Uruguayan case and make it possible to further highlight its potential for Comparative Politics. The first part reviews the genetic model and the typical features of the Uruguayan regime, explaining its comparative advantages: the historical background and the polyarchy origins, pluralist presidentialism, and a sui generis consociational democracy, made up by political parties and not of social cleavages. The second part deals with the great transformation following the democratic transition of the 1980, arising from the changes in the party system, which do not prompt its breakdown but instead reshape its plural and competitive structure. This section reviews the liberal transition of the 1990 and the 1996 constitutional reform, the decline of the traditional two-party system and the Frente Amplio's development into a predominant party, including its debut with a social democratic government, which echoes the “late” social democracies in Southern Europe. Through all this, the renewed Uruguayan party democracy - which at the time could not avoid the dictatorship 1973-1984 - continues to make a difference and at the end of a long and gradual process, forges a new political norm.
Why do nearby towns tend to have similar electoral results? We test here three possible explanations: social interactions between inhabitants of nearby towns; the concentration of campaign strategies in some areas to the detriment of other areas; and the socioeconomic similarities of nearby towns. Using data from the 2010 elections and spatial econometrics, we rejected the first hypothesis; we found some preliminary support for the second hypothesis; and we found unequivocal support for the third hypothesis. The data also show that Dilma Rousseff “inherited” Lula’s electoral basis of support and that this is quite different from that of the PT, which remains an urban-based party.
This article analyzes the impact of political sophistication on citizens’ political preferences. After defining the concept and measurement of political sophistication, panel survey data from Caxias do Sul and Juiz de Fora in 2002 are used to assess its main determinants in the Brazilian context. Next, the article tests four hypotheses derived from existing scholarship about the effects of political sophistication on individual preferences and information processing. The four hypotheses tested are: 1) more politically sophisticated citizens are more ideologically constrained in their political attitudes then less sophisticated individuals; 2) more sophisticated citizens present more stable attitudes over time than less sophisticated individuals; 3) more sophisticated citizens acquire more political information over time than less sophisticated individuals, and; 4) more sophisticated citizens tend to express opinions more frequently than less sophisticated individuals. The analyses in the paper provide strong support for all four hypotheses. Finally, the article discusses some implications of the results for the study of public opinion and elections in Brazil.
The paper analyses the citizen’s profiles positively associated with the idea of “he steals, but get things done” that means agreement with the conduct of politicians who incur acts of corruption, but that performs a government perceived as satisfactory. It is used as empirical data two nationwide surveys, conducted in 2002 and 2006, and the main results of data´s analysis are the strong rejection of “he steals, but get things done” idea and distrust of representative actors and institutions.
Confidence in legislatures is at low ebb. For literature, it derives from Congressional job disapproval due to lack of responsiveness to the demands of citizens more educated, thus, more critical. In this perspective, knowledge of the institution’s role is important to active citizenship and actions of edu-communication may be relevant to increase familiarity. The article examines the perceptions and orientations among visitors to the Brazilian National Congress to assess familiarization visits as tools for improving legislatures’ reputation, therefore enhancing the quality of democracy. It reveals new perspectives to the legislatures’ role on civic education through the analyses of visitor’ orientations on specific congressmen’s performance assessment and diffuse political support.
In the last three decades, civic education programs have become recurring in many parts of the world. Such programs have as principle formulator the commitment to instill democratic values, demystify the world of politics and foster interest in the work of the legislative. This article examines the cognitive process of learning of the participants of the main civic education program developed in Minas Gerais, the Parlamento Jovem (PJ). As also discusses the reasons why civic education programs such as the PJ to obtain opposite results than expected. Moreover, this paper presents the intricacies of the construction of political knowledge among the participants and the impact of the PJ. The analysis is based on data obtained in the quasi-experimental study “The young Parliament as locus of political socilaization?”.
The aim of this paper is to empirically evaluate the electoral competition in the Brazilian election for Congress. The evaluation focused on the regional dimension of electoral competition, what is sustained by concepts such as informal electoral districts (AMES, 2001; 2003) or political hamlets (HUNTER AND POWER, 2007; ZUCCO, 2008). This paper considers electoral results from 1994 to 2010 and uses the imbalance index (TAAGEPERA, 1979) in a timing frame perspective as basic criteria because the Effective Number of Parties does not capture the decentralization of electoral competition. Results suggests that the personal and regional political control is not the rule of political competition in Brazil; the informal district theory lacks of empirical support and, the politicians that are successful in avoiding competition do not always get elected and vary in their power over electorate through time.
This article aims to analyze the determinants of political career patterns among federal deputies elected by the State of São Paulo (Brazil) for the 49th (1991-1995) - 53rd (2007-2011) legislatures. By using statistical techniques such as chi-squared test, Fisher’s exact test and logistic regression, this article concludes that: i) exit of political life is associated with the levels of electoral concentration and local competitiveness, as well as with the parliamentary behavior; ii) success in re-election campaigns is associated with the accumulation of political capital, with the parliamentary behavior and with partisan loyalty; and iii) success in mayoral campaigns is associated with the level of local electoral competitiveness.
What is the role of the presidency and ministries in the legislative production of the Executive Branch? From a transactional approach to the relationship between the president and ministers we seek, through the identification of the authorship of the legislative initiatives of the Executive, evaluate the factors that influence the president to delegate legislative decisions to the ministries or centralize decisions in the presidency. The hypotheses tested using a logistic model for rare events is that the increase in ideological distance, the number of ministers involved in the decision and the institutionalization of the presidency increases the probability of centralization, while the increase in the legislative strength of the parties of the ministers involved decreases the probability of centralization. The results indicate that these factors matter to understand the process of legislative formulation within the Executive and the choice that the president does.