Thursday, February 02, 2012

Proposal to reform binomial system

Yesterday I blogged about the likely reform of Chile's electoral system. Miguel Centellas asked about existing proposals, so I poked around a bit.

Here is a PDF link from La Tercera with the brief proposal submitted by the presidents of the Christian Democratic Party and Renovación Nacional. They envision a semi-presidential system with the following characteristics:

1. The president can dissolve the legislature

2. The president chooses a prime minister who must be approved by a majority in the legislature

3. Proportional representation in the legislature (with specifics to be worked out later)

4. Term limits for all positions

5. System of primaries

6. Public financing of political parties

If you take this basic formula and add it to the recent passage of the voluntary vote and automatic registration, then you end up with a potentially radical change to the status quo. Chile would have a large number of new, mostly young, registered voters, along with a system that allows for small parties to gain representation. Those parties, in turn, will receive some sort of public money to help support them.

Details will matter. Having a prime minister doesn't automatically mean all that much. Can you name the current prime minister of Peru? It does, however, mean that coalitions will still be necessary.

And the details of proportional representation will matter a lot. There are any number of ways to construct it, that put more or less power in the hands of party elites versus voters.

Here is Ignacio Walker, president of the PDC, calling on President Piñera to act on the proposal: Here is Carlos Larraín, president of RN, explaining why he believes there needs to be a change. It is a-comin'.


Steven 9:10 AM  

Here's another proposal. While I don't know for sure, I suspect that this is why the more-or-less stodgy RN & DC are now suddenly looking all reformist:

mcentellas 11:16 AM  

Thanks for this, Greg! My thoughts are on my (new) blog:

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP