Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chile's binomial system

Claudio Fuentes has an article in El Mostrador about proposals to reform the binomial electoral system in Chile.  There is quite a large literature on the system's effects, and lots of disagreement.  One of the most common arguments is that it over-represents the right, which has less popular support than the center-left.  Claudio notes how the right itself now is talking about getting rid of the system, as leaders that it could open the door for the right to win a legislative majority.  There will be debate on it on November 5.  Last year the right blocked a proposal, but President Piñera supports it.

Its removal would revive another long-standing question about whether Chile has retained its traditional tripartite political spectrum (left-center-right) or whether the current center left/center-right split would remain.  There is no agreement about whether the latter is artificial and exists only because the binomial system created it with its incentives for coalition building.


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