Revista de Sociologia e Política
versão impressa ISSN 0104-4478
BRAGA, Sérgio Soares; FRANCA, Andressa Silvério Terra e NICOLAS, María Alejandra. Brazilian political parties and the internet: an evaluation of political party websites in Brazil. Rev. Sociol. Polit. [online]. 2009, vol.17, n.34, pp. 183-208. ISSN 0104-4478. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-44782009000300013.
The purpose of this article is to present results of our research on Brazilian political party websites. Through a mapping of international literature on this topic, we present a proposal for evaluation of the websites of major Brazilian political parties and a classification of the degree to which they use the Internet. Putting together a table that summarizes content analysis of the websites of 27 Brazilian political parties that were registered in the Electoral High Court (Tribunal Superior Eleitoral (TSE)) during the first semester of 2008, before the beginning of the electoral period, we came to the conclusion that most Brazilian political parties do not use the internet enough, even when evaluated only through the strictly normative parameters of propitiating a more transparent and accountable "representative democracy". Furthermore, for the Brazilian case, a "normalization hypothesis" in which patterns of political competition that hold true in the "real world" would tend to reproduce themselves in the web cannot be proven. A third general conclusion we arrive at is that there is an association between political party characteristics and the way party websites are organized, although this association is not as close as that which the international literature has maintained.
Palavras-chave : Internet and politics; Brazilian political party websites; electronic democracy; political representation.