How to Control Representatives?: Remarks on Elections for the House of Representatives in Brazil

Jairo Nicolau

The purpose of this article is to explore the mechanisms that have been used by Brazilian voters to punish and reward their representatives. The article has three sections. The first discusses theoretical aspects of electoral control issues in traditional democracies. The second specifically analyzes two dimensions of the Brazilian system of representation: a) whether accountability operates on a partisan or personalized basis and b) the impact of the institutional arrangement on voters’ capacity to evaluate their representatives (clarity of responsibility). The last section explores some specific electoral control mechanisms exercised by Brazilian voters in the 1998 elections for House of Representatives.

elections; electoral system; electoral accountability

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