Electoral reforms in Latin America: great expectations, few cases, perverse outcomes

This article seeks to compare electoral reforms aimed at changing the rules for the choice of legislative seats in Latin America, since the third wave of democracy. In the first section, it is presented a literature review on electoral systems studies, considering especially the political effects of the rules on how seats are distributed according to votes, and the factors that contribute to induce electoral reforms as well. In the second section, the electoral reforms promoted in Latin America are analyzed with the purpose of identifying the factors that contributed to produce such reforms. In the third section, the consequences of changes in the electoral systems are analyzed, focusing those associated to the degree of party competition and electoral volatility.

Democracy; Political parties; Voting systems; Electoral reforms; Latin America


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