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CARNEIRO, Leandro Piquet  and  ALMEIDA, Maria Hermínia Tavares de. Defining the local political arena: municipal party systems in the brazilian federation. Dados [online]. 2008, vol.51, n.2, pp.403-432. ISSN 1678-4588.

This article analyzes the Brazilian political system from the local perspective. Following Cox (1997), we review the problems with electoral coordination that emerge from a given institutional framework. Due to the characteristics of the Brazilian Federal system and its electoral rules, linkage between the three levels of government is not guaranteed a priori, but demands a coordinating effort by the parties' leadership. According to our hypothesis, the parties are capable of coordinating their election strategies at different levels in the party system. Regression models based on two-stage least squares (2SLS) and TOBIT, analyzing a panel of Brazilian municipalities with data from the 1994 and 2000 elections, show that the proportion of votes received by a party in a given election correlates closely with its previous votes in majoritarian elections. Despite institutional incentives, the Brazilian party system shows evidence that it is organized nationally to the extent that it links the competition for votes at the three levels of government (National, State, and Municipal).

Keywords : local politics; Brazilian party system.

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