Groko à Brasileira: Do electoral rules matter? – 10/03/2021 – Marcos Mello

Groko à Brasileira: Do electoral rules matter?  - 10/03/2021 - Marcos Mello

The British IP received 12.6% of the vote in 2015, but won only one seat (or 0.15% of a total of 650) in the British Parliament. However, in the European Parliament elections in the same year, it was the most voted party, securing 24 seats and the largest.

Four years later, the party changed its name – to the Brexit Party – but it didn’t even get a seat. In the European Parliament elections in the same year, he received more votes – 31% of the total – which increased the bench size to 29: seven times the number of seats (4) in the Conservative Party, owned at the time. Prime Minister Theresa May.

Same country, same year: the largest party in one house (the European Parliament) was the smallest or not in another assembly (the national parliament).

The majority system is the main barrier to entry for small parties such as the Brexit Party. Rules are not only important: they are crucial. The British case ideally represents the influence of the two most famous electoral systems in one country, the majority system and proportional representation (PR).

There is a hybrid model that combines the two systems. The model was invented in Germany in 1949, in light of the disastrous experience of PR adoption in the country during the Weimar Republic, the model has only been adopted in twelve countries (eg New Zealand) or about to be adopted (eg Costa Rica); The UK itself has adopted it in Wales, Scotland and London.

There is no perfect system: even in Germany, the party that gets about 10% of the vote – the Free Democratic Party – has performed the role of “kingmaker” at different times: it depends on who will be the government. The system also catalyzes what is called GroKo (Grosse Koalition [grande coalizão] It is governed by the two major rival parties, the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and (CSU/CDU) together. It has already happened three times: diminishing the clarity of responsibility and encouraging anti-system criticism.

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The problem in Brazil is the opposite in the UK: our pathology is overrepresentation. Harmful overrepresentation. Parties are created to reap public revenue. In contrast, the ruling coalitions are bloated and corrupt.

In 2017, we took an important step to reduce this by banning alliances and introducing performance clauses. We are now jumping on fire by keeping the ban, but we have opened the wing by agreeing to the proposal of the Union of Parties. The net balance in this area is positive. However, many of the approved amendments create more room for rent-seeking and, more importantly, for impunity and irresponsibility.

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About the Author: Camelia Kirk

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