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Samuels: Concurrent elections, discordant results

Disclaimer. Don't rely on these old notes in lieu of reading the literature, but they can jog your memory. As a grad student long ago, my peers and I collaborated to write and exchange summaries of political science research. I posted them to a wiki-style website. "Wikisum" is now dead but archived here. I cannot vouch for these notes' accuracy, nor can I even say who wrote them. If you have more recent summaries to add to this collection, send them my way I guess. Sorry for the ads; they cover the costs of keeping this online.

Samuels. 2000. Concurrent elections, discordant results: Presidentialism, Federalism, and Governance in Brazil. Comparative Politics 33 (1): 1-20.

In Brief

"Winning presidential candidates who can mobilize broad national partisan support will reap significant rewards in executive-legislative relations. In contrast, an electorally weak president might face a more independent legislature, even if his own party is nominally well-represented, because members of congress did not rely on the president to win election." In other words:

Since, in Brazil, the gubernatorial coattails are large, we get instability in Brazil's executive-legislative relations, "even between the president and members of his own party." In Brazil, "Presidential candidates simply lack the resources necessary to help their allies win elections in Brazil, such as control over nominations and alliances and the organizational backing of well-developed clientelistic networks."

Thus, members of Brazil's congress are more loyal to their state governors than to the president, and the president finds that he has little influence of legislators as a result.

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Tags

Samuels, David (author)Political ScienceComparative PoliticsFederalismPresidentialismElectionsElectoral RulesVoting

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