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You need parishes to be parochial: the territorial distribution of deputies’ electoral support In Brazil

Open Panel

Abstract

Much is said by the literature on Brazil that its Legislative branch would be predisposed to the presence of parochial politics and pork barrel politics - whether caused by cultural trend, whether caused by the adoption of an Open List-PR electoral system. Parochialism would be, therefore, the cause of many issues: problems to coalition formation, to the support and success of national politics and national decisions, the dispersion of the budget, among others. But in fact, few studies have been made to verify if is it true that Brazilian federal deputies generally have their electoral support concentrated in one/few cities or spread throughout the state where they run for a chair. It is surprising, because one could not properly analyze the parochial or the pork barrel politics without knowing if parliamentarians have or not have their parishes, their pork barrel locations. I follow those gaps in the literature with new data and analysis to show the different geographic patterns of electoral support found in the Brazilian Lower Chamber elections 1998-2010. Brazilian case will illustrate that open list PR systems do not necessarily lead to locally linked deputies, as the majority of those holding chairs in Brazil don’t have an electoral support concentrated in one or in really few cities. And thus, can’t have parishes. For advancing the subject, I work with electoral patterns by deputies, by parties, by states and then offer further analysis on those findings.