This essay will compare and contrast the party systems of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay according to Mainwaring and Shugart's Chapter 11 of Presidentialism and Democracy in Latin America. First, I will discuss majority verses minority government; second, I will discuss the number of relevant parties; third, I will discuss the level of party discipline with the parties.
In Presidential systems of government, the level of support for the president in congress, either through a majority or coalitions, influences the success of the regime to get things done. The amount of parties in a system indicates the likelihood the president will have a majority or be forced to focus on forming coalitions. The latter can cause a weakening of the regime. The level of party discipline is created by the party rules within each system and creates different incentives for politicians either toward the people or the regime.
Majority verses Minority
In Brazil it is unlikely the President will possess a majority in the congress because Brazil is composed of many parties. The President must collaborate with other parties that are near by on the ideology/policy spectrum in order to form a majority. In the 1994 election, the winning coalition was comprised of more than six parties. The most popular party was the PSDB (Party of the Brazilian Social Democracy), 54.3%; the PT (The Worker's Party), 27%; the PRONA, 7.4%; the PMDB (Party of Brazilian Democratic Movement), 4.4%; The PDT (Democratic Labor Party), 3.2%; the PPR (Reformist Progressive Party), 2.8%; and others, 1%. These parties are not ideological similar. The parties cooperated o win the election. Many of the parties will not be rep...
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This essay has focused on showing the differences between party politics in Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. This group is representative of the entire spectrum of possibilities. Brazil tended to have minority governments in congress, a large number of effective parties, and low level of discipline. Uruguay tended to have minority governments with a significant plurality, few effective parties and moderately disciplined parties. Argentina tended to regularly employ minority governments without a significant majority has a low number of effective parties, although this is changing, and has a high degree of party discipline. Each of these countries has created these systems in order to ensure the government is as effective as possible, thereby, creating the best possible environment for the people.
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