Manual Ideology and the Theory of Political Choice

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In this regard, leftist presidents close to leftist mayors will produce a positive effect on the DV. Right-wing presidents close to right-wing mayors will behave in the opposite direction, moving to the left. Therefore, leftist and popular presidents will pull the DV to the right, and the opposite for conservative presidents. This explains the reduction of the standard deviation of the mean for the MIS during the period analyzed. Size, and concurrent elections, as in other models, also push municipal ideology to the left.

Greater party fragmentation, competition, and voter participation exert a leftward impact on the MIS. Only polarization presents a positive coefficient. Most likely, this is due to the average distribution of the system to the right.


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There is a higher probability of electoral success of hard-right parties when compared to hard-left parties. In most municipalities, polarization likely results from a strong presence of conservative parties and a moderate impact of center or hard-left parties. In the BLS-only version of the DV, the variation in poverty rate is not significant, and the effect of concurrent elections and the interaction term are positive. We cannot consider poverty reduction under the PT government as a significant explanation for the DV, since its effect is not sufficiently robust to be significant in both models.

Lec 2: Political theories and ideologies

Variation in poverty, in general, presents a positive effect, although small. This could be explained by two phenomena. Secondly, the same localities moved to the left during PT administrations. This explains the negative effects of both the dummy for PT governments and the interaction term between variation in poverty and PT.

Readers will be most interested in the final model integrating all rival hypotheses.

Ideology and the Theory of Political Choice

This pooled model confirms most of our expectations, with minor exceptions. The BLS-only and imputed versions diverge in terms of the significance of electoral competition. They also differ on the sign of the effects of socioeconomic modernization and concurrent elections. Figure 05 permits easy visual inspection of the performance of each coefficient in the pooled model.

What clearly pulls municipalities to the left is size, human development, party system fragmentation, and especially concurrent elections. This reflects the strong influence of progressive modernizers in presidential elections. Conversely, in the years of stand-alone municipal elections, conservative local machines are less constrained by nationalizing alliances, thus pulling municipal outcomes to the right. This suggests rather strongly that de-linking the presidential and congressional electoral cycles could push Congress in a more conservative direction What is most striking in Figure 05 are the point estimates for the various presidential influences: approval, ideology, and alliance with the local mayor.

However, Figure 05 suggests two intervening variables—ideology and approval—that Nunes Leal overlooked. Writing about a pre-ideological era the Old Republic , Nunes Leal could not have anticipated that the ideology of the national executive would have such a strong effect on local voting outcomes. Overall, our pooled model shows the value of incorporating insights from rival traditions in the study of Brazilian voting.

Variables drawn from four different approaches, all of them well consolidated in the extant literature, are highly successful at predicting variance in vote-revealed ideology at the local level. The present study assessed ideology through a combination of the national left-right placements of parties and their local-level vote shares.

The purpose was to map changes in the aggregate ideological preferences of Brazilian voters at the municipal level over an extensive period This diverges from conventional approaches wherein researchers rely on survey data or exit polls to gauge the ideological positions of voters. While such polls exist for some large cities, equivalent data covering all small and medium-sized municipalities are unavailable. We propose here a methodology to overcome this limitation and generate comparable measures of local ideological structure and change. By way of comparison, a similar approach has been adopted in recent studies of nationalism in countries as Spain, Italy, or the United Kingdom, all of which possess both survey data on the degree of support for separatism and detailed records of voting for regionalist or nationalist parties.

Ideaology and the Theory of Political Choice

As we tried to demonstrate, the approach employed be applied to various levels of analysis, from the infra-municipal neighborhoods or even blocks to the national level comparing political systems. Overall, the general trend drawn from our study is a convergence towards a center-right position in the Brazilian electorate. This effect is significant even when we neutralize the personalist effect inherent to presidential elections by focusing only on PR votes for legislatures. Over the past two decades, municipalities became ideologically slightly more clustered toward the center. The sharp reduction of the standard deviation provides strong evidence of an ideological convergence.

This generates a paradoxical situation in which the Brazilian party system is becoming both more nationalized and more fragmented at the same time. Although the average ideological position of presidential contenders can be described as center-left, the average vote for legislative candidates is located squarely on the center-right. In the three presidential elections , and preceding the emergence of Jair Bolsonaro, seven of the nine candidates nominated by these parties were former PT militants, and the other two were Lula and Dilma themselves.

The ideological duality mentioned above is vital for understanding aggregate changes at the local level, especially since incumbent presidents have a substantial impact on vote-revealed ideology in PR contests. This effect is magnified when the approval of the president is considered. This effect is so robust that even unpopular presidents manage to attract the average ideological position toward their own location. This behavior provides solid empirical evidence for a structural effect of the presidency on local ideology. An evident manifestation of this was the adaptability of local governing coalitions observed in the North and Northeast regions after the PT assumed the presidency in While our MIS cannot be interpreted as a direct measure of machine politics, it does suggest that voters continued to supply significant electoral support to right-of-center candidates throughout the PT years, with a significant rebound of conservative preferences beginning in The study also reinforces older hypotheses concerning the ideological by-products of fractionalization and modernization.

The increased fragmentation of the system generated convergence toward the center.

Nonetheless, this effect could change sign if successive right-leaning presidents are elected in the future. Overall, our pooled model reveals that electorally expressed ideology in Brazilian municipalities is a function of presidential coattails, vertical coalitional linkages between national and local elites, concurrent elections, party system fractionalization, electoral participation, and aggregate political polarization.

Perhaps the most substantive implication of our study is that the Brazilian electorate, on the whole, leans decisively to the right. This, at least, is the only conclusion one can draw from analysis of the last 13 cycles of proportional elections in the country, a period in which the leading left-wing party occupied the presidency for more than half of the time. While PT presidents did affect local political outcomes in PR elections—which constitute, by far, the best way to diagnose average ideological preferences in Brazil—this effect was neither revolutionary nor lasting.

By the late Dilma years, vote-revealed ideology began to drift rightward again, and underwent a sharp turn to the right in the municipal elections held under Michel Temer. The lesson here is that no meaningful realignment occurred, and analysts should be cautious when drawing conclusions from presidential evidence alone. World Politics.

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Latin American Research Review. Brazilian Political Science Review. Journal of Politics. New Haven: Yale University Press. Comparative Political Studies. Ambition, ideology, and party switching in Brazil's Chamber of Deputies. American Journal of Political Science. Comparative Politics. Latin American Politics and Society. Rio de Janeiro: Nova Fronteira, Journal of Democracy. In: Party systems in Latin America: institutionalization, decay, and collapse. New York: Cambridge University Press, In: Latin American legislatures: their role and influence.

New York: Praeger Publishers. Journal of Latin American Politics and Society. RAE, Douglas W.

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Alan , The political ecology of the metropolis: metropolitan sources of electoral behaviour in eleven countries. Accessed on September,10, Woodrow Wilson School: Princeton University. Accessed on December, 10, Journal of Latin American Studies. Individual self-placement, a favored method adopted by most surveys with ordinary citizens, leads to noisy results, since people either do not know how to or feel free to position themselves on some sensitive scales most people choose 6 on a scale, when asked to define themselves ideologically.

It is much easier for respondents to estimate relative distances between parties than to make absolute judgments about their own position on an abstract scale. This methodological choice solves the anchoring problem, since elite respondents perceive the scale as a metric via which to place parties relatively. Unfortunately, there is no regional survey that allows us to capture these variations. One of the main utilities of our measure of ideology is to provide an alternative method to assess regional variation through the combination of existing national surveys and administrative results at the local level.

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The violin plots show each year and method of computation, i. This figure enables us to compare the effect of imputation on the distribution of the DV. Table 02 in the Methodological Notes shows the number of observations and the percentage of vote imputed in each electoral year. This smoothing technique represents the average value for all neighboring municipalities of each respective location. This procedure facilitates the identification of regional clusters and the visualization of general trends.

In this case, instead, the indicator represents the average ideological preferences for the parties of presidential candidates. The ideological scores for these presidents are the average scores for these two waves.

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We did not have an individual-level value for Temer in Wave 7, so we assigned him the score obtained in Wave 8. The first model only contain those cases with votes cast exclusively to BLS parties.