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Although Peru’s political system has long been depicted as a “democracy without parties,” several recent studies have suggested that Fujimorismo might posses the assets to become the sole Peruvian political party. In this chapter, we evaluate this proposition using the conceptual framework set out by volume’s editors. We find that Fujimorismo is a loose electoral coalition that, in vertical terms, lacks the stable social links required to aggregate interests. In horizontal terms, Fujimorismo can only coordinate politicians to a limited degree. Finally, our study suggests that even when Fujimorismo performs both horizontal and vertical functions, it is a party that has shown a tendency to use its organizational assets to erode democracy and not to strengthen it.
This chapter describes the Chilean Partido por la Democracia (Party for Democracy, PPD) as a group of independents. Since its inception during the transition to democracy, the PPD has achieved meaningful electoral support. However, its electoral stability contrasts with its lack of organizational structure, its difficulties executing horizontal coordination during elections, in Congress, and between local and national levels. Regarding vertical interest aggregation, the PPD builds upon personalistic linkages with particular interest groups in the different electoral districts. The PPD is thus no more than a group of politicians with personal electoral capital in their districts who achieve a minimum level of coordination during elections and in Congress.
Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza (National Unit of Hope, UNE) has been Guatemala’s most successful electoral vehicle in the democratic period. The UNE’s architects aimed to construct a programmatic and institutionalized political party. However, it is a formation that has much more in common with the modal Guatemalan electoral vehicle. An empirical evaluation of the UNE’s horizontal coordination and vertical aggregation capabilities reveals that, as an organization, it fails along both dimensions. Central-to-local party coordination, campaign strategy harmonization, and party loyalty in the legislature are limited. Pervasive factionalism within the UNE, weak mechanisms of harmonization, as well as the autonomy of local and regional caudillos, restrict possibilities for horizontal coordination. The UNE did construct an intertemporally loyal clientele of voters via a politicized cash-transfer program. But its ability to represent and develop organic linkages with society were limited by the stranglehold of party financiers, the absence of encompassing societal mobilizing structures, the abysmal disparity in relational power between the private sector and social sectors, and other factors.
The Paraguayan party system, centered on two 132-year-old parties seemingly poised to remain alive and well for years to come, constitutes an anomaly in Latin America. This chapter discusses the evolution of the Paraguayan traditional parties highlighting their changes and continuities in two different historical settings: the nondemocratic period, which includes a semi-competitive (1870–1940) and a dictatorial subperiod (1954–89) and the post-1989 democratic period. The findings point to three distinctive features of the Paraguayan party system: the ability of the traditional parties to plant deep roots into the country’s social structure facilitated by historic and institutional factors; the capacity of the parties to aggregate in a clientelist mode the interests of a population that lacks strong collective actors, made possible by a socioeconomic societal matrix; and the versatility with which parties have coordinated interests, both in semi-democratic as well as in democratic settings, which includes electoral mobilization but also civilian recruitment for armed uprisings. Finally, the chapter discusses possible future trends in light of the growing influence of illegal financing and recent changes to the rules governing elections mandating the system of “open lists.”
This chapter describes the long, revolutionary period in which majoritarian patterns of decision-making predominated and matured but were never clearly institutionalized. The House of Commons regularly faced status-related crises that perpetuated majoritarian practices during this period, but these practices were never routinized to the point where they became devoid of profound status implications. If the ultimate question of the English Revolution is the question of why Parliament failed to protect its institutional prerogatives, this chapter provides an answer. Consensual decision-making utterly collapsed amid the disintegration of Parliament’s authority under revolutionary conditions in the later 1640s. The explosion of majoritarian dynamics undermined Parliament’s legitimacy and made its composition subject to the dictates of the army and Oliver Cromwell from the late 1640s to the end of the Interregnum. Majoritarian patterns of decision-making continued up to the Restoration, not necessarily because majority voting had become institutionalized, but because so many questions before the Commons had profound constitutional and status implications in a period of fundamental instability.
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