Chile’s election, 2013

Chileans went to the polls today in a general election (president and congress).

As of this time of posting, the count has just begun. I will update this space when there is more known. In the meantime, the profile of the three leading presidential candidates reads like a novel–and not only because the author is Ariel Dorfman.

10 thoughts on “Chile’s election, 2013

  1. There will be a runoff but unless Bachelet gets caught murdering someone before the runoff she’ll win hands down.

    Turnout was just 48.45% of registered voters (this was the first presidential election with automatic registration and voluntary suffrage, rather than optional registration and mandatory voting for registered voters). However, I believe the number of registered voters includes a substantial number of people who were disappeared during the dictatorship and therefore remain on the rolls.

    NM won 12/20 Senate seats on 50.64% of votes, Alianza 37.99% for 7 seats, and an independent the final seat. With continuing senators, the Senate will be 21-16-1. For the deputies, NM won 68 seats on 47.73%, Alianza won 48 seats on 36.17%, and 4 went to others (two of those others are Giorgio Jackson and Gabriel Boric, leaders of the 2011 student protests, who will likely be supportive of Bachelet).

    I’m not exactly sure what the new regional councils are for or how much power they have (and I got the impression that most Chileans don’t know either), but the NM won 158 seats between their two lists, Alianza won 103 seats, and others won 18 seats. NM got 46.72% of the votes and Alianza got 32.25%. I believe NM was helped significantly by the fact that there were several odd-magnitude districts.

    If they end up replacing the binominal system, it will probably be with a system that looks similar to the regional council election results, so I think they might be interesting to look at in detail. Of course, this was also an absolute farce of an election for the right and they have to hope it’s not the sign of a larger trend.

  2. Does the binominal system still work as planned in favor of the 2nd placed coaliton (= the right, Alianza)?

    • It looks like the bonus for the second alliance was much weaker this time, presumably due to the greater overall fragmentation. Based on the results Chris outlines for the Chamber, the Advantage Ratio (%seats/%votes) for the NM was 1.12, while the second-place Alianza had 1.05.

  3. “the number of registered voters includes a substantial number of people who were disappeared during the dictatorship and therefore remain on the rolls.”

    I understand the symbolic value of this but is there some kind of sunset date set, eg, do these names get removed from the electoral register in 2023 or 2039 or some other symbolic anniversary?

    • Why I ask is because if Chile has, or adopts, a turnout or support quorum* rule for referenda, it’s either going to be artificially high if there are thousands of desaparecidos from 1973-89 still on the rolls – or, if it is set low (15% or 20%, say, rather than the more usual 33% or 40%) to allow for this, it will be left artificially low if at some point Chile adopts a rule or interpretation that a person who is missing is presumed dead after (say) the 80th anniversary of their birth.

      * “Turnout quorum” = referendum passes if N% of all eligible voters cast a valid ballot either in favour or against, and if the majority of valid ballots cast are in favour. (Eg, Italy, Sweden).

      “Support quorum” = referendum passes if N% of all eligible voters cast a valid ballot in favour, and if the majority of valid ballots cast are in favour. (Eg, Ireland, in the special case of vetoing a Bill opposed by the Senate, the President, and one-third of the Dail: the 1979 Scottish and Welsh devolution polls).

    • Nick, posting on older threads is precisely what keeps the virtual orchard fruitful! However, probably the thread you wanted was this other one. Is the proposed reform now significantly different from what was passed in initial votes prior to the 2013 election?

      • You’re right, thanks! From what I can see the dif might be more members per district…it will be interesting the effect if it goes through, they are still grappling with hold-overs like the military’s copper law.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s