Timothy J. Power, "Parties, Puppets and Paradoxes:
Changing Attitudes Toward Party Institutionalization in
Post-authoritarian Brazil," Party Politics, 3 (April
The global transition to democracy is everywhere engendering
new party systems or overhauling old ones. In the genesis of
post-authoritarian party systems, there is considerable
variation across countries and contexts. Some new
democracies have re-established historical party systems
that were suspended by authoritarian rule, while others have
experienced significant partisan realignment during
liberalization. Still other countries, particularly the
postcommunist societies, went so long without partisan
competition that party development begins from a virtual
tabula rasa. Despite these differences, all emerging party
systems have a common characteristic: they are saddled with
the legacy of authoritarian rule. Continuities in personnel,
institutions and practices color the early years of
Figures and Tables:
Table 1: Perception of party role in election victory.
Table 2: Perceived factors in election victory.
Table 3: Party line vs. personal beliefs in legislative
Table 4: Orientation toward concept of party fidelity.
Table 5: Attitudes toward hypothetical sanctions against
anti-party actions by politicians.
Table 6: Reported meetings with party leadership.
Table 7: Support for political democracy and party
institutionalization by current party and authoritarian-era
Figure 1: Support for Political Democracy and Party
Institutionalization in 1990.
Figure 2: Support for political democracy and party
institutionalization in 1993.
Paradoxes abound. Parties that were artificially strong
under authoritarianism gave way to parties that were truly
weak under democracy. Party-building measures were adopted
by authoritarians and rejected by democrats. Because of the
crisis of governability that ensued, a Congress that hastily
undid party fidelity and other measures in May 1985 was
beginning to reimpose some of these rules exactly one decade
later. Should the transformation of attitudes continue and
party system reform be implemented, Brazil may finally
achieve compatibility between effective representative
institutions and an effective representative regime.