Institutional reform in Portugal: from the perspective of deputies and voters perspectives
Pôle Sud: Revue de science politique de l'Europe méridionale
Electoral system reform is a long debated topic in Portugal, especially since 1997. However, although several proposals to change from a List RP system to a Mixed Member Proportional system were presented and discussed by the major parties, namely in Parliament, and the Constitution was even changed to allow it, in the end the reform never passed. After a very brief historical overview of the proposals to reform the electoral system in Portugal since shortly after the democratic transition (1974) until 2008, the paper focus on both the levels of elite cohesion within and across parties, and on the levels of elite-mass congruence (or lack of it) around the topics of institutional reform, with a greater emphasis on electoral system reform, and tries to understand in what way the levels of elite cohesion and elite-mass congruence can help us to explain why there were no changes in the electoral system, in spite of the several proposals that were discussed since 1997.
Electoral system,Institutional reform,Political representation,Portugal