VOTES AND SEATS. PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION IN TIERRA DEL FUEGO - Marcelo Damián Guzmán - Págs. 45/66
Derecho electoral – Tierra del Fuego – Representación proporcional
After twenty-four years in force, evaluating the provincial electoral system's performance
and results can provide some interesting insight. This job can be carried out by purely des-
cribing its normative features to expose its components and existing legislation; however,
we can also try to reach beyond and perform a systemic analysis of its workings, incorpo-
rating into the vision of electoral law some tools oered by political science and statistics.
This will help us to draw conclusions from a perspective that covers broader horizons than
those set by law1.
The traditional view on electoral norms, generally emerging from other legal elds, has
placed these in an exogenous position regarding the political game intended to regulate,
in disregard of the fact that they arise from an agreement between preterit political stake-
holders -or maybe, not so preterit- who transformed them in imperative rules to abide by
in the processes of renewal of elective authorities2.
Therefore, that is the axis of the analysis that will follow below: a legal one, but also ackno-
wledging contributions from other elds of knowledge. These will help us reconstruct the
provincial electoral system movements throughout time in order to study if their outcomes
are “eectively proportional” regarding seat allocation and if not, to learn to what extent.
II. Electoral Regime & Electoral System. Electoral System Classication. Majority and
Proportional Systems. Types
An “electoral regime” consists of a set of norms, organized in single or dispersed legal
bodies, which includes the positive rules which regulate candidate elections for elective
positions in a particular State. The expression constitutes an essentially-legal notion.
The concept of “electoral system” is dierent as it determines the way voter decisions
turn into seats and also takes into account the interaction of the dierent variables that
come together in it - district magnitude, electoral formula, electoral barrier or threshold,
voting ballot structure, blank vote, among others.
1It should be noted that many consider electoral law as a legal eld with no scientic autonomy, subsumed in a grey
area between constitutional law, provincial public law, and even administrative law. Fortunately, for a few years now, this
country's doctrine has begun to transform the “rara avis” view that pervades the electoral eld, echoing the Latin Ame
rican and international trend towards considering that electoral law has autonomy, and a proper and specic object. In
this regard, we share Nohlen's words 2007: 31 that read: “Our discipline is selfcontained; it is independent for it is based
on principles, methods and has its own object of study. It covers public law phenomena that require particular denitions
that are only adequate when applying its own rules. These denitions aect procedures, the safeguard system, and the
enforcing authority, among many other particularly specic elements.”
2This is a concept asserted by Escolar 2011: 55: “A determining factor in electoral governance is the institutions thereof
are intrinsically endogenous Kheoane & Martin, 2003 to the electoral process. In fact, its regulatory scheme and its res
ponsible authorities are directly or indirectly historical outcomes of the political authorities elected by it in stable de
mocratic backgrounds or that brought them into existence in the rst place in democratic transition backgrounds.”