Votes and Seats. Proportional representation in Tierra del Fuego

Autor:Marcelo Damián Guzmán
Cargo:Lawyer, graduated from Universidad Nacional de Córdoba. Master's Degree in 'Electoral Analysis, Law and Management' from Universidad Nacional de San Martín. Master's Degree in 'Political Parties' from Universidad Nacional de Córdoba
Páginas:45-66
RESUMEN

The Provincial Supreme Law established a regulatory scheme that was not limited to the mere enunciation of principles to be observed by the electoral regime to be sanctioned. It expressly provided that the electoral law regulating the election of collegiate body members should guarantee "effectively proportional representation". The constitutional provision was regulated by the Provincial Act No. ... (ver resumen completo)

 
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PERSPECTIVAS de las Ciencias Económicas y Jurídicas • Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Jurídicas de la UNLPam. • Volumen 7 - N0 2 - Año 2017
VOTES AND SEATS. PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION IN TIERRA DEL FUEGO
VOTOS Y BANCAS. LA REPRESENTACIÓN PROPORCIONAL EN TIERRA DEL FUEGO
Ma rc el o D am iá n GU Z MÁ N*
Abstract
The Provincial Supreme Law established a regulatory scheme that was not limited to the
mere enunciation of principles to be observed by the electoral regime to be sanctioned. It
expressly provided that the electoral law regulating the election of collegiate body mem-
bers should guarantee “eectively proportional representation”. The constitutional provi-
sion was regulated by the Provincial Act No. 201, which established the process of renewal
of elective authorities and adopted the proportional D'Hondt formula to determine the
composition of the Legislative Branch. A brief analysis of electoral processes that took place
between 1991 and 2015 will show how close to constitutional ambitions were the results
produced by the electoral system.
Keywords
Electoral Law - Tierra del Fuego - Proportional Representation
Resumen
La Ley Suprema Provincial estableció un esquema normativo que no se limitó a la mera enun-
ciación de principios a observar por el régimen electoral que debía sancionarse. Expresamente
dispuso que la ley electoral que regulara la elección de integrantes de cuerpos colegiados ga-
rantizara una “representación efectivamente proporcional”. La reglamentación del precepto
constitucional se realizó con la sanción de la Ley Provincial Nro. 201 que estableció el proceso
de renovación de autoridades de base electivas y adoptó la fórmula proporcional D´hont para
establecer la composición del Poder Legislativo. Un breve análisis de los procesos electorales
realizados entre los años 1991 y 2015 nos dirá cuan cercanos a la aspiración constitucional fue-
ron los resultados producidos por el sistema electoral.
* Lawyer, graduated from Universidad Nacional de Córdoba. Master's Degree in “Electoral Analysis, Law and Manage
ment” from Universidad Nacional de San Martín. Master's Degree in “Political Parties” from Universidad Nacional de Cór
doba. marcelodguzmangmail.com
Guzmán, M.D. (2017). “Votes and seats. Proportional representation in Tierra del Fuego” Revista
Perspectivas de las Ciencias Económicas y Jurídicas. Vol. 7, N° 2. Santa Rosa: FCEyJ (UNLPam);
EdUNLPam; ISSN 2250-4087, e-ISSN 2445-8566 pp. 45-66. DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.19137/pers-
pectivas-2017-v7n2a03
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VOTES AND SEATS. PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION IN TIERRA DEL FUEGO - Marcelo Damián Guzmán - Págs. 45/66
Palabras clave
Derecho electoral – Tierra del Fuego – Representación proporcional
I. Introduction
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 oered 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 “eectively proportional” regarding seat allocation and if not, to learn to what extent.
II. Electoral Regime & Electoral System. Electoral System Classication. 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 dierent as it determines the way voter decisions
turn into seats and also takes into account the interaction of the dierent 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 scientic 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 specic object. In
this regard, we share Nohlen's words 2007: 31 that read: “Our discipline is selfcontained; 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 denitions
that are only adequate when applying its own rules. These denitions aect procedures, the safeguard system, and the
enforcing authority, among many other particularly specic 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.”

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