Brazil doesn’t need independent candidacies, it needs fewer parties

Calls to permit independent candidacies in Brazil have been tipped to be the remedy to the political system's ills, but the literature shows that the proposed changes will miss the mark

parties brazil elections
Electoral booth used in the Brazilian 2020 municipal elections. Photo: Marcelo Camargo/ABr

Brazil’s lower house set up a special committee last week with a view to analyzing a reform proposal which could make drastic changes to the country’s electoral rules. Indeed, if approved by October, the amendments could take effect in the presidential vote next year.

Brazil uses an open-list proportional representation system to elect members of its House of Representatives, but a group of lawmakers are keen on switching to a single non-transferable vote system known locally as the “distritão.” This is not a new movement, and legal specialists have warned of the risks in adopting such a format for...

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