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Election maps and assorted others

Brazil 1889 (S)

Ares96

‘doing incalculable harm’
Published by SLP
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Växjön, Växjöff
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he/him
A byproduct of my Brazilian stuff - I discovered that the Portuguese Wikipedia has a list of senators for the last term of the General Assembly of the Brazilian Empire.

val-br-sen-1889.png

Now, the Imperial Senate was kind of a microcosm of the Brazilian Empire itself, in that it represented kind of an odd mix of "traditional" European limited monarchy and Enlightenment-era liberal idealism. On the face of it, its function was similar to the British House of Lords - it was supposed to be a chamber of sober reflection where the nation's most respectable men could gather and put the lid on the more radical instincts of the lower house. Whereas the Chamber of Deputies was elected directly (starting in 1881) with quite a low wage threshold for suffrage, the Senate followed an unusual mixed election-appointment system, where the richest property holders in each province chose a shortlist of candidates, from which the Emperor chose a senator to be invested for a life term. As such, the Senate was not a hereditary chamber (except insofar as adult members of the Imperial House held seats in it by right - in 1889, the sole beneficiary of this was the Princess Imperial, who was also the only female senator), but being named to it functioned sort of like a British life peerage, except that there was a limit on the number of senators from each province - they were supposed to be equal to half the number of deputies elected there, rounded down. This meant the Senate of the 1886-89 legislature had 60 seats, with Minas Gerais making up the largest number (ten) and several of the outlying provinces having only one seat. Notably, southern Brazil was substantially less represented than it would be later on, as its industrial growth wouldn't quite take hold until the 20th century.

Unlike most of the republics that followed it (the military dictatorship is the exception to this), the Empire was mostly a strict two-party system. You had the Conservative Party (Partido Conservador), which represented the wealthy landowners, staunchly supporting the monarchy, the traditional social hierarchy, the supremacy of Catholicism, and, of course, the institution of slavery. While the Conservatives mostly supported parliamentary government, they also tended to favour centralised rule from Rio de Janeiro. On the other hand, there was the Liberal Party (Partido Liberal), whose supporters were largely smallholders and urban people, and who wanted to institute reforms to turn Brazil into a proper parliamentary democracy, including the election of senators and restrictions on imperial authority. Traditionally, the main dividing line between the parties had been the question of decentralisation, which the Liberals tended to favour while the Conservatives opposed it, but after the political earthquake that was the Paraguayan War, the Liberals started to drift leftward, and starting in 1878, the Liberal government instituted a slew of reforms including direct elections to the Chamber of Deputies, public education, clampdowns on election fraud and the gradual abolition of slavery.

That Liberal government lost power in 1885, but this didn't necessarily stop the pace of reform - in 1888, while the Emperor was travelling in Europe, the Princess Imperial and her sympathisers in the Conservative government pushed through a law that immediately emancipated all slaves in Brazil. By this point, the institution was close to a natural death anyway - Brazilian slavery was incredibly nasty, with enslaved people tending to die faster than they could be replaced, and the end of the Atlantic slave trade meant that it was never going to sustain itself. Still, the traditional elites out in the provinces took this as an attack, and when it became known that the Liberals might form another government the following year, Conservative Marshal Deodoro da Fonseca staged a coup d'état to prevent this. Now, he probably didn't actually intend for it to go further than restoring the Conservatives to power, but junior officers (a constant of Brazilian army politics is that the junior officers always tend to fuck things up for their superiors) who had spent the past few years getting high on republicanism and positivism decided they were probably not going to get another chance to realise their ambitions, and so they pressured Fonseca into declaring the end of the monarchy and the birth of a Brazilian republic. That republic would end up totally dominated by a) the army and b) provincial landowners, who each made sure that democracy didn't stray too far from their ideas of good government.
 

msmp

Insert Pine Tree Flag Here
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Somewhere North of Block Island Sound
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I know why it was the case, but I still like that Princess Isabel got her own special seat despite also serving as Regent repeatedly (including, as you note, being instrumental in getting the Lei Áurea passed to end slavery). Ironically that almost certainly doomed the monarchy since the conservative slaveowning class was infuriated.
 
Brazil 1868

Ares96

‘doing incalculable harm’
Published by SLP
Location
Växjön, Växjöff
Pronouns
he/him
val-br-1868.png

Well, I found a constituency map for the Chamber of Deputies. Still no actual results in sight though, and based on the Senate composition, I strongly suspect this would've been out of date by 1889, so we can't place them next to each other with any certainty. Still.

The Chamber was a far more straightforward body than the Senate - seats were apportioned to the provinces by population and elected for a maximum of five years by the eligible voters of the province. Two big caveats here, of course. Firstly, the body of eligible voters was quite small - not only did you have to be a male citizen over 25 to vote, you had to have a taxable income of over a hundred milréis (thousand réis). Secondly, until the Lei Saraiva of 1881 (part of the Liberal reform package mentioned in the last post), suffrage was indirect. Voters elected an electoral assembly, which in turn chose deputies and senatorial shortlists (in subdivided provinces these may have been separate assemblies). To serve as an elector you had to have an income of 200 milréis, and to serve as a deputy you had to make 400.

This sounds like a lot, but in fact, the real was very, very inflated, so by 1872 there were about a million eligible voters in the country, or about ten percent of the population. Which was obviously a problem the Liberals made sure to correct when they passed the Lei Saraiva - the property qualifications weren't actually moved AFAICT, but they did introduce a provision requiring voters to be able to write the names of their chosen candidates in their own hand and sign their name and the date of election. This was a bit of a problem in a country with no functioning education system and an adult literacy rate of, generously, maybe 20%. So the enlightened liberal reforms actually shrunk the electorate from around a million in 1872 to some 145,000 in 1881 - of course, those 145,000 did vote directly for all elective offices.

Nor did the positivist, elitist Republicans think to challenge it. Of course, open ballots and a restricted franchise was very useful for the sort of social control the Old Republic depended on, and so the Old Republic only tightened the franchise as the decades went on. It took Getúlio Vargas to introduce universal manhood suffrage, and it took until the 1988 Constitution before the literacy requirement was officially lifted.
 
Argentina 1951

Ares96

‘doing incalculable harm’
Published by SLP
Location
Växjön, Växjöff
Pronouns
he/him
In 1949, the Peronists rewrote the Argentine Constitution. Prior to then, the Chamber of Deputies had been elected (in halves, as ever) by limited voting, with voters given two-thirds as many votes as the province had seats to be filled. This meant Perón's supporters could handily win two thirds of the seats, but apparently (?) this wasn't enough, because they called a constitutional convention alongside the 1948 legislative elections, which, being two-thirds Peronist, immediately set about ratfucking their opponents.

On the face of it, the new constitution was more democratic than its predecessor - women could vote, for one, and the Senate would now be directly elected for the first time. But for the Chamber, the rules were significantly changed. Instead of being elected by province, deputies would now be elected in single-member constituencies, which were drawn by the national government and designed to suppress opposition voters. In the Federal District and Córdoba, both UCR strongholds, this resulted in what became known as circunscripciones chorizo (not translating that), long, narrow constituencies that paired a small UCR-voting suburb with a larger Peronist one. There was a minor voice provided for the opposition, in that two seats in each of the five largest provinces (Buenos Aires, Federal District, Córdoba, Santa Fe and Entre Ríos) were reserved for the best-performing losers in the constituencies. Although it is worth noting that these didn't take proportionality into account at all, so two of them (one in the Federal District and one in Córdoba) actually went to the Peronist candidates in constituencies won by the UCR.

Another thing that's worth noting is that the Peronists, at least on the face of it, tried to make sure that women were actually able to use their newly-won right to vote and be elected. Spurred on by Eva Perón, the President's young, energetic and popular wife, they created the Partido Peronista Femenino (Women's Peronist Party), which functioned as a women's section of the main Peronist Party and was given twenty-six seats in the elections. All of their candidates were elected, which probably (I don't have data for this) gave Argentina one of the largest cohorts of women parliamentarians in the world. Of course, it's debatable how feminist it truly was to fence women off into their own little section of politics, and obviously none of the elected candidates outside the PPF were women.

At the same time as this, Perón was re-elected to the presidency with 63% of the vote, which was another new element in the 1949 Constitution. The bid to have Eva Perón nominated to the vice-presidency failed, owing to her own poor health, and she died eight months after the election. This happened to coincide with a recession, and the result was a period of repression that ended up alienating both the left, the right, the Church and the Army. Finally, in September 1955, the Army rose up and overthrew Perón, banned the Peronist Party and forbade the press from mentioning Perón's name (they were required to call him the "Deposed Tyrant"). They also famously stole Eva Perón's remains and had them buried in Italy under a fake name, cancelling the mausoleum Perón had planned to build for her.

val-ar-dip-1951.png
 
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Ares96

‘doing incalculable harm’
Published by SLP
Location
Växjön, Växjöff
Pronouns
he/him
Genuinely find it a bit mental to see those large non-voting territories so late.
This was the first time any part of Patagonia or the Gran Chaco could vote in a national election. I don't know why Chaco and La Pampa (or as they were called at the time, "Territorio Presidente Perón" and "Territorio Eva Perón" - yes, really) weren't included in these elections, but they were in the process of becoming provinces at this point (as were all the other remaining territories), and they would participate in the 1954 elections.
 
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