• Electoral campaigning in Latin America's new democracies: The Southern Cone

      Espindola, Roberto (Routledge, 2007)
      This book examines how political communication and the mass media have played a central role in the consolidation of emerging democracies around the world. Covering a broad range of political and cultural contexts, including Eastern and Southern Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa, this new volume investigates the problems and conflicts arising in the process of establishing an independent media and competitive politics in post-autocratic societies. Considering the changing dynamic in the relationship between political actors, the media and their audience, the authors of this volume address the following issues: Changing journalistic role perceptions and journalistic quality The reasons and consequences of persisting instrumentalization of the media by political actors The role of the media in election campaigns The way in which the citizens interpret political messages and the extent to which the media influence political attitudes and electoral behaviour The role of the Internet in building a democratic public sphere.
    • No Change in Uruguay: The 1999 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections

      Espindola, Roberto (2001)
      The first round of Uruguay's presidential election on 31 October 1999 produced an unprecedented result. Tabaré Vázquez, candidate of the centre¿left coalition Encuentro Progresista¿Frente Amplio (EP¿FA), won a plurality of votes, but fell short of outright victory. Therefore, for the first time in a Uruguayan presidential contest, a second round was held, on 28 November 1999. This returned a no-change verdict, with the presidency remaining in the hands of the Partido Colorado (PC). Finally successful in his fifth attempt to become President, Jorge Batlle led a centre¿right coalition to victory over Vázquez, by 54.1% to 45.9%. The elections were also characterised by a very high turnout: 91.8% of the electorate went to the polls. The success of EP¿FA in the first round led to frantic negotiations between traditional rivals on the right, the PC and the Partido Nacional (PN).1 The dealing and discussion continued right up to the date of the second round; finally the coalition was able to block Vázquez's path to the presidency. Despite their ultimate defeat, these were the best results for the centre¿left since 1971. The EP¿FA won 40 out of 99 seats in the lower house, the Chamber of Deputies. However, although the centre¿left Nuevo Espacio (NE) won four seats and could arrive at an understanding with EP¿FA, the right still controls the lower house with 33 PC and 22 PN deputies. The distribution of Senate seats is similar: the EP¿FA is the largest party, with 12 seats, but can be outvoted if the PC (10 seats) and PN (7 seats) combine. The NE won the single remaining seat of the 30-member Senate.
    • Political Parties and Democratization in the Southern Cone of Latin America.

      Espindola, Roberto (2002)
      This article focuses on parties as the main anchors of democratic consolidation and seeks to present the main factors that have affected their development in two systems that could be argued to be amongst the most stable in Latin America, those of Argentina and Chile. It argues that some of the main variables affecting that development have been, besides systemic variables: the professionalized electoral campaign; external variables including technological transfers resulting from the foreign assistance received by centre and centre-left parties; the proscription of parties by authoritarian regimes; and shocks such as electoral defeat, loss of office and economic crises. Whilst electoral campaigns show a high level of professionalization in Argentine and Chilean parties, it is moderated by the preservation - or re-acquisition - of personnel-based campaigning and mass party characteristics.