Dados vol. 32 n. 3 Rio de Janeiro 1989

Ruptura Institucional e Consolidação Política: Mato Grosso e a Hegemonia Arenista

Neves, Maria Manuela Renha de Novis


A comparative analysis of 1966-1978 election results for Brazil, Center-West Brazil, and the state of Mato Grosso reveals the hegemony of Arena in Mato Grosso at all levels of political representation during this two-party period. MDB's local performance can be classified as deviant from its achievements within the national picture, where the party's performance was marked by a strong oppositional nature. Since this system had traditionally been competitive during the multiparty period - to such an extent that it was characterized by the alternation of the PSD and UDN in office - It would be worthwhile to identify the causes behind its transformation into a majority party model, dominated by Arena. ln analyzing the genesis of Mato Grosso two-partyism, the hypothesis of party realignment is emphasized. The political elite moved en masse towards Arena, which, as the government party, heavily concentrated the political resources and municipal bases of the ex-PSD and ex-UDN. The MDB, reduced to the fragile bases of the ex-PTB was damaged by the abrogation of political mandates, in the form of "cassações", while the adhesion of one or two UDN names blurred the party's oppositional (and perhaps even ideological) distinctness. True electoral contests took place within Arena itself, reflected in the PSD/UDN split (in origin), later absorbed by "sublegendas". Made inviable by the Arena genesis, the MDB was also incapable of incorporating polarities, which dramatized it~ consistency as a competitive option. Built upon the ruins of the institutional rupture, the Arena moment reflected the cohesion and consolidation of the traditional Mato Grosso political elite under the aegis of Arena - nevertheless an expression of continuity, given the very origin of Mato Grosso's Arena. # The system whereby a party might present up to three candidates for mayor or senator, the votes for all of whom would count toward the election of the most voted-for individual.

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Ruptura Institucional e Consolidação Política: Mato Grosso e a Hegemonia Arenista