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Election campaign promises and government agenda: analysis of former presidents Fernando Henrique Cardoso and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva administrations

Abstract

The aim of this project is to describe and to explain the congruence between the fulfillment of electoral promises and governmental actions in Brazil in the administrations of presidents Fernando Henrique Cardoso (1994-2002) and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (2003-2010). The correspondence between electoral promise and government action is a central issue for contemporary democracies because it relates the degree of responsiveness of elected political representatives to the demands of citizens (DAHL, 2015). We assume that if the parties are responsive to the demands of society, there must be some degree of congruence between the campaign promises made by the winning bid and the government actions put into effect upon assuming the mandate. Then, government programs can be seen as mechanisms through which voters are linked to elected representatives. The voter's decision about whom to elect is, in the limit, a choice between different policy programs. Thus, to reach the objectives of this proposal, we consider as dependent variable the fulfillment of the promises and as independent variables the thematic overhang of the promises; the type of legislative proposal used to refer the proposal for deliberation of the National Congress (if a bill, complementary bill, provisional measure or proposed constitutional amendment); the type of promise (review of an existing public policy or submission of a new proposal, increase or decrease and / or tax exemption); size of the government support base; party affiliation of the minister-related ministerial portfolio; and the mandate in which the promise was made (whether first or second term). The methodology is both qualitative and quantitative content analysis, applied through specific softwares for this purpose; lexicometric analysis and multivariate tests. (AU)

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