March 08, 2006

The Distribution of Seats in the Upcoming Bolivian Constituent Assembly

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The distribution of Constituent Assembly members can be seen in this La Razón graphic. As explained in my previous post, every department will have five seats and on top, every single member electoral district will get three seats. On the graph you can see the distribution per department and per district.

As expected La Paz has the most seats, but one can see that the eje truncal or main axis, that is La Paz, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz have the lion's share of seats. That is because the districts are created taking into account population statistics (proportional representation).

What I don't see here is the explicit representation of ethnic groups. That was a campaign promise from Morales. Although, as many for sure will argue, these groups are duly represented proportionally in each district. Indeed, many of these districts are predominantly ethnic, but the only problem is that these districts do not make distinctions between ethnic groups. Many of these groups are indiscriminately put together. Granted that does not make much difference in terms of proportional representation, the problems arise when individual representation is concerned. Many ethnic groups don't like this aspect of democracy.

But I digress. The graph is useful in order to show the distribution of power with in the CA. One final thing, it would expected that alliances would be forming. One distinct alliance is that of Santa Cruz and Tarija, at the regional level. This alliance takes part around the banner of "autonomy". Sucre, could be jumping on this wagon as well.

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