- Supporting parties are too big to be ignored
As its methodology, the study presented the development of a theoretical framework able to explain political parties’ choice of trajectory in multiparty presidential systems, a survey of 123 specialists in Latin American politics, and the development of measures to classify parties and their degree of leadership in the executive branch. After the authors analyzed the data, they identified a strong positive correlation between party fragmentation and the occurrence of supporting parties in the center, with a strong presence in the legislature in Latin America. The study also concluded that it is cheaper and easier to manage a majority coalition if one has a supporting party as an ally. Although there are political parties similar to PMDB in the region, the authors did not find any others that share all its characteristics. The party has five main characteristics: a nationwide presence, a strong presence in Congress, an absence of ideology, a pivotal role in almost all coalitions in the executive branch, and a failure to launch its own presidential candidates. Accordingly, possibly (and this is a topic for future research), Brazil’s federative structure plays a strong role in discouraging PMDB from putting forward presidential candidates. The possibility of negotiating advantageous positions in local politics in exchange for not submitting presidential candidates is likely to play a major role in this decision by PMDB.