Revista de ciencia política (Santiago)
versión On-line ISSN 0718-090X
NAVIA, Patricio. Participación electoral en Chile, 1988-2001. Rev. cienc. polít. (Santiago) [online]. 2004, vol.24, n.1, pp. 81-103. ISSN 0718-090X. http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-090X2004000100004.
Contrary to a widespread belief, post-1990 electoral participation in Chile is not lower than before 1973. The high turnout rates observed in 1988 constitute an understandable anomaly. After 15 years without elections, Chileans enthusiastically participated in the plebiscite. Yet, after that event, turnout rates fell during the 1990s to levels similar to those observed before 1973. Using a theoretical framework that defines turnout as a function based on cost and benefits, I discuss electoral participation in Chile in an international context, highlighting the differences and similarities between the patterns observed before 1973 and after 1988, and distinguishing between enfranchisement and turnout. In doing so, I address the tension that exists between a stable electorate with a growing disenfranchised population. To conclude, I identify some proposals that would eliminate institutional barriers that have helped produced two different groups of voting age Chileans, those who are registered for whom voting is compulsory and those who are not registered and cannot vote. I argue that with automatic registration, full enfranchisement of the voting age population is possible, with or without mandatory voting
Palabras clave : Participación Electoral; Diseño Institucional; Sistema Electoral; Democratización; Sistema Político Chileno.