Supporters and Opposition in Authoritarian Legislatures


Do supporters and opposition behave differently in authoritarian legislatures? This paper examines this question by analysing legislative activity in an authoritarian regime with a multiparty legislature. Using a novel dataset on legislative activity in the Brazilian Congress during the last dictatorship (1964-1985), it finds significant differences in the topics and likelihood of enactment of the bills introduced by pro-government and anti-government legislators. Pro-government legislators introduced more bills dealing with local issues and were rewarded for their loyalty by being more likely to pass their bills. In contrast, legislators from the opposition introduced more bills dealing with national economic issues, which were less likely to be enacted.

Journal of Legislative Studies