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Alvarez-Miranda, E., Campos-Valdes, C., Quiroga, M. M., Moreno-Faguett, M., & Pereira, J. (2020). A Multi-Criteria Pen for Drawing Fair Districts: When Democratic and Demographic Fairness Matter. Mathematics, 8(9), 27 pp.
Abstract: Electoral systems are modified by individuals who have incentives to bias the rules for their political advantage (i.e., gerrymandering). To prevent gerrymandering, legislative institutions can rely on mathematical tools to guarantee democratic fairness and territorial contiguity. These tools have been successfully used in the past; however, there is a need to accommodate additional meanings of the term fairness within the electoral systems of modern democracies. In this paper, we present an optimization framework that considers multiple criteria for drawing districts and assigning the number of representatives. Besides some typical districting criteria (malapportionment and contiguity), we introduce novel criteria for ensuring territorial equilibrium and incentives for candidates to deploy their representation efforts fairly during their campaign and period in office. We test the method, which we denote as Multi-criteria Pen, in a recent and a forthcoming reform of the Chilean electoral system. The results show the potential of our tool to improve the current territorial design and offers insights on the motivations, objectives, and deficiencies of both reform plans.
Keywords: multi-criteria optimization; OR applications; malapportionment; districting; electoral system
Campos-Valdes, C., Alvarez-Miranda, E., Quiroga, M. M., Pereira, J., & Duran, F. L. (2021). The Impact of Candidates' Profile and Campaign Decisions in Electoral Results: A Data Analytics Approach. Mathematics, 9(8), 902.
Abstract: In recent years, a wide range of techniques has been developed to predict electoral results and to measure the influence of different factors in these results. In this paper, we analyze the influence of the political profile of candidates (characterized by personal and political features) and their campaign effort (characterized by electoral expenditure and by territorial deployment strategies retrieved from social networks activity) on the electoral results. This analysis is carried out by using three of the most frequent data analyitcs algorithms in the literature. For our analysis, we consider the 2017 Parliamentary elections in Chile, which are the first elections after a major reform of the electoral system, that encompassed a transition from a binomial to a proportional system, a modification of the districts' structure, an increase in the number of seats, and the requirement of gender parity in the lists of the different coalitions. The obtained results reveal that, regardless of the political coalition, the electoral experience of candidates, in particular in the same seat they are running for (even when the corresponding district is modified), is by large the most influential factor to explain the electoral results. However, the attained results show that the influence of other features, such as campaign expenditures, depends on the political coalition. Additionally, by means of a simulation procedure, we show how different levels of territorial deployment efforts might impact on the results of candidates. This procedure could be used by parties and coalitions when planning their campaign strategies.
Keywords: Chilean parliamentary election; candidate profiles; campaign efforts; territorial deployment