This paper examines the judicialization and election practices and their impact on Chilean citizens in the nineteenth century. It is established that the formation and maintenance of an archaic political-electoral system served for many decades the interests of an elite that kept the middle and lower classes excluded from political participation. The political culture of the elite, which was tied to fraud, corruption, bribery, and intimidation against the voters, was not transformed by the decorative political and electoral reforms. In that context, these forms of behavior were supported by the existence of a pseudo-democratic government that ruled with a complete indifference of the legal and constitutional standards and whose main victims were poor people and farmers frequently treated despotically. The lack of a “human rights culture,” meaning, the idea that all individuals have rights, as well as the absence of a genuine competition between parties to regulate the political power through equal and effective vote, showed, until around 1920, the fragile state of a political-electoral system controlled by the infights between important families that alternated their position in ruling.
Part of the book: Elections