Author(s)Melo,Carlos Ranulfo Felix de
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AbstractThis contribution to the recent debate on political parties in Brazil focuses on party migration by members of Brazil s Lower House from 1985 to 1998. The assumption is that shifts in party membership tell us something about the ties between parties and their members. Data reveal an apparent paradox in this regard. As the literature has made clear, although members of Brazilian political parties indeed follow the vote of their party leader in session, parties tend to display little cohesion in the Chamber, with members rarely remaining in the same party through which they were elected. The article explains the apparent paradox by showing how the rules by which everyone plays in the Lower House make loyal voting in session and party migration compatible and even fitting behaviors.