Campaigning with empty pockets : why the liberal party wins regional elections In Colombia
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In the past decade, party systems have collapsed in Venezuela and Peru. Scholars have suggested that Colombia may be following a similar fate. I argue it is not. Despite loosing national elections the Liberal Party still wins subnationally. Regional clientelistic networks, based on goods that do not depend upon the central state, help provide votes to those candidates who have been in politics the longest. The latter are likely to be liberal politicians, with privileged positions within the party. They get nominated, thus, they have no reason to defect. Because they distribute goods that are independent from the national state, they also have little incentive to promote national candidates. Consequently, the LP wins within the regions but is unable to attain control of national offices. As long as it keeps doing so this party is unlikely to disappear.