Elecciones sin ganadores

Cuando los partidos de futbol –al menos aquellos de los que debe salir un ganador- quedan empatados, el problema se debe resolver con una serie de penales como lo demostró dramáticamente esta Copa Mundial. La competencia individual por el heroísmo o la desdicha que representan los penales es en realidad ajena a un juego de equipo como el futbol pero se acepta como una forma necesaria para resolver el empate. Cuando se trata de elecciones –que idealmente deberían producir un ganador siempre - no hay tal mecanismo.

Sin embargo, muchas de las elecciones recientes han terminado en al menos un empate técnico. La elección presidencial de México es solamente el ejemplo más reciente. Hace varias semanas, las elecciones generales en la República Checa produjeron un impasse total al ganar la izquierda y la derecha 100 escaños cada una en la cámara baja sin ninguna resolución a la vista. En Italia, una regla curiosa le permite al grupo que consiga un puñado de votos más que el otro obtener un complemento de varias docenas de escaños en la cámara baja. El gobierno de Romano Prodi debe actuar con un margen muy pequeño en el Senado.

Hay otros ejemplos recientes, incluyendo el que tal vez es el más notorio, las elecciones presidenciales de Estados Unidos en 2000. ¿Por qué repentinamente estamos experimentando tantos resultados cerrados en elecciones democráticas? ¿Cuál es la mejor manera en que podemos enfrentarnos a ellas? ¿Y cómo afectan la legitimidad de los gobiernos que surgieron de estos procesos?

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