Scaling laws and universality in the choice of election candidates
Departamento de Física and National Institute of Science and Technology for Complex Systems, Universidade Estadual de Maringá - Av. Colombo 5790, 87020-900, Maringá, PR, Brazil
2 Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná, Campus Campo Mourão - 87301-006, Campo Mourão, Paraná, Brazil
Accepted: 20 September 2011
Nowadays there is an increasing interest of physicists in finding regularities related to social phenomena. This interest is clearly motivated by applications that a statistical mechanical description of the human behavior may have in our society. By using this framework, we address this work to cover an open question related to elections: the choice of elections candidates (candidature process). Our analysis reveals that, apart from the social motivations, this system displays features of traditional out-of-equilibrium physical phenomena such as scale-free statistics and universality. Basically, we found a non-linear (power law) mean correspondence between the number of candidates and the size of the electorate (number of voters), and also that this choice has a multiplicative underlying process (lognormal behavior). The universality of our findings is supported by data from 16 elections from 5 countries. In addition, we show that aspects of scale-free network can be connected to this universal behavior.
PACS: 89.65.-s – Social and economic systems / 89.75.Da – Systems obeying scaling laws / 89.75.-k – Complex systems
© EPLA, 2011