We present voters' self-placement and 68 political party locations on the left-right dimension in 17 Latin American countries. Innovative calculations are based on data from Latinobarometer annual surveys from 1995 to 2002. Our preliminary analysis of the results suggests that most Latin American voters are relatively highly ideological and rather consistently located on the left-right dimension, but they have very high levels of political alienation regarding the party system. Both voters' self-placement and the corresponding party locations are presently highly polarized between the center and the right, with a significant weakness of leftist or broadly appealing 'populist' positions.
Political ideology, left-right dimension, political parties, electoral competition
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