Political campaign donations in Chile

Today in Chile, there is a huge concern of how (illegal/irregular) campaign donations buy political access and favourable consideration in legislation.

Everything started with PENTAGATE scandal: In 2015, the national prosecutor filed charges for hundreds of fake invoices, evaded taxes, falsified statements and illegally financing the electoral campaigns of right-wing parties candidates against the Chilean financial holding company Penta Group (Here is the coverage done by the New York Times).

Related with the same investigation, the Chemistry and Mining Society SQM recognized that 11 million dollars of external services, have no backing in documents. At the same time, it was revealed that several external contractors of SQM were actually politicians, their relatives, assistants and even public officials of Bachelet and Piñera’s administrations. This time was the turn of the left-wing parties (A great explanation Here).

While legal contributions are public, illegal contributions were known only because of an investigation of the Tax Collector Institution and the Prosecution.

If we suppose that campaign contributions are rational allocation of contributions income (it seems hard to think differently), if elected, supported candidate will vote in the interest of the contributor. Thus, analysing the voting behavior could give us an idea of the effect of this contributions.

While the senators votes are public (I think because of the Law), surprisingly, it is embedded inside the HTML code of the Senate Webpage, this make difficult to study it. To achieve this, I made a brief Python code for collecting the data and generating a database. This is known as Web Scraping where a processes automatically extracts data from the website.

To do this, I used the Python library: Beautiful Soup.

I also made an interactive web application using the R package Shiny. This application is on the next link: Shiny-App

UpDog logo  Proudly hosted with UpDog.