(Catching up on old news stories.)
The TSU announced its party list last month. The interesting thing is that they also announced that members elected from the party list would resign after two years, giving more people a chance to serve as legislators.
If it passes the 5% threshold, the TSU would probably get two seats. I suppose there is an outside shot they could get as many as three, but they’d have to do really well and several other parties would have to get significant numbers of votes while falling just short of the threshold. That means that four people would get a chance to call themselves legislators instead of just two. For a small party, that is not insignificant. They need people with a good title to speak to the media, raise money, and headline events. Four people can do this more flexibly than two. This is also an insurance policy for the future, in case one of their legislators becomes useless due to a scandal, death or illness, by changing parties, or whatever.
Of course, from the standpoint of building a legislature with members who have institutional knowledge, expertise, and experience in how to get things done in that unique environment, this is a disaster.
In Latin America, some countries have a “titular” and “suplente” member for each seat. The supplemental legislator can fill in any time the titular legislator is absent. This is somewhat different, since there is only one “real” legislator at any time.
The TSU can certainly force its legislators to yield the seats halfway through the term. Under current law, if a party list legislator loses her party membership, she also loses her seat as soon as the party sends official notification to the legislature. So the TSU could simply tell legislators to either resign or have their party membership and seats stripped away.
For the record, the first 10 people on the TSU list are