Path: Janda: Political Parties, Home Page > Part 1: Table of Contents > Chapter 6, p. 55 > new issue variable
Basic Variable 5.17: Environmental Policy
Added as a new party issue after 1960

It might be argued that environmental issues did not become salient political issues until the 1970's. However, it might also be said that it was not until that time that a second side to the issue began to be amplified. Environmental issues often center around measuring and assessing responsibility to economic externalities associated with production. The variable attempts to frame initiatives advocated by political parties that are intended to protect the environment in relation to the short term cost to economic efficiency and/or opportunity of such measures. Therefore, the variable ranges from full governmental control of all potential dangers to the environment to no government involvement, leaving control to long-term market forces with an eye toward economic development and growth.

The Environmental Policy variable will tap into this range on two different levels. The first level deals with the party's posture toward atomic development in terms of both nuclear weaponry and civil nuclear energy. The second levels concerns itself with the depth and breadth of other environmental controls that affect air, water and noise pollution as well as protection of wildlife and land usage.

Operational Definition. The issue orientation scoring matrix is used with "weak," "moderate," and "strong" positions on both sides of the issue as defined below and scored assuming no conflict between program and practice.


Opposes most or all forms of civil nuclear energy as well as military nuclear power. Advocates a strict and comprehensive environmental policy which includes control of all hazards and pollutants as well as rigorous protection of wildlife and their habitat.


Opposes most forms of civil nuclear energy as well as military nuclear weapons. Environmental policy centers around extending or updating existing controls but is not comprehensive in scope.


Favors limited usage of civil nuclear energy. Favors existing environmental controls with limited extensions but does not prioritize the environment as an issue.


Includes ambiguous or contradictory positions.


Favors use of nuclear energy in conjunction with other energy sources. In principal, favors environmental protection but has no comprehensive policy.


Favors nuclear energy as a primary energy source. Favors the reduction in number and severity of existing environmental controls.


Favors the development of new applications for atomic energy. Advocates increases in nuclear research. Generally favors economic efficiency over environmental controls and advocates the elimination of any controls when these two issues come into conflict.

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