Path: Table of Contents > Essay on Party Politics > Party 072
Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, Dominion Party, 072
Variables and Codes for 1950-1962
For the concepts and variables below, use these links to Political Parties: A Cross-National Survey:
Governmental Status
Issue Orientation
Goal Orientation
Organizational Complexity
Organizational Power
Organizational Coherence
Membership Involvement
The "ac" code is for "adequacy-confidence"--a data quality measure ranging from 0 (low) to 9 (high)
Party name and code number the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland Dominion party, 072
Information base and researchers
The information base for party politics in the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland consists of 2302 pages from 96 documents, all of which are in English . 396 pages, or 17 percent of the total pages, contained information pertaining to the Dominion party. Howard Matthews indexed the literature for retrieval. Paul J. Rossa coded the variables. Our consultant was James Scarritt.

Institutionalization Variables, 1.01-1.06
1.01 year of origin and 1.02 name changes
1953, ac5
14, ac7
In 1956 the first convention of the Dominion party was held in Lusaka. The party consisted of those groups and individuals who opposed the government party then in power. The majority of these people were once leaders and supporters of the confederate party which lost the first federal elections in 1953 soon after the party had been formed. The confederate party was a coalition of several Southern Rhodesian opposition parties and government party defectors, initiated as an opposition to the government party in the new Federation. The party began to disintegrate after its overwhelming defeat until the DP was organized. The leadership of the DP included most of the executive of the confederate party, as well as its supporters, in addition to those who opposed government policy but did not find the confederate party comfortable. The DP actually was a reorganized and broadened confederate party, and 1956 was a year of name change. The DP experienced another name change in 1960 as the result of a split within the party. The federal, Northern Rhodesian, and Nyasaland wings of the party broke with the large Southern Rhodesian wing and became the Federal Dominion party. In 1962 these wings again merged along with dissidents from the government party and various other groups to form the Rhodesian front, which really was another name change analogous to that of 1956. The leadership and following of the Rhodesian front strongly resembled those of the DP. The pattern of the DP during the life of the Federation can be described thus--the confederate party was formed in 1953 in order to contest the first federal elections. After its defeat, the party experienced disintegration until it changed its name and appearance in 1956, drawing back its followers along with additional oppositon forces. After the DP failed in elections, although not as badly, it too began to fall apart. A split occurred in 1960 and the party became the FDP. In 1962 the party changed its name and appearance once again, drew back its following and more groups once again, and became the Rhodesian Front.
1.03 organizational discontinuity
15, ac5
The Dominion party experienced several splits and mergers during the life of the Federation. The first split occurred in 1954 as a group of leaders left the confederate party, taking with them their supporters and followers. The split was not of major proportions, however. In 1955, another group of leaders left the CP because an electoral pact which they opposed was made by the party leader, Dendy Young. Again the split was not major, although significant. The name change in 1956 resulted in a substantial merger between the confederate party and several other groups into the Dominion party. In 1959 and 1960, respectively, the DP experienced splits of a minor size but major importance, and of major proportions resulting in another name change to the FDP. The merger accompanying the name change of 1962 was a major one.
 1.04 leadership competition
11, ac5
from 1953 to 1956, J.R. Dendy Young held the position of leader in the confederate party. In 1956, Winston Field became leader of the Dominion party, and Young was appointed to a judgeship by the government. Field continued to be leader of the party until 1964. Since the leadership of the party changed hands in such an unusual environment, little information exists concerning how it was accomplished. Field seems to have been elected by the convention in 1956, but whether or not this was merely a "rubber stamp" is not clear.
1.05 / 2.05 legislative instability and strength instability is .73, ac8
strength is .04 for first half, ac8 and .09 for second half, ac8
The DP party was never strong in the legislature. In the first election in 1953, the confederate party received only 1 of the 35 seats. By the time of the 1958 election, its strength had increased to 3 seats as a result of by-elections, and the party (now the DP) won 8 of the 59 seats in the enlarged house. In the 1962 federal elections, the DP joined most of the other parties in boycotting and won no seats. 
1.06 / 2.06 electoral instability and strength instability is .67, ac7
strength is .30 for first half, ac9 and .35 for second half, ac4
Federal elections were held in 1953, 1958, and 1962. Because the DP boycotted the 1962 elections, only the first two are used to estimate the party's strength. Not only did the party fare poorly at the polls , but the eligible electorate constituted less than 2 percent of the population . Thus even these figures overestimate the party's popular support.

Governmental Status Variables, 2.01-2.07
2.01 government discrimination
1, ac7
The DP was a European party, and this fact determined the governmental discrimination in its favor. Government policy of enfranchisement discriminated against the African population, and therefore African parties. European parties were thereby favored through this discriminatory policy. Among the European parties, there is some indication of discrimination against the DP in electoral provisions, but these are by far outweighed by the franchise policy.
2.02 governmental leadership
out of 5 for 1953-57, ac9
0 out of 6 for 1958-63, ac9
The position of prime minister of the Federation was the exclusive property of the federal ( later called the UFP) party throughout the Federation's existence.
2.03 cabinet participation
0 out of 5 for 1953-57, ac9
0 out of 6 for 1958-63, ac9
The prime minister appoints his cabinet, and no members of the DP received a cabinet post under the federal party (UFP) prime ministers.
2.04 national participation
4 for 1953-57, ac5
5 for 1958-63, ac5
Before 1956, the DP (as the confederate party) was primarily a regional party, that region being Southern Rhodesia. Little support for the party was found in either Northern Rhodesia or Nyasaland. The party contested only one seat in the latter during the 1953 election, and the only seat won by the CP was within Southern Rhodesia. Beginning in 1956, the DP increased its support outside of that region, as well as within. The DP contested three Nyasaland seats in the 1958 election, and found some support from African leaders outside of Southern Rhodesia. Six seats in Southern Rhodesia and one seat in Northern Rhodesia were won by the DP during this election. In addition, John Gaunt, an independent backed by the DP , won a seat in Northern Rhodesia. The DP remained a much stronger party in Southern Rhodesia than in any other region, but clearly received more support from Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland than had the confederate party during the 1953 elections. With the formation of the party under the banner of "Rhodesian front," the party chose to center all its concentration upon Southern Rhodesia.
2.07 outside origin
9, ac7
The Dominion party, then known as the confederate party, was formed in 1953 by leaders of minor organizations and parties within Southern Rhodesia.

Issue Orientation Variables, 5.01-5.15
5.01 ownership of means of production
3, ac3
The Dominion party seems to have advocated a minimum of government ownership, and stressed the importance of free enterprise in the economic sphere. However, little documentation of the party's position in this area is available.
5.02 government role in economic planning
3, ac3
Our file does not discuss this but our consultant believes the DP held a con-moderate position on economic planning.
5.03 redistribution of wealth
-5, ac7
In a plan to provide the European population with an advantage regarding property value and resources, as well as with a source of labor, the DP advocated a type of apartheid. The party generally favored the enhancement of the more wealthy Europeans.
5.04 social welfare
2, ac3
The position of the DP regarding social welfare is rather ambiguous and contradictory. The party stated its desire to discriminate against Africans in educational opportunities, but also favored aid to urban Africans and African areas to a minimal degree.
5.05 secularization of society
No information.
5.06 support of the military
5, ac6
The file does not address this issue, but our consultant states that military expenditures were greatly increased by the Rhodesian front government in Southern Rhodesia.
5.07 alignment with east-west blocs
5, ac6
Our consultant links the DP firmly with the western bloc.
5.08 anti-colonialism
1 for 1st half, ac5
4 for 2nd half, ac7
The Dominion party favored independence with full Dominion status in the british commonwealth for Rhodesia . Actually, Dominion status was desired for a new, European-controlled state, composed of Southern Rhodesia and the copper belt of Northern Rhodesia. The status of protectorate would be given to the African states under the party's confederate plan. After 1956, the Dominion party further developed this policy . Dominion status was demanded, and in the event that it should be denied, the party advocated a unilateral declaration of independence.
5.09 supranational integration
1, ac5
The literature in our file does not discuss this issue, but our consultant says the DP favored stronger ties with south Africa.
5.10 national integration
3 for 1st half, ac7
-3 for 2nd half, ac5
The DP advocated the partition of the Federation into separate states with new boundaries and the creation of a confederacy of these states. Under the party's plan, the Federation would be divided into a European state, consisting of Southern Rhodesia and the rich copper belt of Northern Rhodesia, which would receive full Dominion status (see 5.08), and several African states, including Nyasaland, the remainder of Northern Rhodesia, and African dominated sections of Southern Rhodesia, all of which would become both protectorates of Britain and the European state and members in the confederation.
5.11 electoral participation
4, ac5
The DP policy advocated segregation of the African population from the Europeans in government activities. The party advocated a weak confederacy of separate European and African states to achieve political apartheid, but also advocated the establishment of separate voter registration rolls for Africans. Thus, the African would have lower franchise qualifications, but could participate by electing allotted African representatives. While allowing more Africans to vote, this policy actually removes the power of that population's vote, since African-elected representatives are limited. Not only does this policy suggest that the DP wished to disenfranchise the African population, but also that the party opposed popular elections for selecting government leaders to some degree.
5.12 protection of civil rights
5, ac9
The Dominion party advocated a policy similar to apartheid. The party favored extensive legislation of a discriminatory nature aimed at the African population. An example of this legislation is the land apportionment act of Southern Rhodesia, which was strongly supported by the DP. This legislation advocated a discriminatory allocation of land, giving Europeans and Africans political control of their segregated areas.
5.13 interference with civil liberties
3, ac6
Our consultant advises that the DP supported the UFP policy of private ownership of media but prohibition of African nationalist access to the media.
5.14 / 5.15 us--soviet experts left-right ratings
US says 1, conservative
Soviets say nothing.

Goal Orientation Variables, 6.01-6.55
6.00 open competition in the electoral process
2, ac5
Certainly, the DP relied upon the strategy of open competition in the electoral process to place its members in positions of power. The party nominated candidates, or at least was represented by candidates, in nearly every election. However, the party also relied upon the restriction of party competition. The strategy of open competition was limited to particular parties, that is, the European parties.
6.10 restricting party competition
2 for 1st half, ac5
1.5 for 2nd half, ac5
The Dominion party relied upon the restriction of competition in a peculiar manner. Were it not for the electoral disenfranchisement of Africans, the DP would have faced the competition of strong African parties. Because most Africans, composing a great majority of the population, viewed the policies of the DP with suspicion and antagonism, the party probably would fare badly under universal franchise. Although this disenfranchisement was government policy, the DP supported it and also demanded a stricter policy. Not only did the party rely upon this strategy during elections, but the party also included the policy as a necessary part of its entire program.
6.20 subverting the political system
0 for 1st half, ac5
0.5 for 2nd half, ac5
In only one instance did the DP rely upon subverting the political system. In 1962, the party joined with several other parties in the boycott of federal elections. The purpose of this action was to force the united kingdom to break up the Federation.
6.30 propagandizing ideas and program
6.31 0, ac3. The DP operated no mass media. Television and radio were government operated and newspapers were privately owned. The confederate party did aid in the formation of the newspaper, "citizen," in 1953, which thereafter supported the positions of the DP, but there is no evidence suggesting actual party control. The DP later attempted to publish its own newspaper, but in two attempts the party failed, and "the evening news" and "the Rhodesian" ended their existence soon after their inceptions.
6.32 0, ac3. There is no evidence which would suggest that the DP operated any type of party school.
6.33 2, ac9. The DP passed resolutions and platforms at party congresses annually. In addition, territorial congresses passed resolutions and platforms regarding each territory.
6.34 2, ac6. The DP seems to have published position papers quite often, including statements of principles. Outlines of the party's positions were often published before elections, which occurred very often both at the regional and federal level.
6.50 providing for welfare of party members
0, ac3.
No available information suggests any activities on the part of the DP regarding social welfare provisions.

Autonomy Variables, 7.01-7.05
7.01 sources of funds
The DP was characterized by a scarcity of funds until 1962. The Rhodesian front was the recipient of monetary donations ammounting to a sum comparable to that of the government party. No information available states the sources of these funds, but it is reasonable to assume that most, and probably all, of the support came from Europeans.
7.02 source of members
6, ac3
Apparently, membership in the DP was entirely direct with no membership requirements. Even Africans were welcome to join the party, although few would consider it.
7.03 sources of leaders
There is no information concerning the source of party leaders other than the obvious European origins of DP leadership.
7.04 relations with domestic parties
7, ac7
The DP was completely autonomous from other parties, although the party may have engaged in tacit local electoral alliances, as was done by the confederate party in 1955. The DP was considered by some as the dominant opposition party in the legislature, implying the existence of some anti- government alliance, but this position is quite doubtful.
7.05 relations with foreign organizations
5, ac3
There is no information suggesting any DP affiliation with an international or foreign organization.

Organizational Complexity Variables, 8.01-8.07
8.01 structural articulation
4, ac5
Only the executive and congress of the DP can be identified. Selection procedures are largely indeterminate and functional responsibilities seem to overlap. The Rhodesian front was supposedly organized on rigid hierarchical lines, but the organs of this reorganized DP are undetermined.
8.02 intensiveness of organization
4, ac7
As its smallest unit of organization, the DP seems to have had the branch, a subdivision of the constituency.
8.03 extensiveness of organization
3, ac3
It appears that the branch level of the DP organization was found in nearly one-half of the Federation. The branch level was found throughout most of Southern Rhodesia, which contained over one-third of the Federation's population. In addition, the party seemed to have had branches in a number of constituencies in Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, but these electoral districts excluded the vast majority of Africans.
8.04 frequency of local meetings
The territorial congresses of the DP met rather regularly, but information concerning the frequency of branch meetings is scarce. Branches probably met prior to territorial congresses, but it is possible that such meetings occurred more often, especially after 1962.
8.05 frequency of national meetings
The national executive of the DP met at least annually, prior to each national congress. The executive may have met much more frequently, however.
8.06 maintaining records
1, ac5
There is no evidence suggesting the maintenance of any party archive, nor the existence of DP membership lists. The DP seems to have expended some energies in publishing party propaganda. Position papers were published, and attempts to publish a party newspaper occurred twice.
8.07 pervasiveness of organization
0, ac5
While several significant socio-economic organizations existed within the Federation, all were autonomous of the DP. Some European organizations in support of segregation supported the party, but were in no manner controlled by the DP.

Organizational Power Variables, 9.01-9.08
9.01 nationalization of structure
3, ac5
Although national organs do exist within the DP, they are often not effectively superior to the Southern Rhodesian wing of the party. Many believe that the Southern Rhodesian wing actually controlled the DP, but it seems that the wing actually represented a competing power center to the national organs, and often defied the policy of the national wing.
9.02 selecting the national leader
5, ac3
The national party leader seems to have been elected by the national congress of the party. The delegates to the congress probably were determined by national executive organization.
9.03 selecting parliamentary candidates
The manner in which the DP selected its legislative candidates is unclear . It seems that the candidates were individually responsible for their own candidacy, seeking no official nomination from the party. However, the evidence is too inadequate to judge. Candidates may have received informal approval of their plans from the party leaders.
9.04 allocating funds
0, ac3
collection and allocation of funds seems to be the responsibility of no particular organ or level of the DP. Candidates are responsible for their own fund-raising and expenditures. The national level also controls large sums of money, and allocates them according to the needs of the party, including inter-constituency travel.
9.05 formulating policy
5, ac8
Although party leaders often make statements which appear to be party policy, all binding policy is determined by the national congress through votes on particular resolutions. The amount of control exercised over the congress by the leaders is unclear.
9.06 controlling communications
0, ac5
The national organization of the DP attempted to publish newspapers of its own, but these endeavors failed. The confederate party aided in the initial organization of the newspaper, "citizen," in 1953, but the paper remained free of party control throughout the time period, although it supported the DP.
9.07 administering discipline
0, ac3
Very few disciplinary techniques were available to the party, but the executive of the national wing did have some control over funds and political advertisement.
9.08 leadership concentration
6 for 1st half, ac3
2 for 2nd half, ac8
The confederate party seemingly was controlled by the party leader, Young, who could personally commit the party to courses of action. This may also have been the case early in the life of the Dominion party in 1956-57 under the leadership of field, but leadership was definitely decentralized in the DP during the second half of our time period. Several leaders of the DP often spoke on behalf of the party, none with official or effective authority.

Coherence Variables, 10.01-10.06
10.01 legislative cohesion
.90, ac3
The DP was in committed opposition to the government party on nearly every issue in the legislature, although a few found the two parties in agreement. However, this commitment did not always aid the DP in keeping their representatives cohesive. Occasionally, a DP legislator broke from the party in voting, and this break often was accompanied by the renegade's pronouncement of independence from the party.
10.02 ideological factionalism
1 for 1st half, ac3
6 for 2nd half, ac5
The confederate party and early Dominion party did not seem to display any ideological factionalism. After the 1959 elections, however, such factions were manifest. The south Rhodesian wing of the party found the basic governmental philosophy not palatable, and supported a "Southern Rhodesia first" principle.
10.03 issue factionalism
1, ac5
Generally, most issue-oriented factions within the DP were the results of the ideological factions. One exception came in 1959, when dr. Palley, a DP representative of the south Rhodesia assembly, split with his party over the issue of power taken by the assembly in the arrest and trial of political dissidents. But palley, who also dissented from his party on ideological grounds in general, had no substantial following and thus commanded no faction.
10.04 leadership factionalism
0 for 1st half, ac3
6 for 2nd half, ac5
Dendy Young and Winston Field were unquestionably the party leaders until approximately 1959. After the elections in that year, factions concerning leadership seem to have appeared. Field, stockill, wightwick, harper, etc., all seemed to have large followings within the party and vied with each other for political power in the party.
10.05 strategic or tactical factionalism
6 for 1st half, ac6
0 for 2nd half, ac3
In 1955, the leader of the confederate party, Young, agreed to support eeden in his candidacy for election from the district which he won in 1953 as a federal party member. Eeden was an independent who left the federal party and whose views were similar to those of the confederate party. Several leaders of the party disagreed with Young's decision, and consequently split and formed the independent confederate party and opposed eeden's election with their own candidate. No other strategic or tactical factions were apparent during our time period.
10.06 party purges
0, ac3
Although party splits of a group or individual nature often occurred, there is no evidence of any involuntary departures from the DP.

Involvement Variables, 11.01-11.06
11.01 membership requirements
0, ac3
There is no information suggesting any form of party requirement for membership. It is likely that the party contained no formal membership other than those who worked on behalf of the party, such as the executive.
11.02 membership participation
0, ac3
Since the party has no formal mmebership, it is assumed that its " members" are most probably nominal. But our consultant states that electoral meetings and branch meetings prior to elections were frequent and well attended
11.03 material incentives
0, ac3
Although a select few within the DP were motivated to be party militants through material incentives, this group seems to have been very small . The party could not afford material rewards other than those received by legislative representatives as salary. One DP representative, an African, supposedly was motivated in this manner.
11.04 purposive incentives
3, ac3
It seems quite likely that most militants of the DP were motivated by purposive incentives. Their basic purpose was the creation of separate African and European states, as well as other measures which would create an environment favorable to the European, separated from the African.
11.05 doctrinism
0, ac3
Apparently the DP referred to no body of literature as justification for its activities. Occasionally, party members would allude to cecil rhodes or any other work or individual which may have espoused some belief in the superiority of the European.
11.06 personalism
0, ac3
Strong leaders, such as Field, Harper, Stockill, Wightwick, and Palley probably drew a number of militant supporters. But our consultant does not believe personalism was any stronger in the DP than the UFP.