Path: Table of Contents > Essay on Party Politics > Party 171
Portuguese National Union, 171
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 Portuguese National Union, 171
Uniao Nacional, 171
Information base and researchers
The information base for Portuguese party politics is 725 pages from 71 documents with 460 pages or 63 percent pertaining to the National Union. Jarol Manheim indexed the literature. Jarol Manheim coded the variables.

Institutionalization Variables
, 1.01-1.06
1.01 year of origin and 1.02 name changes 1930, ac9
0, ac9
All sources agree on the founding of the National Union in 1930. Its creation facilitated the transition from the military dictatorship which was established in 1926 and the promulgation of the corporative republic in 1933. The National Union was specifically described as non-party in character while being independent of the state. It appears to have been intended to provide some political organization to absorb some politically active forces--especially those in favor of the dictatorship--while acting as an agency of communication for the government's objectives and programs. Thus it employed some organization machinery commonly associated with political parties to mobilize some degree of popular support for the government. There were no name changes in the party since its inception.
1.03 organizational discontinuity
There were some limited revolts within the government (e.g., in 1952, 1959, 1961, and 1962), but these were usually internal struggles within the military, not the party. Salazar's feuds might have party implications, but this is not clearly the case.
1.04 leadership competition
2, ac9
Salazar was the leader of the party from its inception until well after the end of the time period.
1.05 / 2.05 legislative instability and strength instability is undefined
Strength is 1.0 for 1950-56, ac5 and 1.0 for 1957-62 , ac5
The National Union held 100 percent of the legislative seats throughout our time period.
1.06 / 2.06 electoral instability and strength instability is .00, ac9
Strength is undefined
The National Union won 100 percent of the votes in the 1953, 1957, and 1961 legislative elections. Because these elections were not contested, the party's strength is undefined.

Governmental Status Variables, 2.01-2.07
 2.01 government discrimination
15, ac9
Two factors prevent Portugal from being classified as a single-party state during our time period. First, some opposition party activity was permitted before the 1951 and 1958 elections, but the opposition organizations were mainly centrist groups. Socialist and communist activities were not tolerated. Second, the National Union maintains the position that it is not a party, and therefore the regime cannot be single-party in character. Indeed, the extent of government discrimination in favor of the National Union falls just short of the most extreme code, which is applicable to one-party states.
2.02 governmental leadership
7 out of 7 for 1950-56, ac9
6 out of 6 for 1957-62, ac9
The party has held power straight through since 1930.
2.03 cabinet participation
7 out of 7 for 1950-56, ac9
6 out of 6 for 1957-62, ac9
Participation in cabinet is assumed since the party has always controlled the entire government.
2.04 national participation
6 for 1950-62, ac5
This is very difficult to code, for the party is clearly dominant in all areas, but popular support is difficult to gauge. Opposition tends to be national in scope, but opposition candidates are usually entered only in the north and are always withdrawn before the election. Literature on base of opposition supports this, claiming oporto as traditional seedbed of revolution. The fact that opposition is centered in the north, however, speaks to the regional distribution of opposition strength, not to the regional orientation of the National Union.
2.07 outside origin
1, ac9
Party was formed to legitimize government by Salazar.

Issue Orientation Variables, 5.01-5.15
 5.01 ownership of means of production
5, ac9
Private ownership is a generally accepted principle and invites little discussion in the literature. Even in the case of the railways, the state holds only a minority of the shares.
5.02 government role in economic planning 3, ac9
Portugal had a six-year economic plan in 1953-1958 and another one in 1959-64. However, it was stressed that these plans were not as comprehensive as the five-year plans of socialist states and sought instead to encourage investment and development from private sources as well as the government. But the state is still deeply involved in economic activity through the corporative system. All substantial employer and employee organizations are regulated by law, and the state approves collective bargaining agreements.
5.03 redistribution of wealth
5 for 1950-62, ac7
National Union opposes redistribution of wealth and favors the present imbalance of economic power, where the few control the vast majority of the wealth.
5.04 social welfare
1 for 1950-62, ac9
The goal of the party is to provide for the general welfare, and it advocates assistance of some sort. However, the programs are only moderate in scope.
5.05 secularization of society
2 for 1st half, ac8
-1 for 2nd half, ac6
More than 97 percent of the Portuguese are roman catholic, but freedom of worship for other religions exist . The church is not state supported financially, but catholic notions are prevalent in the educational system. The church was a stronger supporter of Salazar during the first part of our time period than the second, when social criticism among some of the clergy and catholic university youth became directed more against the Salazar regime than against the communists toward which it was originally aimed.
5.06 support of the military
5 for 1950-62, ac9
Large allocations to the armed forces are frequent.
5.07 alignment with east-west blocs
5, ac9
Although Portugal trades with eastern communist countries, it was a charter member of NATO.
5.08 anti-colonialism
5 for 1950-62, ac9
Portugal maintains what it calls a colonial empire (in Africa and Asia) and insists that the situation in its overseas provinces is a domestic matter.
5.09 supranational integration
1 for 1950-62, ac9
The party favors eventual economic union and belongs to BECD and EFTA, but it is opposed to internationalism in government.
5.10 national integration
5 for 1950-62, ac9
The party supports a strong unified nation policy and is concerned with cultural unity, end of internal class struggle, (i.e., pacification of workers) worker/employer solidarity, pride in Portugal.
5.11 electoral participation
1 for 1950-62, ac9
There is no universal suffrage since men over 21 must be either literate or taxpayers and women over 21 must have certain educational qualifications. There is specific support for the disenfranchisement of opponents to the regime. Moreover, elections were primarily but not exclusively one party affairs.
5.12 protection of civil rights
1 for 1950-62, ac3
The party calls for no racial discrimination. The traditional minority group problems are not present in this country.
5.13 interference with civil liberties
3 for 1950-62, ac9
There is control of the media, but not ownership.
5.14 / 5.15 US--Soviet experts left-right ratings
US says only that the party is authoritarian
Soviets say 1, fascist character, anti-communist, anti-Soviet, repression of democratic forces.

Goal Orientation Variables, 6.01-6.55
 6.00 open competition in the electoral process
0 for 1950-62, ac9
National Union is the only party competing legally.
6.10 restricting party competition
4 for 1950-62, ac9
National Union has restricted opposition over long periods of time. Party controls elections, suffrage was changed to restrict opposition , opposition leaders were jailed, and government rigging of elections was prevalent.
6.20 subverting the political system
0 for 1950-62, ac9
Since the party is the government, there is no subversion of the political system.
6.30 propagandizing ideas and program
6.31--2, ac9. The mass media are controlled by the party.
6.32--0, ac6. Political socialization occurs in the state schools. No party schools are evident.
6.33--1, ac6. The party sometimes resolutions.
6.34--2, ac7. The party often issues position papers.
6.40 allying with other parties
0, ac6
6.50 providing for welfare of party members
6.51, 6.52, 6.53, 6.54--0, ac3
Party claims that providing for social welfare is the job of the government, not the job of the party.
6.55--1, ac4. Although not oriented toward providing social welfare activities, the party did sponsor sports activities.

Autonomy Variables, 7.01-7.05
 7.01 sources of funds
No information.
7.02 source of members
6 for 1950-62, ac3
There are apparently no clear membership requirements, but if there were, the membership is likely to be direct.
7.03 sources of leaders
2 (sectors 03, 07), ac8
All leaders mentioned were either military leaders or ex-professors.
7.04 relations with domestic parties
7 for 1650-62, ac9
Opposition is considered subvsive, and therefore cannot be accepted.
7.05 relations with foreign organizations
5 for 1950-62, ac6
Party is independent of present-day movements. However it was tied to Germany, Spain, and Italy before our time period.

Organizational Complexity Variables, 8.01-8.07
 8.01 structural articulation
10 for 1950-62, ac8
There was a central committee with an executive committee , a consultative board for advice, and local committees on all levels elected or designated by members, with hierarchical selection. Congress was held every five years. There is also a center for political studies to guide the party and the Portuguese legion for civil defense.
8.02 intensiveness of organization
4 for 1950-62, ac6
Local organizations include provincial, district, council, and parochial levels.
8.03 extensiveness of organization
No information.
8.04 frequency of local meetings
No information.
8.05 frequency of national meetings
No information.
8.06 maintaining records
5 for 1950-62, ac4
Little information is available on the maintenance of membership lists, but there is some indication that they exist. The party does engage in publishing some propaganda.
8.07 pervasiveness of organization
7 for 1950-62, ac9
There is a Portuguese youth movement under the control of the party as well as a militia, the Portuguese legion, for civil defense. Participation in the youth movement is compulsory.

Organizational Power Variables, 9.01-9.08
 9.01 nationalization of structure
5 for 1950-62, ac8
Structure is hierarchical with three main elements-- passive adherents, hard core, and Salazar.
9.02 selecting the national leader
8 for 1950-62, ac9
The seccession process was never tested during our time period, when it was assumed that Salazar would pick his own successor.
9.03 selecting parliamentary candidates
No information.
9.04 allocating funds
No information.
9.05 formulating policy
7 for 1950-62, ac9
The national committee makes decisions, led by Salazar. Salazar makes decisions and the National Union supports them.
9.06 controlling communications
7 for 1950-62, ac8
This code must be inferred. No mention is made of who controls party paper, but it is a national paper and the committee closely controls all national activities.
9.07 administering discipline
4 for 1950-62, ac5
The party disclaims, but uses, discipline. Anyone who threatens Salazar is dropped from the government.
9.08 leadership concentration
6 for 1950-62, ac9
All leadership is concentrated in Salazar.

Coherence Variables, 10.01-10.06
10.01 legislative cohesion inapplicable, since there is no legislative opposition.
10.02 ideological factionalism
5 for 1950-62, ac7
A large monarchist faction existed among Salazar's supporters within the National Union organization.
10.03 issue factionalism
2 for 1950-62, ac9
Factions tend to be controlled and short-lived. One split occurred over 1958 elections, another over Angola in 1961.
10.04 leadership factionalism
0 for 1950-62, ac3
Contests for leadership not allowed. Monarchists can organize only if loyal to Salazar.
10.05 strategic or tactical factionalism
No information.
10.06 party purges
0 for 1950-56, ac6
Galvao was expelled during the first half of our time period, but this does not constitute a purge by our definition.

Involvement Variables, 11.01-11.06
11.01 membership requiremts
No information.
11.02 membership participation
0 for 1950-62, ac6
Most members are passive adherents.
11.03 material incentives
3 for 1950-62, ac9
Supporters get key economic positions. It is said that eleven families get major favors, and supporters get favorable labor laws. Economic patronage to supportive companies is visible.
11.04 purposive incentives
1, ac3
Several writers detect elements of fascism in the policies of the National Union. Corporatism is a commonly identified theme, and authoritarism is seen by some members as necessary to prevent the instability expected from parliamentary democracy. There is no estimate concerning the proportion of militants who work for the party because of these beliefs, but some significant minority is assumed.
11.05 doctrinism
1, ac7
The literature contains numerous references to Salazar's speeches and writings as the basis of the party's philosophy of corporatism and centralized direction (authoritarianism). In addition, there is reference to papal encyclicals of 1891 and 1931 on the corporate state. The extent of reliance on this literature is somewhat problematic, but references to Salazar's statements in particular are common.
11.06 personalism
0 for 1950-62, ac3
Clearly, Salazar has led all along, but there is no information to indicate the personalistic nature of his support. Rather it would seem to be his stability and economic doctrines which keep him in power.