Path: Table of Contents > Essay on Party Politics > Party 201
Danish Social Democratic Party, 201
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
Danish Social Democratic Party, 201
Socialdemokratiet, 201

Institutionalization Variables
, 1.01-1.06
1.01 Year of Origin and 1.02 Name Changes
1878, AC5
0, AC9
The Social Democratic Party was established in the 1870s. Although the Socialists gathered as early as 1871 for the first international, The party's origin is more likely traced to the year 1878 when the Social Democratic union was formally established. This party has had no name changes.
1.03 Organizational Discontinuity
0, AC9
There is no record of any splits or mergers.
1.04 Leadership Competition
16, AC9
Three leadership changes since 1950 occurred through overt processes Involving 100 members or more. Four men have served during this period. Hans Hedtoft served as leader (chairman of the party and prime ministerial candidate ) from 1939 to 1955. (the Germans forced his resignation in 1941-45 but the Social Democrats still considered him their leader.) After Hedtoft's death in 1955, H.C. Hansen became chairman and served until his death in 1960. Viggo Kampmann served during 1960-62, retired due to ill health, and was followed by J.O. Krag. Each was elected by party conference.
1.05 Legislative Instability
Instability is .03, AC8
Throughout our time period, the Social Democrats held the most seats in the legislature but always lacked a majority.
1.06 Electoral Instability
Instability is .02, AC8
This is based on five elections, 1950, two in 1953, 1957, and 1960. In the table of electoral data, the first election in 1953 is reported on the line for 1952.

Governmental Status Variables, 2.01-2.07
2.01 Government Discrimination
0, AC9
There is no positive or negative government discrimination. The broadcasting service is organized along lines aiming to make it independent of government. Each party has its own paper. The state as such does not publish any paper influencing public opinion. The constitution provides that censorship and other preventive measures cannot be introduced.
2.02 Governmental Leadership
5 out of 7 for 1st half, AC9
6 out of 6 for 2nd half, AC9
Hans Hedtoft, a Social Democrat, was prime minister in 1950 and again from 1953 to 1955. He was succeeded by H.C. Hansen from 1955 to 1960 and Viggo Kampmann from 1960 to 1962, when Jens Otto Krag assumed the office. All were Social Democrats.
2.03 Cabinet Participation
5 out of 7 for 1st half, AC9
6 out of 6 for 2nd half, AC9
The Social Democrats held cabinet positions only in governments that they headed, which Were in 1950, 1953, 1955-1957, 1957-1960, and 1960-1962.
2.04 National Participation
6, AC8
The party is weakest in parts of Jutland but receives a large enough percentage of the region's vote to qualify for a code of "6." Its deviation
from the gross national average during our time period for Jutland was about 5 Percentage points.
2.05 Legislative Strength
Strength is .41 for 1st half, AC7, and .41 for 2nd Half, AC8
Throughout our time period, the Social Democrats held the most seats in the legislature but always lacked a majority.
2.06 Electoral Strength
Strength is .40 for 1st half, AC8, and .40 for 2nd Half, AC9
This is based on five elections, 1950, two in 1953, 1957, and 1960. In the table of electoral data, the first election in 1953 is reported on the line for 1952.
2.07 outside origin
8, AC9
The Social Democratic Party was formed by trade union and Socialist leaders outside of the legislature. A few of these leaders were briefly outlawed at a later date, but basically the party was formed by leaders of major social organizations which were legal: trade unions and Socialist clubs.

Issue Orientation Variables, 5.01-5.15
5.01 Ownership of Means of Production
2, AC9
Although the Social Democrats retained their demands for nationalization of some means of production until their 1961 program revision, in practice they have mostly favored regulation or joint public and private ownership.
5.02 Government Role in Economic Planning
3, AC9
The Social Democrats as party and government have favored government regulation and planning to help specific groups and the economy as a whole. These steps are taken pragmatically--when deemed necessary.
5.03 Redistribution of Wealth
1, AC9
While in office the Social Democrats passed legislation (progressive income and inheritance taxes) which helped to redistribute wealth to the poorer classes.
5.04 Social Welfare
3, AC9
While in government the Social Democrats created a comprehensive social welfare system.
5.05 Secularization of Society
3, AC9
All four major Danish parties including the Social Democratic Party seem to recognize the Evangelical Lutheran Church as the national church and accept state aid and support of it. However, the state's laws are not based on religious prescription and other religions are allowed.
5.06 Support of the Military
1, AC9
Although Social Democratic governments have instituted, increased, and then later decreased spending on the military, these programs have always been second in importance to domestic programs.
5.07 Alignment with East-West Blocs
4, AC9
Denmark entered the North Atlantic Treaty Organization while the Social Democrats were the government with party approval. However, for political reasons they refused to allow NATO to build bases on Denmark proper.
5.08 Anti-colonialism
3 for 1st half, AC8
0 for 2nd half, AC9
The Social Democrats supported the 1953 constitution which incorporated Greenland and the Faroe Islands into Denmark, thus ending all Danish colonial territory.
5.09 Supranational Integration
1 for 1st half, AC7
1 for 2nd half, AC9
In both program and policy, the Social Democrats have favored joining the European Free Trade Association and the Common Market (European Economic Community). These organizations did not exist during the first time period, but membership in OECC and desire for membership in free trade associations did exist before 1957.
5.10 National Integration
0, AC7
The general homogeneity of the Danish population makes this variable irrelevant for Denmark proper. The Faroe Islands and greenland, however, which are a part "of the Danish realm" (since 1953) have special seats reserved for them in the Folketing (national legislature) and have their own respective governors and legislatures.
5.11 Electoral Participation
5, AC9
The Social Democratic Party has proposed, and then supported once passed, universal suffrage--voting age is 21 years of age.
5.12 Protection of Civil Rights
5, AC9
There is no evidence in the literature that Danish parties disagree on this issue. It is, therefore, considered a settled issue--the constitution of 1953 provides for the protection of civil rights for all Danish citizens.
5.13 Interference With Civil Liberties
5, AC9
The Social Democrats supported the 1953 constitution which provided for complete freedom of expression including the press. Individuals may, however, be held responsible for libel or slander. The parties do not seem to disagree on this issue. Television and radio are strictly nonpartisan. Each of the parties publishes several newspapers.
5.14 / 5.15 US--Soviet Experts Left-Right Ratings
US says 3, non-communist left
Soviets say 2, has influence in petty bourgeoisie circles among the workers, clerks, and civil servants.

Goal Orientation Variables, 6.01-6.55
6.00 Open Competition in the Electoral Process
4, AC9
All evidence within the literature indicates that the party relies exclusively on open competition in the electoral process. The Social Democrats have competed in every election since their formation and have accepted and relinquished government power frequently and without incident.
6.10 Restricting Party Competition
0, AC9
The Social Democratic Party relies exclusively on open competition in the electoral process.
6.20 Subverting the Political System
0, AC9
The Social Democratic Party relies exclusively on open competition in the electoral process.
6.30 Propagandizing Ideas and Program
6.31--2, AC9.
The Social Democratic Party owns and operates a daily newspaper in Copenhagen and owns and operates papers in the provinces. Socialdemokraten Published in Copenhagen is the party's leading paper followed by Silkeborg Socialdemokrat published in Jutland. Socialdemokraten is also supported by a small fee from all trade union members.
6.32--2, AC9.
The Social Democratic Party operates party schools for both party workers and activists and the general public. Courses are taught in labor high schools, through the labor movement's information central, civic training centers, people's high schools, and the workers' educational association.
6.33--2, AC9.
Various branches of the Social Democratic Party discuss and vote on various proposals, programs, And working papers which are later published.
6.34--2, AC9.
The Social Democratic Party published various programs, election platforms, statements of goals, working papers and proposals.
6.50 Providing for Welfare of Party Members
6.51--0, AC3.
The literature does not mention the Social Democratic Party engaging in this activity although many other activities are cited. It is assumed that in Denmark, which has a very comprehensive welfare system administered by the government, such activities by the parties would be superfluous.
6.52--0, AC3.
The literature does not mention the Social Democratic Party engaging in this activity, although many other activities are cited. It is assumed that in Denmark, where unemployment is negligible and employment services are provided by the state, such activities by the parties are not neccesary. These activities would probably be performed, when necessary, by the nonpolitical wing of the labor movement, i.e., trade unions and trade federation.
6.53--1, AC3.
Although the literature makes no mention of the Social Democratic Party performing this activity, it seems reasonable that in a society with a comprehensive welfare system covering most aspects of an individual's life, the party would occasionally aid an individual in securing the attention of one of the various agencies to his needs.
6.54--2, AC9.
The Social Democratic Party provides basic education through their own high schools and in the folk high schools for workers as well as adult education classes. The party's educational associations are organized on a nation-wide basis.
6. 55--2, AC9.
The Social Democratic Party sponsors a wide range of recreational facilities and services including boy scout groups, summer camps, community singing, coffee hours, readings and dramatic sketches, music and films.

Autonomy Variables, 7.01-7.05
7.01 Sources of Funds
1 (sector 01), AC8
It is impossible to accurately determine the proportion of Social Democratic Party funds received from the trade union federation and the Danish labor unions. However, the federation and the ions support the daily Social Democratic paper in Copenhagen, contribute over one half of the party's electoral campaign funds, and provide other direct contributions.
7.02 source of members
5 (sector 01), AC9
Although most trade union members support the Social Democratic Party and the party has structural and representational links with The unions, the party's membership is entirely voluntary.
7.03 Sources of Leaders
2 (sectors 01, 03), AC9
Before 1957 all Social Democratic prime ministers had labor backgrounds. However, other lesser leaders were civil servants with academic backgrounds. Two of these became prime minister between 1957-1962, as did one leader with a labor background.
7.04 Relations With Domestic Parties
5 for 1st half, AC9
4 for 2nd half, AC9
For the periods 1947-50 and 1953-57 the Social Democrats headed minority governments whose existence were dependent on the parliamentary voting support of the Radical Party (which refused cabinet responsibility). From 1957-62 the Social Democrats also headed governments but with the Radicals as part of a governing coalition.
7.05 Relations With Foreign Organizations
3, AC9
Although the Danish Social Democratic Party is a member of the Socialist International, its membership in that organization does not seem to affect its national policy orientation. It operates mostly for the purpose of exchanging information and ideas.

Organizational Complexity Variables, 8.01-8.07
8.01 Structural Articulation
11, AC9
The most important administrative agency is the parliamentary (Folketing) group. The basic governing agencies are the national congress (500 voting, 300 nonvoting members), the national executive committee (about 55 members), the party conference (500 members), and the party council (about 10 members). Membership in all organs is by prescribed selection--either elective or automatic appointment due to being a trade union leader or editor of the party press.
8.02 Intensiveness of Organization
5, AC8
The Social Democratic Party has approximately 1,300 local party organizations ranging from 50 to 5,000 members. These organizations are based on municipal subdivisions or smaller units.
8.03 extensiveness of organization
6, AC8
The Social Democratic Party has local organizations throughout the country although their strength is variable. In some areas local units comprise a village, whereas in others they are smaller than municipal subdivisions.
8.04 Frequency of Local Meetings
Social Democratic local party units must logically meet at least once a year to select representatives to nominating districts, t national convention, etc. These units probably meet monthly, but in the entire literature there is no mention of the frequency of local meetings.
8.05 Frequency of National Meetings
4, AC8
The national executive (Hovedbestyrelsen) meets four times a year.
8.06 Maintaining Records
16, AC8
The Social Democratic was scored as follows--"2" because of extensive publication of party newspapers, and for the labor movement's information central which from 1945 to 1963 was concerned with communication within the party and trade unions--"6" for the research facilities of the labor economic council--and "8" for party lists which are assumed to be of good quality because all members must register and are assessed dues according to record of registration.
8.07 Pervasiveness of Organization
9, AC7
The Social Democratic Party sponsors a youth organization (DSU) and a women's organization which have not enlisted "large" proportions of their sectors but which are "highly" controlled by the party. Although the Social Democratic Party has many organizational links with the trade unions and federations, these were not created by the party and are not, at least constitutionally, controlled by the party. However, it is undeniable that the unions and the party work closely with one another for the betterment of themselves, each considering the other organization as the other arm of the Danish labor movement.

Organizational Power Variables, 9.01-9.08
9.01 Nationalization of Structure
6, AC9
The Social Democratic Party has a discernible Party hierarchy in which the executive committee and the national council act directly on the local (constituency and county) organizations--there are no regional organizations. The actual "power" resides in the Foketing group and decisions are passed down through the organization by these top national organs.
9.02 Selecting the National Leader
4, AC7
The congress of the Social Democratic Party elects the national chairman. However, this is in many ways more a "ratification" of the leader chosen by the parliamentary group--thus the "4" code. At least twice, however, The parliamentary group has chosen as their leader the man preferred by the previous leader.
9.03 Selecting Parliamentary Candidates
5, AC9
Selection of parliamentary candidates for the Social Democratic Party Is made locally but nominations must be approved by the National Executive Comittee. Generally approval is a mere formality and the National Executive Committee rarely refuses to accept a candidate.
9.04 Allocating Funds
6, AC7
Although the literature is fairly explicit on the sources of the Social Democratic Party's funds, it is vague as to how they are distributed. Since most of the funds are collected by the national organization, it is assumed that they are dispensed by that organization. Lesser amounts are collected and distributed by both the party group in the legislature and local units. A large amount of contributions go directly into financing the party press (from unions) and do not go directly to the regular party organs.
9.05 Formulating Policy
5, AC5
Our consultant advises that the party congress sets major policy lines. Between congresses, the executive committee makes decisions on new issues. Much of the literature, however, states that the parliamentary group determines policy.
9.06 Controlling Communications
7, AC9
The Social Democratic Party press has its own organization which is represented on the highest, most influential levels of the party. The party actually owns only a small percentage of the press which is almost completely owned by the trade unions. The press, however, appears to serve the purposes of the national leaders of the party, and the party and trade union movement are organizationally interlocked in a combined labor movement.
9.07 Administering Discipline
3, AC9
The parliamentary organization of the Social Democratic Party administers most discipline to members. Such discipline may include exclusion from committees or other posts, being kept from speakerships, or loss of campaign funds. Expulsion is possible but almost unknown.
9.08 Leadership Concentration
3, AC7
For eleven years of the time period 1950-62, the Social Democrats headed the government and the prime minister exercised leadership effectively. Decisions were reached after consultation, frequently with other party members, and were discussed and ratified by top national party organs.

Coherence Variables, 10.01-10.06
10.01 Legislative Cohesion
.98, AC7
The above figure for the cohesiveness of the Social Democratic Party's parliamentary group is an approximation. Although all writers declare the party highly cohesive, few provide quantitative data. However, out of 1,049 Divisions in the years 1953-1963, there were only seven divisions in which one or two members voted against the party (out of approximately 74 members) and there were only two divisions where three or more members voted against the party. Roll call votes in the Danish Folketing are very rare.
10.02 Ideological Factionalism
0, AC9
There are a few unarticulated references in the literature of "tendencies toward ideological disputes" between the Social Democratic Party leaders and the "more militant" trade union leaders--however, on examination These appear to be possible disagreements over ways to achieve end-goals rather than the goals themselves.
10.03 Issue Factionalism
0, AC9
The Social Democratic Party has no factions based on issue differences. Individual members are frequently allowed to vote against the group, and differences of opinion may be aired in party meetings. There is no evidence, however, of articulated group opposition to the leaders' positions.
10.04 Leadership Factionalism
0, AC9
There is positive evidence in the literature that the Social Democratic Party is free of leadership factionalism. As a minority coalition governing party for most of the time period, the party has been highly disciplined and supportive of the party leader.
10.05 Strategic or Tactical Factionalism
0, AC9
There are one or two references in the literature attesting to the Social Democratic youth group's suggestion that the party cooperate with the Socialist People's Party rather than with the Radicals. These, however, are believed to be around 1968, and thus after our time period.
10.06 Party Purges
0, AC9
The Social Democratic Party has had no purges.

Involvement Variables, 11.01-11.06
11.01 membership requirements
3, AC8
To become a member of the Social Democratic Party, an individual must register, sign a card, and pay annual dues. The payment of dues is mentioned more frequently in the literature than are the other requirements.
11.02 Membership Participation
2, AC5
There is little documentation of this code in the literature although It is clear that the code should be less than "3." The coder's "guess" is that if attendance at youth and women's organizations and at social and educational Events sponsored by the Social Democratic Party were included, the code should Be "2." If only regular party meetings were included the code would probably be "0."
11.03 Material Incentives
0, AC3
Although the Social Democratic Party is the largest party in the Folketing and thus has the greatest amount of political jobs to dispense, it is doubtful that as much as 1/3 of the Party's militants are motivated for this reason. These jobs are considered more a reimbursement for business income lost during political service. In general, party militants seemed to be moved by solidarity and purposive incentives rather than material incentives.
11.04 Purposive Incentives
3, AC3
Purposive incentives seem to be the major motivation for individual militants to join and remain members in the Social Democratic Party.
11.05 Doctrinism
1, AC9
The Social Democratic Party's program embodies the party's doctrine And may at times be considered a referent for decisions. Because the party's militants are generally agreed on political principles, the party's doctrine is not constantly consulted, nor is it considered unalterable or infallible.
11.06 Personalism
0, AC9
There is no evidence in the literature that Social Democratic militants are motivated by the charismatic qualities of the party leader. The party's leader has changed frequently and without incident.