Path: Table of Contents > Essay on Party Politics > Party 204
Danish Radical Liberal Party, 204
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)

Institutionalization Variables
, 1.01-1.06
1.01 Year of Origin and 1.02 Name Changes
1905, AC9
0, AC9
The Radikale Venstre Party was formed in 1905 by a split of members from the Venstre Party. This party has had no name changes.
1.03 Organizational Discontinuity
0, AC9
There is no mention in the literature that the Radical Party has experienced any splits or mergers.
1.04 Leadership Competition
11, AC9
The Radical Party elects a national chairman who is a mere figurehead and is never referred to in the literature. The real leadership lies with the party's Folketing (legislature) leaders who from 1950-1961 were Jorgen Jorgensen and Bertel Dahlgaard. From 1961-1962 Karl Skytte and Baunsgaard were elected to be leaders by the Folketing group.
1.05 Legislative Instability
Instability is .09, AC8
The Radical Party never held more than 19 percent of the seats during our time period.
1.06 Electoral Instability
Instability is .09, AC8
Based on elections in 1950, 53, 57, and 60, the Radicals failed to win more than 8 percent of the vote.

Governmental Status Variables, 2.01-2.07
2.01 Government Discrimination
0 for 1st half, AC9
0 for 2nd half, AC9
There is no evidence of government discrimination for or against the Radical Party. The constitution provides that censorship and other preventive measures cannot be introduced. The state, as such, does not publish any newspaper influencing public opinion. Each party has its own paper. The broadcasting service is organized along lines aiming at making it independent of the government. 2.02 governmental leadership 0 out of 7 for 1st half, AC9
0 out of 6 for 2nd half, AC9
The Radical Party did not hold government leadership during either time period.
2.03 Cabinet Participation
0 out of 7 for 1st half, AC9
6 out of 6 for 2nd half, AC9
The Radical Party held cabinet positions while serving in coalition with the larger Social Democratic Party in the governments of 1957-1960 and 1960-1962.
2.04 National Participation
5, AC9
The Radical Party did not qualify for a code of "6" due to its weakness in the capital region. The party's stronghold was in parts of the north of Jutland as well as in a cluster of communes on the islands of Fyn and Zealand.
2.05 Legislative Strength
Strength is .08 for 1950-1956, AC8, and .07 for 1957- 1962, AC9
The Radical Party never held more than 19 percent of the seats during our time period.
2.06 Electoral Strength
Strength is .08 for 1950-1956, AC8, and .07 for 1957- 1962, AC9
Based on elections in 1950, 53, 57, and 60, the Radicals failed to win more than 8 percent of the vote.
2.07 Outside Origin
4, AC9
The Radical Party was formed by dissident members of the Venstre Party Folketing (legislature) group

Issue Orientation Variables, 5.01-5.15
5.01 Ownership of Means of Production
1, AC3
The literature does not specifically describe the Radical Party's stand on this issue. However, since several bills proposing increased regulation of industry were passed by social democratic governments which the radicals voted with or were in a coalition with, it is assumed that they favored regulation of the means of production.
5.02 Government Role in Economic Planning
1, AC8
During the years 1950-1956, the Radical Party frequently cooperated with the social democratic party in proposals for government regulation and planning to help specific groups and the economy as a whole. During the 1957- 1962 period when the Radical Party was in a governing coalition with the social democratic party, they co-sponsored similar legislation. Specifically, the party seeks to aid smallholders by means of state subsidies.
5.03 Redistribution of Wealth
1, AC9
In both program and practice the Radical Party has sponsored progressive income and inheritance taxes which helped to redistribute wealth to the poorer classes. An exception to this occurred in 1954. Although in principle supporting easing of the tax burden on workers, they opposed the resultant additional burden on the middle class for practical reasons.
5.04 Social Welfare
3, AC9
The radicals support the Danish welfare system of mixed voluntary and compulsory programs. They favor a moderated development of the welfare state.
5.05 Secularization of Society
3, AC9
All parties support 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 to be practiced by the law.
5.06 Support of the Military
5, AC9
The Radical Party is well known for its anti-militarist stance and has used its influence while in governing coalitions to keep defense spending at an absolute minimum. This strong opposition to defense spending ended in 1960.
5.07 Alignment With East-West Blocs
1 for 1st half, AC9 -
3 for 2nd half, AC9
The Radical Party has always been against Danish participation in NATO however, in 1957 they reluctantly agreed to support Danish membership in order to govern in coalition with the Social Democrats.
5.08 Anti-colonialism
3 for 1st half, AC8
0 for 2nd half, AC9
The Radical Party supported the 1953 Danish 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
The Radical Party favored Danish membership in both the European Free Trade Association and the Common Market (European Economic Community). They favored membership in the latter contingent upon British entrance. These organizations did not exist during the first time period, but Danish membership in OECC and desire to join a free trade association did exist before 1957.
5.10 National Integration
0, AC7
The general homogeneity of the Danish population makes this variable basically irrelevant for Denmark proper. The Faroe Islands and Greenland, however, which have been 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 Radical Party has always supported universal suffrage and a voting age of 21.
5.12 Protection of Civil Rights
5, AC9
There is no evidence in the literature that the parties disagree on this issue. It is, therefore, considered a settled issue. The constitution of 1953 provides for the protection of civil rights of all Danish citizens.
5.13 Interference With Civil Liberties
5, AC9
The Radical Party supported the 1953 constitution which provided for complete freedom of expression, including the press. Individuals may, however, be held responsible for libel or slander. Television and radio are strictly nonpartisan. Each of the parties publishes several newspapers. There is no evidence that the parties disagree on this issue.
5.14 / 5.15 US--Soviet Experts Left-Right Ratings
US says 2, center
Soviets say 2, represents the interests of the lower commercial-industrial bourgeoisie and the radically oriented intelligentsia. A group of rural workers also belongs to the party.

Goal Orientation Variables, 6.01-6.55
6.00 Open Competition in the Electoral Process
4, AC9
All evidence in the literature indicates that the Radical Party relies exclusively on open competition in the electoral process. The party has competed in every election since its formation and has (as the minor party in a coalition) accepted and relinquished government power without incident.
6.10 Restricting Party Competition
0, AC9
The Radical Party relies exclusively on open competition in the electoral process.
6.20 Subverting the Political System
0, AC9
The Radical Party relies exclusively on open competition in the electoral process.
6.30 Propagandizing Ideas and Program
6.31--2, AC9.
The Radical Party owns and/or operates several newspapers located in Copenhagen and the larger provinces. The party publishes the following daily newspapers--Politiken, Middlefart Venstrehlad, Skive Folkeblan.
6.32--2, AC9.
The Radical Party "operates party schools" in the sense that it has civic training centers for party workers and other adults with courses of both a political and nonpolitical nature. In addition, courses are taught in the peoples" high schools and through the auxillary branches of the party.
6.33--2, AC8.
The national conference of the Radical Party passes resolutions and platforms as part of their effort to win political elections.
6.34--2, AC8.
The national conference of the Radical Party passes the party program which is adopted unanimously by the party.
6.50 Providing for Welfare of Party Members
6.51--0, AC3.
The literature does not mention that the Radical Party engages 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 that the Radical Party engages 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 superfluous.
6.53--1, AC3.
Although the literature makes no mention of the Radical Party engaging in 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 Radical Party supports nationwide educational associations which offer courses of a nonpolitical nature.
6.55-- 0, AC3.
It is possible that the Radical Party does engage in this activity as there is one reference that states, "the parties and their affiliates sponsor boy scout groups and summer camps." However, there is strong evidence that other parties frequently perform this activity of recreational services, while there is only this one vague reference to the radicals. Conceived in another way, the party provides recreational facilities through its ancillary organizations

Autonomy Variables, 7.01-7.05
7.01 Sources of Funds
7, AC8
The Radical Party does not receive significant financial support from any single institutional sector of society. They receive less financial support than any of the other three major Danish parties.
7.02 Source of Members
5 (sector 02), AC9
Membership in the Radical Party is entirely voluntary. With the possible exception of the smallholders, the party does not receive support from specific social or economic groups.
7.03 Sources of Leaders
4 (sectors 02, 03), AC6
The Radical Party is made up of "disparate elements, and it is impossible to state with the existing information the exact proportion of each institutional sector represented. Probably the largest group is the smallholders with the remainder being education/scientific/ professional--small business owners and government bureaucrats. The party receives no large financial assistance from any specific interest groups.
7.04 Relations With Domestic Parties
5 for 1st half, AC9
4 for 2nd half, AC9
The Radical Party's parliamentary support of the Social Democratic minority governments of 1947-1950 and 1953- 1957 allowed these governments to exist, although the radicals refused cabinet responsibility. From 1957-1962, the radicals were in a governing coalition, as the weaker member, with the Social Democrats. There were no electoral alliances between these two parties.
7.05 Relations With Foreign Organizations
4, AC9
The Radical Party is a member of the Liberal International (formed in 1947) but this membership does not affect the party's national policy orientation or decisions. Membership is for the purpose of exchanging information and ideas. The party gives financial support to the liberal international.

Organizational Complexity Variables, 8.01-8.07
8.01 Structural Articulation
11, AC9
The most important administrative agency of the Radical Party is the parliamentary (Folketing) group. Basic governing organs are 1) the national conference, 2) the national executive, and 3) the central committee.
8.02 Intensiveness of Organization
5, AC8
The Radical Party's smallest units of organization are based on municipal subdivisions or even smaller units.
8.03 Extensiveness of Organization
5, AC4
The Radical Party has local organizations in all areas of the country, but their coverage seems weaker in densely populated areas. This information, however, is inferred from electoral data.
8.04 Frequency of Local Meetings
The local units of the Radical Party must logically meet at least once a year to select representatives to higher party organs such as the national conference and nominating districts. These units probably meet monthly, but in the entire literature retrieved there is no mention of the frequency of local meetings.
8.05 Frequency of National Meetings
4, AC8
The national executive committee of the Radical Party meets four times annually.
8.06 Maintaining Records
10, AC6
The Radical Party was scored as follows--"2" because of publication of party affiliated newspapers--"0" because there is no documentation of the existence of party archives although it is possible they do exist--"8" for party lists which are presumed to be of good quality as all party members must register and are assessed dues on the basis of registration records.
8.07 Pervasiveness of Organization
3, AC7
The Radical Party supports a youth group which it probably controls to a high degree. There is no mention in the literature of ancillary organizations other than the youth group.

Organizational Power Variables, 9.01-9.08
9.01 Nationalization of Structure
6, AC9
The Radical Party has a discernible party hierarchy in which the national executive committee acts directly on the local (constituency and county) levels. The actual "power" resides in the Folketing group, although this body often includes the national executive committee in its deliberations. Decisions are communicated to the other party levels by the national executive committee.
9.02 Selecting the National Leader
4, AC9
Leadership for the Radical Party lies within the Folketing group which selects its own leader(s). The national chairman, chosen by the higher party organs, is generally a non-Folketing member and is a mere figurehead.
9.03 Selecting Parliamentary Candidates
5, AC9
Although the official rules of the Radical Party state that the local organizations have complete control of the selection of candidates, the national executive committee may, albeit infrequently, exert unofficial control over the process, usually in the form of refusal to accept a particular candidate or type of candidate.
9.04 Allocating Funds
5, AC5
Since the Radical Party receives few contributions from interest groups, but primarily receives its funds from members and members of its Folketing (legislature) party-group, it is assumed that several levels of the party (including the national organization) collect funds, but that these funds are primarily dispensed by the national organization especially for election campaigns.
9.05 Formulating Policy
6, AC9
The Radical parliamentary party organization determines major policy positions. Should this group be deadlocked in disagreement, the question is referred to the executive committee for solution.
9.06 Controlling Communications
7, AC9
The Radical Party press, which publishes daily and periodical newspapers throughout Denmark, is represented on the highest official levels of the party. The party owns the press but does not insist that it unfailingly follow party policy positions editorially.
9.07 Administering Discipline
3, AC9
The parliamentary organization of the Radical Party administers most discipline to members. Such discipline may include expulsion from committees or other posts, being kept from speakerships, or loss of campaign funds. Expulsion is possible but almost unknown.
9.08 Leadership Concentration
5, AC9
During the years 1950-1961 the Radical Party's effective leadership lay in the hands of its two parliamentary group leaders, Bertel Dahlgaard and Jorgen Jorgensen. There were instances, however, when the two leaders were unable to agree on the proper course of action and other national levels of the party were included in the discussions.

Coherence Variables, 10.01-10.06
10.01 Legislative Cohesion
.95, AC7
The above figure for the cohesiveness of the Radical parliamentary party group is an approximation. Although the literature declares the party to be highly cohesive (and explains the instances where it may not be), few authors provide quantitative data. However, out of 1,049 divisions between 1953-1963 there were only 32 instances where one or two members (out of an average 12 to 13) voted against the party and only one instance when more than two members voted against the party. Roll call votes are rare.
10.02 Ideological Factionalism
2, AC8
Two documents mention that the Radical Party is divided within itself on favoring or opposing military expenditures, which is a basic tenet of the party's ideology. Except for these two references, however, ideological concerns do not appear to be subject to public debate and disagreement among party leaders. Differences that do exist appear to be between the parliamentary group and extra-parliamentary national organs.
10.03 Issue Factionalism
0, AC9
There is no documentation of factionalism based on issues in the Radical Party. Publicized differences of opinion between the parliamentary group and the national party organization center on ideological and tactical considerations.
10.04 Leadership Factionalism
0, AC9
There is no evidence of leadership factionalism in the Radical Party, despite the fact that during our time period the party was led by two seemingly equal leaders.
10.05 Strategic or Tactical Factionalism
2 for 1st half, AC8
3 for 2nd half, AC6
Tendencies to factionalism do appear, basically between the parliamentary group and the national organization. The coding of this variable is linked with that of variable 10.02 (ideological factionalism). The leadership of the parliamentary party has been willing to de-emphasize a basic tenet of radical philosophy (opposition to military expenditures) in order to play the role of "the party in the center" by joining in a coalition with the social democrats. The national extra- parliamentary leaders did not favor, but eventually approved, this course of action during the 1957-1962 time period. Some members especially objected to the party's support of NATO and a split was threatened in 1960 (Thomas, 1973--25).
10.06 Party Purges
0, AC9
There were no purges in the Radical Party during the 1950-1962 period.

Involvement Variables, 11.01-11.06
11.01 Membership Requirements
3, AC8
To become a member of the Radical Party an individual must register, sign a card, and pay annual dues. The payment of dues is more thoroughly documented 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 the variable should be scored less than "3." The coder's "guess" is that if attendance at youth organizations and social and educational events sponsored by the Radical Party were included, a score of "2" should be assigned . If only regular party meetings were considered, however, the code would probably be "0."
11.03 Material Incentives
0, AC3
Although the Radical Party, as one of the four major parties in the Folketing, has some political jobs to dispense, it is doubtful that as much as 1/3 of the party militants are motivated for this reason. These jobs are considered more a remuneration for business income lost during public service and are generally awarded after ten years service in the Folketing. In general, party militants seem to be motivated by solidarity and purposive incentives rather than material incentives.
11.04 Purposive Incentives
3, AC3
Purposive incentives seem to be the primary motivation for individual militants to join and remain as members as the Radical Party.
11.05 Doctrinism
1, AC9
The Radical Party's program embodies the party's doctrine and may at times be considered as a referent for decisions especially when a basic ideological tenet is being threatened (e.g., "pacifism" in the second time period) but such references tend to be issue-specific and not "continual."
11.06 Personalism
0, AC9
There is no evidence in the literature that radical militants are motivated by personalism. There was no noted defection among militants when the two popular leaders of the Radical Party, Jorgen Jorgensen and Bertel Dahlgaard retired in 1960.