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Icelandic Independence Party, 221
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
1929, AC9
0, AC8
Party founded in 1929 as a merger of the conservative and liberal parties. There have been no name changes.
1.03 organizational discontinuity
4, AC8
One minor split--Republican Party split from Independence in 1953.
1.04 leadership competition
11, AC6
Olafur Thors was premier and leader of the party from 1940 to 1959, when he was succeeded by Bjarni Benediktsson. Leadership is decided by small executive board.
1.05 legislative instability
Instability is .04, AC9
The Independence Party exhibits marked legislative stability with their proportion of seats ranging only between 37 and 40 percent of the seats.
1.06electoral instability
Instability is .04, AC9
Legislative elections were held in 1953, 1956, and two in 1959. The Independence Party's proportion of the votes won was very stable, ranging between 37 percent in 1953 to 42 percent in 1956 and 1959. (in the table of electoral data, the second election in 1959 is reported on the line for 1960.)

Governmental Status Variables, 2.01-2.07
2.01 government discrimination
0 for 1950-62, AC6
Government is generally neutral towards this party though electoral law prior to 1959 favored the progressives. Later elections showed that the law did not hurt the Independence Party which was always the largest party.
2.02 governmental leadership
1 out of 7 for 1950-56, AC8
4 out of 6 for 1957-62, AC8
Thors was prime minister from 1949 to 1950, thus inaugurating the beginning of our first time period, and he was again prime minister from 1959 to 1962 in the second time period.
2.03 cabinet participation
7 out of 7 for 1950-56, AC9
4 out of 6 for 1957-62, AC9
The Independence Party was in a governing coalition with the progressive party from 1950 to 1956 . It again formed a governing coalition in 1959-62, this time with the social democrats.
2.04 national participation
6 for 1950-62, AC8
Electoral support from all social groupings. Generally centered in urban areas and around the U. S. Military base at Keflavik, though nationally organized.
2.05 legislative strength
Strength is .38 for 1950-56, AC9 and .39 for 1957-62, AC9
The Independence Party exhibits marked legislative stability with their proportion of seats ranging only between 37 and 40 percent of the seats.
2.06 electoral strength
Strength is .39 for 1950-56, AC9 and .41 for 1957-62, AC9
Legislative elections were held in 1953, 1956, and two in 1959. The Independence Party's proportion of the votes won was very stable, ranging between 37 percent in 1953 to 42 percent in 1956 and 1959. (in the table of electoral data, the second election in 1959 is reported on the line for 1960.)
2.07 outside origin
4, AC3
Formed by former conservative and liberal legislators. The party's leaders are now in government, but party has always been recognized.

Issue Orientation Variables, 5.01-5.15
5.01 ownership of means of production
1 for 1950-62, AC7
The government had already nationalized several industries and services. The party favored regulation of the already acquired industry, and encouraged future private enterprise and individual initiative. It did not advocate returning industry to private sources or cutting subsidies.
5.02 government role in economic planning
3 for 1950-62, AC8
Party favors government regulation of the economy by subsidies, wage and price ceilings, and general loans to various sectors of the economy.
5.03 redistribution of wealth
No information.
5.04 social welfare
5 for 1950-62, AC9
Government program already in effect is supported by party for welfare care, medical care, and assistance to the aged.
5.05 secularization of society
3 for 1950-62, AC9
Clergy supported by state since 97 per cent of the population belongs to state Evangelical Lutheran Church. However, there is no compulsion and freedom of conscience is protected.
5.06 support of the military
5 for 1950-62, AC9
Anti-military. Favors continuation of no armed forces.
5.07 alignment with east-west blocs
5 for 1950-62, AC9
Favors continued membership in NATO and accepts military base in country.
5.08 anti-colonialism
1 for 1950-62, AC9
Though once a dependency of Denmark, Iceland now experiences the threat of foreign influence from the U.S., which is responsible for her defenses through a 1951 agreement and which maintains a large NATO military base there. The Independence Party was in the governing coalition when the agreement was enacted, and it has supported the presence of U.S. forces in Iceland.
5.09 supranational integration
No information.
5.10 national integration
The government has always allowed regional--district expression, but the smallness of the country makes most political issues national issues handled by the coalition government representing at least two of the parties, sometimes three, and sometimes parties of opposing or antagonistic views. No information about this party's local autonomy views.
5.11 electoral participation
5 for 1950-62, AC9
Advocates maintaining universal suffrage.
5.12 protection of civil rights
No information.
5.13 interference with civil liberties
3 for 1950-62, AC6
Recognizes freedom of the press and no censorship of political matters.
5.14 / 5.15 us--soviet experts left-right ratings
U.S. says 1, conservative.
Soviets say, 1, represents interests of fishing industry, shipowners, merchant and financial circles. Also has influence among white collar workers and segments of the working class.

Goal Orientation Variables, 6.01-6.55
6.00 open competition in the electoral process
4 for 1950-62, AC9
Relies exclusively on open competition.
6.10 restricting party competition
0 for 1950-62, AC9
Does not rely on restricting party competition
6.20 subverting the political system
0 for 1950-62, AC9
Does not rely on subverting the electoral system.
6.30 propagandizing ideas and program
6.31--2, AC6. The party often uses the media to reach people in all areas of Iceland.
6.32, 6.33, 6.34--AC1. No information.
6.50 providing for welfare of party members
There is no information on this variable beyond a broad statement that the party has supported much social welfare legislation.

Autonomy Variables, 7.01-7.05
7.01 sources of funds
3 (sector 04), AC3
Contributions from Icelandic contractors in 1956 apparently evidenced a continuing phenomenon. The proportion of party funds derived from this commercial source can only be roughly estimated.
7.02 source of members
No information
7.03 sources of leaders
While the foremost party leaders come from the commercial sector, it is not possible on the basis of the literature to identify the sectors from which other leaders come.
7.04 relations with domestic parties
4 for 1950-62, AC9
During the two time periods, the Independence Party participated in governing coalitions with both the progressives and the social democrats. There does not appear to be any subservience or superiority attached to the coalition members.
7.05 relations with foreign organizations
5 for 1950-62, AC5
Of the several international party organizations, probably the Liberal International would be the most accommodative of the Independence Party, and it did not belong to that group, nor to others for which membership lists were available.

Organizational Complexity Variables, 8.01-8.07
8.01 structural articulation
2 for 1950-62, AC3
One national organ--the party's executive board which consists of a small group of individuals whose leadership in general has not changed for the last 25 years.
8.02 intensiveness of organization
5 for 1950-62, AC8.
Party has local organization chapters in every town to control the local town councils when its members are representatives on the council.
8.03 extensiveness of organization
6 for 1950-62, AC6
Electoral support extends across all economic and social groups, while the party has chapters in every community and at the university.
8.04 frequency of local meetings
No information
8.05 frequency of national meetings
No information
8.06 maintaining records
2 for 1950-62, AC5
Party publishes editorial comments in the country's largest daily newspaper, and another daily is controlled by commercial interests as an interest group within the party.
8.07 pervasiveness of organization
12 for 1950-62, AC8
Party has women's and youth auxiliaries in every community, but it also has exclusive control over the Icelandic contractors association--practically dual membership in this organization.

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
No information.
10.02 ideological factionalism
0 for 1950-62, AC3
There seems to be no debate over ideological concerns.
10.03 issue factionalism
1 for 1950-62, AC3
There is a diversity of interests in the party between fishing and commercial interests, but not enough disagreement to cause factional tendencies.
10.04 leadership factionalism
0 for 1950-62, AC6
Party leadership has remained the same for 25 years.
10.05 strategic or tactical factionalism
0 for 1950-62, AC3
There are factions along interest lines, but not any that carry farther than debate between national spokesmen.
10.06 party purges
0 for 1950-62, AC3
There were no party purges mentioned in the literature.

Involvement Variables, 11.01-11.06
11.01 membership requirements
0 for 1950-62, AC3
There seem to be no membership requirements.
11.02 membership participation
0 for 1950-62, AC3
There is nominal membership participation, although party support can be determined from election results.
11.03 material incentives
1 for 1950-62, AC3
One group, the Icelandic contractors association, is more militant than most members, and its motives are strictly material, having benefited from party policy towards the American military base.
11.04 purposive incentives
1 for 1950-62, AC3
Some party militants are motivated by desires to promote commercial and fishing interests.
11.05 doctrinism
0 for 1950-62, AC3
Party seems to make no references to a specific program.
11.06 personalism
No information.