Path: Table of Contents > Essay on Party Politics > Party 222
Icelandic Progressive Party, 222
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
1916, AC9
0, AC9
All sources agree that the Progressive Party was founded in 1916 by members of the althing (national assembly) who wanted to promote the interests of the farmers and the cooperatives.
1.03 organizational discontinuity
5, AC5
In 1953 there was a major split from the Progressive Party, forming people's defense party.
1.04 leadership competition
4, AC5
The leader since 1943 appears to have been Hermann Jonasson, but Steingrimur Steinthorsson may have been party leader when he was premier from 1950-53.
1.05 legislative instability
Instability is .06, AC9
The Progressive Party's legislative representation ranged between 28 percent in 1960 and 1961 and 37 percent in 1959.
1.06 electoral instability
Instability is .16 , AC9
Legislative elections were held in 1953, 1956, and two in 1959. The Progressive Party's proportion of the votes won ranged from 16 percent in 1956 to 27 percent in 1959.

Governmental Status Variables, 2.01-2.07
2.01 government discrimination
1 for 1950-56, AC8
0 for 1957-62, AC8
Electoral law favored this party in rural areas until 1959. After the law was reformed, popular support still carried this party to fair gains in the parliament.
2.02 governmental leadership
5 out of 7 for 1950-56, AC8
2 out of 6 for 1957-62, AC8
Steinthorsson was prime minister from 1950-53, and Jonasson from 1956-58.
2.03 cabinet participation
7 out of 7 for 1950-56, AC9
2 out of 6 for 1957-62, AC9
The Progressive Party was part of the governing coalition with the independence party from 1950 56. From 1956-58, it was in a governing coalition with the Social Democrats and the Labor Alliance.
2.04 national participation
5 for 1950-62, AC9
The party generally draws its support from the rural areas, though national in organization.
2.05 legislative strength
Strength is .32 for 1950-56, AC9 and .31 for 1957-62, AC9
The Progressive Party's legislative representation ranged between 28 percent in 1960 and 1961 and 37 percent in 1959.
2.06 electoral strength
Strength is .19 for 1950-56, AC9 and .26 for 1957-62 , AC9
Legislative elections were held in 1953, 1956, and two in 1959. The Progressive Party's proportion of the votes won ranged from 16 percent in 1956 to 27 percent in 1959.
2.07 outside origin
4, AC6
The party was formed by legislators of the time seeking better representation for agrarian interests.

Issue Orientation Variables, 5.01-5.15
5.01 ownership of means of production
3 for 1950-62, AC5
Various industries and services were nationalized in Iceland. Since the progressives accepted this situation, it appears to endorse government ownership in principle. This party is primarily a liberal, agrarian party which favors formation of cooperatives.
5.02 government role in economic planning
3 for 1950-62, AC7
Pro-moderate. This party, through government coalitions, had supported emergency measures to control the value of currency, subsidies to farms and fishermen, and various other controls.
5.03 redistribution of wealth
No information
5.04 social welfare
5 for 1950-62, AC8
There is a program for universal medical care, care for the aged, and child welfare. It is supported at local levels by party.
5.05 secularization of society
3 for 1950-62, AC9
The party supports clergy by state since 97 percent of population belongs to the state evangelical Lutheran Church, although there is no compulsion and freedom of conscience is protected.
5.06 support of the military
5 for 1950-62, AC9
The Progressive Party favors continuation of no armed forces, it is anti military.
5.07 alignment with east-west blocs
3 for 1950-62, AC6
In 1953, the progressives changed their position and demanded American evacuation of the NATO base, though not withdrawal from NATO.
5.08 anti-colonialism
0 for 1950-56, AC7 -
1 for 1957-62, AC7
Though once a dependency of Denmark, Iceland is now thought threatened by neo colonialism from the u.s., which is responsible for her defense by a 1951 agreement. Because the agreement was made while the party was in government, it presumably accepts the situation. However, the Progressive Party later called for a gradual reduction in NATO, which means u.s., forces. After 1956, it again favored keeping the u.s. forces.
5.09 supranational integration
No information.
5.10 national integration
1 for 1950-62, AC3
Nationalist party, but also concerned with representing rural interests and the interests of cooperatives. The government itself has always allowed district expression, but the small size of the country makes most political issues national issues, and differences are expressed through parties rather than through regions.
5.11 electoral participation
5 for 1950-62, AC9
The Progressive Party advocates maintaining universal suffrage.
5.12 protection of civil rights
No information.
5.13 interference with civil liberties
3 for 1950-62, AC6
The Progressive Party recognizes freedom of the press and no political censorship.
5.14 / 5.15 us--soviet experts left-right ratings
U.S. says 2, center
Soviets say 2, represents farmers and small businessmen as bourgeois party of the center.

Goal Orientation Variables, 6.01-6.55
6.00 open competition in the electoral process
4 for 1950-62, AC9
The Progressive Party relies exclusively on open competition.
6.10 restricting party competition
0 for 1950-62, AC9
The Progressive Party does not rely on restricting party competition.
6.20 subverting the political system
0 for 1950-62, AC9
The Progressive Party does not rely on subverting the electoral system.
6.30 propagandizing ideas and program
6.31 2, AC9
The progressives own and operate a daily paper.
6.32 AC1 * there is no information on party schools.
6.33 2, AC8
The party passed resolutions at party conventions. Examples deal with the dissolution of government in 1957 and the formation and entrance into alliances.
6.34 1 for first half, AC5 and for second half, AC1
An example of a year end statement from party leaders was published during the first half of our time period.
6.50 providing for welfare of party members
No information

Autonomy Variables, 7.01-7.05
7.01 sources of funds
No information
7.02 source of members
While the party is clearly closely tied to agricultural interests, it is not possible to say whether its membership is direct or indirect--or even whether it has any membership at all.
7.03 sources of leaders
3 (sector 02), AC3
The leadership comes from cooperative farmer and small farmer sectors (one group).
7.04 relations with domestic parties
4 for 1950-56, AC6
5 for 1957-62, AC9
Participated in governing coalitions in both time periods, but it was involved in a coalition only 2 years during the second half.
7.05 relations with foreign organizations
5 for 1950-62, AC3
This party is not affiliated with any international party organization. The lack of mention of such connection is conspicuous.

Organizational Complexity Variables, 8.01-8.07
8.01 structural articulation
6 for 1950-62, AC7
There is the executive board of the party, whose selection procedures are unknown, and the party congress or convention which is called to make party policy.
8.02 intensiveness of organization
5 for 1950-62, AC8
The party maintains local chapters in almost every community, has a chapter at the university, and local organizations which are particularly strong in rural areas.
8.03 extensiveness of organization
5 for 1950-62, AC6
The party has local organizations in nearly every community, although most of its support comes from the sparsely populated rural districts rather than the cities or towns where over 3/4 of the population live.
8.04 frequency of local meetings
The party has local chapters in nearly every community, although meetings were not mentioned in the literature.
8.05 frequency of national meetings
No information.
8.06 maintaining records
No information.
8.07 pervasiveness of organization
12 for 1950-62, AC8
The party has members in the farmer's cooperatives that are a major support of the party. The party also has auxiliary women and youth organizations.

Organizational Power Variables, 9.01-9.08
9.01 nationalization of structure
6 for 1950-62, AC6
The small size of the population coupled with the existence of strong local chapters makes regional organization less likely, though literature does not confirm or deny their existence. The party has a strong national organization and strong local community chapters in the rural areas.
9.02 selecting the national leader
The procedure for selection of party leader is not noted in the literature. This party does have an executive board and occasional party congresses, but the same leader has held leadership for the last 25 years. Leadership changed in 1943 without mention of procedures.
9.03 selecting parliamentary candidates
There is a list of national candidates prepared. Some run in individual districts while others, in a sense, run at large. Selection is made nationally, but the literature does not discuss whether another body or local organization approves these lists.(54) 9.04 allocating funds AC1
No information
9.05 formulating pocy
5 for 1950-62, AC8
The party congresses are convened to hear what party leadership has outlined for policy and approval is perfunctory.
9.06 controlling communications
7 for 1950-62, AC8
The paper of the party is owned and operated by the party and is influential for party members.
9.07 administering discipline
No information
9.08 leadership concentration
3 for 1950-62, AC5
There is a balance of power between the party leader and the executive board, and the literature is not clear whether one has absolute control over the other. Although Jonasson has been a dominant figure in the party, lack of data on perfunctory approval by the executive board has been interpreted to mean that its existence limits the centralization of power.

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
2 for 1950-62, AC7
There are debates over issues, but the party is fairly cohesive and the factions are not present beyond disagreement and debate.
10.04 leadership factionalism
0 for 1950-62, AC6
Party leadership has stayed the same for 25 years.
10.05 strategic or tactical factionalism
0 for 1950-62, AC3
There seems to be no debate over tactical factions at all.
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
The literature mentions no membership requirements.
11.02 membership participation
No information.
11.03 material incentives
No information.
11.04 purposive incentives
2, AC3
As a farmers' party with greatest strength in the rural areas, Progressive Party militants are assumed to work for the promotion of agricultural interests.
11.05 doctrinism
0 for 1950-62, AC3
There was no reference to party literature in our file, and it is assumed that there is no identifiable body of party doctrine.
11.06 personalism
No information.