Path: Table of Contents > Essay on Party Politics > Party 223
Icelandic People's Alliance, 223
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
1930, AC9
5, AC8
The year of origin is based on the founding of the Communist Party, which changed its name in 1938 to the United Socialists and again in 1956 to the People's Union. Only the second change is counted in our scoring.
1.03 organizational discontinuity
5, AC7
The national defense or national preservation party was formed in 1953 by a split of Titoists amounting to about 25 percent of the party, and thus judged a major split.
1.04 leadership competition
4, AC4
Olgeirsson was the recognized leader of party though Valdemarsson left Social Democrats and led a labour alliance which was a coalition of the left. There is evidence that party leadership changed around 1930 from Bjarnason to Olgeirsson. Since there is no information on how the change occurred, the middle code of four is assigned.
1.05 legislative instability
Instability is .10, AC9
The People's Union is a stable minority party with legislative representation ranging between 13 and 17 percent of the seats.
1.06 electoral instability
Instability is .07, AC9
Legislative elections were held in 1953, 1956, and two in 1959. The People's Union proportion of votes won was small but stable, ranging from 15 to 19 percent.

Governmental Status Variables, 2.01-2.07
2.01 government discrimination
0 for 1950-62, AC8
The Communist Party enjoys the same treatment by the government as the other parties. In fact, the communists were in the government both before and during our time period.
2.02 governmental leadership
0 out of 7 for 1950-56, AC9
0 out of 6 for 1957-62, AC8
In 1956 it was part of left coalition government. Under the Labour Alliance Coalition, it was part of new government with Independent Party in 1959. The termination date of the coalition is not known.
2.03 cabinet participation
1 out of 7 for 1950-56, AC9
2 out of 6 for 1957-62, AC6
The party participated in a governing coalition with the Progressive Party and Social Democrats from 1956-1958.
2.04 national participation
6 for 1950-62, AC9
Represents itself as national party and has cells in every district.
2.05 legislative strength
Strength is .15 for 1950-56, AC9 and .16 for 1957-62, AC9
The People's Union is a stable minority party with legislative representation ranging between 13 and 17 percent of the seats.
2.06 electoral strength
Strength is .18 for 1950-56, AC9 and .16 for 1957-62, AC9
Legislative elections were held in 1953, 1956, and two in 1959. The People's Union proportion of votes won was small but stable, ranging from 15 to 19 percent.
2.07 outside origin
8, AC8
Formed by leaders of labour unions who split off from the Social Democratic Party in 1930.

Issue Orientation Variables, 5.01-5.15
5.01 ownership of means of production
5 for 1950-62, AC6
Advocates government ownership of utilities and means of production.
5.02 government role in economic planning
5 for 1950-56, AC6
4 for 1957-62, AC4
While out of power, the party advocates sweeping programs of economic control. However, in the government coalition it first made efforts to curb inflation by price-wage controls, then denounced government action and caused fall of the government.
5.03 redistribution of wealth
3 for 1950-62, AC3
Pro-moderate--party primarily receives support from labour unions and favors government regulation but not total control of land.
5.04 social welfare
5 for 1950-62, AC9
Pro-strong--programs for universal medical care, care for the aged, and child welfare already exist and are supported at national and local level by party.
5.05 secularization of society
3 for 1950-62, AC9
Con-moderate--supports clergy by state since 97 per cent of population belongs to state church, although there is no compulsion and freedom of conscience is protected.
5.06 support of the military
5 for 1950-62, AC9
Con-strong--anti-military, favors continuation of no armed forces.
5.07 alignment with east-west blocs
1 for 1st half, AC6
0 for 2nd half, AC6
Ambiguous position--at first party favored neutrality and friendly relations with USSR. In 1956, however, as part of government, favored continued membership in NATO, though wanted Icelanders to maintain base in times of peace.
5.08 anti-colonialism
3 for 1950-62, AC9
The communists attack the U.S. influence in Iceland from the NATO military base and urge the withdrawal of U.S. forces which were established partly in defense of the country through a 1951 agreement.
5.09 supranational integration
No information.
5.10 national integration
5 for 1950-62, AC6
Party tends to favor national policies, complete government control. Support comes from occupational divisions rather than regional or local areas.
5.11 electoral participation
5 for 1950-62, AC9
The 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 party recognizes freedom of the press and no censorship.
5.14 / 5.15 us--soviet experts left-right ratings
U.S. says 4, communist front
Soviets say 3, influential among workers, fishermen, farmers, and radical circles of intelligentsia. It is a Marxist party.

Goal Orientation Variables, 6.01-6.55
6.00 open competition in the electoral process
4 for 1950-62, AC9
Relies on open competition.
6.10 restricting party competition
0 for 1950-62, AC9
Does not rely on restricting 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, AC9. The party operates and owns a daily newspaper, Thjodviljinn.
6 .32--AC1. No information.
6.33--1 for first half, AC4 and for second half, AC1. One resolution is documented in our data file. It is unclear whether this was a solitary instance of this activity or just one example.
6.34--AC1. No information.
6.50 providing for welfare of party members
6.51, 6.52, 6.54--AC2. Insufficient information.
6.53, 6.55--AC1. No information.

Autonomy Variables, 7.01-7.05
7.01 sources of funds
No information.
7.02 source of members
5 for 1950-62, AC7
Basis of support is the labour union, particularly the unskilled laborers, and also the intellectuals. There is evidence that there is no indirect membership through the Icelandic federation of labor.
7.03 sources of leaders
3 (sector 01), AC3
Generally, the leaders are the leaders of the trade unions .
7.04 relations with domestic parties
7 for 1950-56, AC8
6 for 1957-62, AC8
Excepting three years from 1956-58, the communists were not included in governmental alliances with other parties, but they were involved with other groups as the leading force in a popular front.
7.05 relations with foreign organizations
3 for 1950-62, AC3

The party chairman, Olgeirsson, makes annual visits to Moscow to exchange information, though the party declares no formal ties with the USSR, Peking, or the international Communist Party. Its issue positions are surprisingly independent.

Organizational Complexity Variables, 8.01-8.07
8.01 structural articulation
2 for 1950-62, AC4
There is an executive board whose selection procedures are unknown, and strongly articulated organs at the local level such as party cells . The party also works strongly through labour unions and the Icelandic federation of labour, though there is no formal party identification with these organizations either locally or at the national level.
8.02 intensiveness of organization
6 for 1950-62, AC6
The party is organized on the basis of cells in industry and the university.
8.03 extensiveness of organization
6 for 1950-62, AC6
The party has cells in labor unions, at the university, and in various communities. Its strength comes from the city of Reykjavik where the industries are located and where the heavy population concentration exists. The party units are well organized and highly effective in the party apparatus.
8.04 frequency of local meetings
Party has local chapters, but no information on frequency of meetings.
8.05 frequency of national meetings
No information
8.06 maintaining records
16 for 1950-62, AC9
The party owns its own newspaper, has a card-carrying membership of 1,500, and under the party name opens libraries with propaganda information throughout the country.
8.07 pervasiveness of organization
12 for 1950-62, AC8
Party has control over various labour unions, and the Icelandic federation of labour is controlled by the communists along with the progressives. The party also has strong auxiliaries of women and youth.

Organizational Power Variables, 9.01-9.08
9.01 nationalization of structure
6 for 1950-62, AC5
Party well organized with national and local organizations in nearly every community, particularly around Keflavik. There is no regional organization, and the national organs direct the work of the party cells.
9.02 selecting the national leader
7 for 1950-62, AC3
Procedure for selection of party leader not noted in literature. This party does have an executive board and strong local chapters. But the same leader has been in power for 25 years.
9.03 selecting parliamentary candidates
No information
9.04 allocating funds
6 for 1950-62, AC5
Party is rumored to receive financial support from the Russian Communist Party in activities like cultural events and propaganda. The party also has access to the largest ions, though the literature does not discuss collection of dues by national or local chapters.
9.05 formulating policy
6 for 1950-62, AC3
Not enough information to determine whether party executive board or party leader formulates policy, and which group announces it . The Moscow faction of the party takes all their directives from the soviet Communist Party.
9.06 controlling communications
7 for 1950-62, AC8
The party owns its own newspaper and uses it as a forum for party propaganda.
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. The literature is not clear on which has absolute control . Although Olgeirsson has been a dominant figure in the party, the absence of references to 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
6 for 1950-62, AC6
There are various factions within the party which are split over ideological orientation. The largest of these was planning to split away and form a separate organization of its own, at the end of the second time period. In the first time period, a nationalist faction split away to form its own party.
10.03 issue factionalism
1 for 1950-62, AC3
Issues are debated among leaders, but factions generally arise along ideological lines.
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 strategy concerns.
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
3 for 1950-62, AC8
Party has dues-paying, card-carrying membership.
11.02 membership participation
6 for 1950-62, AC5
Most members were said to be active participants in the party, although it was flexible enough to allow intellectuals to join for electoral purposes only.
11.03 material incentives
0 for 1950-62, AC3
Material incentives are satisfied through pressure of the trade unions against labour and government.
11.04 purposive incentives
3 for 1950-62, AC5
Considered the champion of nationalism and independence from the western powers, the party drew support from elements fearful of united states" domination. It also drew considerable support for its promotion of the cause of labor.
11.05 doctrinism
2 for 1950-62, AC6
There are libraries with propaganda to which members can refer.
11.06 personalism
1 for 1950-62, AC6
Olgeirsson has been chairman since the 1930's, and has a strong hold on the party's members. However, it seems as if the party militants are more motivated by purposive incentives than personalism.