Democratic or Liberal Party, 273
Demokratische Partei, 273
1.01 Year of Origin
and 1.02 Name Changes
Our consultant reports that the history of political liberalism in
Luxembourg is complex. The party was originally the party of the
industrial bourgeoisie and was in government until 1917. It lost
much of its influence when general voting rights (for men and
women over 21) were introduced in 1919. In the 1920'5, there were
two liberal parties--the radical-Socialist party and the liberal
party. They merged together at about 1934, which we take as the
origin. In 1945, political liberalism was represented by the
"Groupement Patriotique et Democratique," which made strong ties
with the resistance movement. In 1954. The "Groupement Patriotique
et Democratique' became the "Groupement Democratique.' In 1959,
the name was again changed to Parti Democratique.
No evidence was found to suggest that any splits have occurred
within the party, however, more information could produce a result
at great variance with this initial finding.
The sources agree that changes in party leadership have occurred
frequently during our time period. Camille Linden was leader in
1959. Eugene Schaus appears to have held the post in 1953 and
1959, Lucien Dury served in 1960, and Gaston Thorn was leader in
1962. A lack of information prevents a more complete report of
1.05 / 2.05
Legislative Instability and Strength
Instability is .21,
Strength is .14 for 1950-56, AC9, and .10 for 1957-62, AC9
The liberal party representation fluctuated from a low of 12
percent of the seats to a high of 21 percent, which was achieved
in the 1959 election.
1.06 / 2.06
Electoral Instability and Strength
Instability is .26,
Strength is .11 for 1950-56, AC6, and .20 for 1957-62, AC5
The liberal party made its best showing in the election of 1959,
in which it non 20 percent of the vote, far exceeding the 13 and
10 figures it non in 1951 and 1954 respectively.
Governmental Status Variables,
The government does not appear to discriminate against the party
in any manner. Campaign criticisms are evident during periods of
peak campaign activity, but no instances of favoritism or
restriction were found. It would not be likely for the government
to attempt such activity since the party could be a future
0 out of 1 for
0 out of 6 for 1957-62, AC6
The party never occupied the position of government leader during
our time period.
1 out of 1 for
4 out of 6 for 1957-62, AC6
The Democratic party participated in the cabinet in 1950. 1959,
1960, 1961, and 1962.
Like the other parties of Luxembourg, the Democratic Party does
not draw its support evenly over the country. It does
proportionately better in the East and center than in the South
According to our interpretation of the founding of the liberal
party, it was formed from two liberal parties--the
radical-Socialist party and the liberal party--which had been in a
governing coalition with the party of the right (now the CSV) from
1927 to 1934. Because parliamentary deputies were prominent in the
merger from both sides, the party is scored as being formed by
groups of legislators holding office.
Issue Orientation Variables, 5.01-5.15
5.01 Ownership of
Means of Production
There is no information in our literature file. But our consultant
says that the party is strongly opposed to nationalization of
Role in Economic Planning
The party is opposed to state intervention and collectivist
tendencies in one statement of policy, yet the party also believes
that the trade union and vocational problems should be solved in
cooperation with the government. The fact that the party also
thinks the economy should grow in a certain healthy manner
indicates that it night support some intervention if it was
5.03 Redistribution of Wealth
One reference indicates that the party supports progressive labor
legislation, but no more information exists to indicate whether or
not this legislation should embody voluntary or compulsory
programs, nor are the areas of coverage listed or explained. Our
consultant, however, advises that the party favors voluntary over
One source suggests that the party is mildly anti-clerical. The
party is definitely a lay party, but like the Socialists it cannot
emphasize this since the country is so predominantly Roman
Catholic. The party also demands that politics and religion be
5.06 Support of the
No information for our time period. In 1960, our consultant
advises, it opposed most strongly the military policy of the
CSV-Socialist government and voted for the abolition of compulsory
5.07 Alignment with
Like the CSV and the Socialist party, the party supports
Luxembourg's presence in NATO. Thus, this code may be inferred in
the absence of any contradictory statements.
The party supports the idea of European integration by indicating
its support for such organizations as Euratom and the common
market. It also has expressed an interest in the idea of a
European parliament. There is no indication that the party wishes
to do away with national sovereignty.
Voting is compulsory in Luxembourg.
5.12 Protection of
with Civil Liberties
The party believes that anyone should be able to fork an opinion
and fight for it. However, the party does also believe that a
teacher in school should not be able to propagandize for a party
while on the job nor may a postman.
5.14 / 5.15
US-Soviet experts left-right ratings
US says 1,
conservative Soviets say 2, a bourgeois liberal party. It unites,
basically, representatives of the middle and petty
Goal Orientation Variables, 6.01-6.55
Competition in the Electoral Process
Because it is so often a minority party and an opposition party
out of the government, the party is very vocal in criticizing the
ruling coalitions' programs and practices. Frequent criticisms
appear in the press, the party responds to some of them and to
charges made against it.
There is no indication of any sort of restrictive activities
carried on by the party. It engages in campaign activity with
6.20 Subverting the
No evidence exists in the file to suggest that the party would
ever try to subvert the political system. The information in the
two previous variables seems so strong that this possibility seems
to be eliminated.
Ideas and Program
6.31- -2, AC9.
A newspaper is published and the party does use the press to
clarify its positions.
There is no evidence of party schools.
At its meetings on the locals regional, and national levels, the
organizations discuss problems, and resolutions and opinions are
formed and sent to the other organizations.
It is inferred that the party publishes position
6.50 Providing for
Welfare of Party Members
Autonomy Variables, 7.01-7.05
7.01 Sources of
There is one oblique reference to the fact that the party collects
dues, but there is no indication as to mow much of the party's
income is generated in this way.
7.02 Source of
6 (sectors 03, 04),
The party draws its support from the professions, the merchants
and artisans, and the urban middle class in general. Further
research could prove this terribly wrong, but no mention was found
of membership requirements.
7.03 Sources of
1 (sector 3),
Our literature file contains no information on the source of
leaders, but our consultant says that leaders have nearly always
7.04 Relations with
4 for 1 for
5 for for 1957-62, AC9
The party does have governmental responsibilities when it is a
member of the majority coalition, and when it is not it forms an
alliance with the other opposition party to form the opposition to
the ruling coalition.
7.05 Relations with
One source states that the Democratic Party was a member of the
Liberal International in 1970. It is likely that the party
belonged to this organization during our time period
Organizational Complexity Variables,
The party's constitution clearly specifies various national
organs, such as the National Council, the Executive Committee, and
the Executive Bureau, and their relation to each other. Frequently
membership in one of the national organs is coincident kith
membership in another national organ, although this is not
necessarily the case. The duties of the various organs are also
The regional organization has the poker to decide when a local
section may be created, and its decision is based on the
population of the given area. For example, there are local
sections in the suburbs of Luxembourg.
The party has made efforts to establish local sections in all
parts of the country and especially in places like the capital
8.04 Frequency of
The local assembly of the party, which is the large meeting for
all party members, meets once p year in December. The local
committee itself meets six times a year.
8.05 Frequency of
The National Congress meets once a year though it may be called
into emergency session by the Executive Committee. The inner
committees of the party meet at least six times a
The party odes publish a newspaper and many articles exist which
attack other party's positions while clarifying their own. Lists
of candidates are also available, though no information exists
about other possible lists.
The young democrats are a highly organized group considered
important enough to be represented on all national committees as a
matter of course.
Organizational Power Variables, 9.01-9.08
Nationalization of Structure
The party constitution clearly defines the nay in which the party
is hierarchically arranged from the executive committee down and
the various relationships between members and committees and other
party organizations. In any case not covered by the party
constitution, the executive committee has the decision making
poker. Thus it mould seem that the executive committee has poker
to dictate to local organs, though no indication was found as to
whether or not this poker was used.
9.02 Selecting the
The president of the party is selected by a subgroup of the
national executive committee which includes the 0 members elected
by the National Congress, two members from each electoral district
one of which must be the regional organization president, and the
parliamentary members of the party.
In those local sections which have a proportional electoral
system, the local section submits candidacy suggestions to the
regional organization which transmits its opinions to the
executive committee which has the poker of definitive approval. In
the case of communal elections where a majority electoral system
is in effect, the regional organization has the poker of
definitive approval. If more than one local section is in an
electoral district, joint candidacy proposals are made to the
The local and regional party organizations frequently discuss and
formulate judgments on problems of national interest. However, the
National Congress has the ultimate responsibility for formulating
party policy, and this body is made up of representatives from
local and regional organizations.
Control of the media is difficult to establish, but there does
appear to be various areas of responsibility. The regional
organizations publish lists of candidates as well as the meeting
places for the various meetings. Subscription to the party
newspaper. Which appears to be handled by the national
organization, as obligatory for party members. Frequently,
national leaders express their views in the press. Articles often
criticize the other parties and their programs.
The local, regional, and national organizations may administer
disciplinary actions toward party members, and the member may
appeal to the national organization. A definite procedure is set
up for administering discipline, but it appears that the action
may be taken at any level.
Effective leadership lies in the executive committee for which 12
is a quorum. It alone has the power to form coalitions, and it
also adjudicates appeals and legislates on problems of national
importance. A subgroup of this organization elects the president
of the party.
Coherence Variables, 10.01-10.06
The party appears to be fairly united on most policy questions. It
often publishes articles clarifying party policy, and its
criticism of other parties often is published. However, the fact
that lively debates occurred in some of the regional meetings
indicates that the party is not 100 percent unified on all
positions. Nonetheless, it is simply not possible to accurately
assess parliamentary voting behavior.
Debate does occur on party ideology and every member of the party
has access to the party secretariat to publicize his views. No
indication exists that there are any sort of factions,
Issues are also matters of concern in party discussions, and again
as in ideological debates, the members of the party may make use
of the facilities of the party secretariat to make known their
views. Again no factions appear.
While only one legitimate leader is recognized, it is also
recognized that effective leaders may also be present. This seems
to be the case in the party's distinction between p rural and an
urban leader of the party. This is probably a result of the
proportional representation system.
10.05 Strategic or
No purges here ever mentioned in the literature, although this may
be due to a dearth of information.
Involvement Variables, 11.01-11.06
Dues payment is required of members and nonpayment of dues may be
considered grounds for dismissal from the party, although this
does not appear to be automatic.
The existence of a category referred to as militant can be
determined, but it is not possible to determine the relative
amounts of the party which fall into the outlined
A digest of party positions does exist, though the number of times
it is referred to cannot be determined. Along with a party paper,
many articles appear in the press clarifying the party's position
on particular subjects, and these may be referred to by the other
parties though this is not common. Other than references to its
own newspaper articles, no other body of literature can be
There was no mention of strong leaders with personal followings in
the party, but our consultant feels that personalism was a very
strong factor in the party. In the 19505, Eugene Schaus. As leader
and president. Had a personal following. This was also true of his
successor, Gaston Thorn, later the Prime Minister. Other leaders
with strong following were Colette Flesch, mayor of Luxembourg in
1970, and Marcel Mart .