Path: Table of Contents > Essay on Party Politics > Party 353
Ecuadorian Radical Liberal Party, 353
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)
Party name and code number
Ecuadorian Radical Liberal Party, 353
Partido Liberal Radical, PLR

Institutionalization Variables
, 1.01-1.06
1.01 year of origin and 1.02 name changes
1878, AC8
0, AC9
The Radical Liberal Party of Ecuador was founded on September 8, 1878, by General Ignacio de Veintimilla. The Radical Liberal Party was referred to in this manner throughout the literature. While its Spanish name was El Partido Liberal Radical, it was often referred to as simply the Liberal Party.
1.03 organizational discontinuity
7, AC9
In the elections of 1947, the Radical Liberals split into two major groups, called the regulars and the dissidents. In 1952, two Radical Liberal factions again appeared, one called Radical-Liberals, and the other called the authentic Liberals.
1.04 leadership competition
16. AC9
Regarding the Liberals' presidential candidates at election time as the top Party leaders, we find leadership shifts from Chiriboga Villagomez in 1952 to Raul Clemente Huerta in 1956, to Galo Plaza Lasso in 1960. It appears that these men were selected as the Party candidates following Party conventions akin to the American models.
1.05 legislative instability
Instability is .20, AC7
The Radical Liberals enjoyed more stability in their legislative representation than any of the parties in Ecuador did. It fluctuated from a low of 11 percent of the seats in 1950 and 1951 to a high of 31 percent after the 1956 elections.
1.06 electoral instability and strength
Instability is .12, AC7
Only in 1952 did the Liberals have a candidate mainly of their own, which was Chiriboga Villagomez. In 1956 the Liberals joined with Socialists and independents to support Clemente Huerta, and in 1960 they joined with a Socialist faction to support Galo Plaza. Because of the weakness of the Socialists, however, most of the vote for these candidates can be interpreted as Liberal. The percentage figures for these elections, respectively, were 19, 27, and 23.

Governmental Status Variables, 2.01-2.07
2.01 government discrimination
0 for 1950-56, AC3
0 for 1957-62, AC3
The literature does not discuss governmental behavior with reference to the Liberal Party, and it appears that the Party neither enjoyed favoritism nor suffered repression with any consistency during our time period, which saw the Liberals in and out of power.
2.02 governmental leadership
0 out of 1 for l950-56, AC9
0 out of 6 for 1957-62, AC9
There is some question about the Liberals' claim to the presidency during the first part of our time period. Although it is said that many Liberals supported Galo Plaza Lasso, who won the 1948 election and served until 1952, he was actually the candidate of the hoch coalition. The Liberal Party, in coalition with the Socialists, had a candidate of its own in the person of Alberto Enriquez. Not counting Plaza, the Liberals could not claim the government during our time period.
2.03 cabinet participation
3 out of 7 for 1950-56, AC6
0 out of 6 for 1957-62, AC4
There were Liberal members present in the cabinet of President Galo Plaza Lasso. They remained there until Plaza's term ended in 1952. It was not evident from the literature whether or not there were Liberal members in successive presidential cabinets.
2.04 national participation
5, AC9
The Radical Liberal Party is commonly portrayed as a regional Party whose strength in the coastal area counter-balances the Conservative stronghold of the sierra. But an analysis of presidential election returns by region discloses that regionalism is not so pronounced for the Liberals. In 1952, in fact, the Liberals drew 30 percent of their vote from the coast, which also contributed 30 percent of the total vote. In 1956 and 1960, however, they received 57 and 53 percent of their vote from the coast, which then contributed 44 and 46 percent of the total.
2.05 legislative strength
Strength is .19 for 1950-56, AC1, and .23 for 1957-62, AC0
The Radical Liberals enjoyed more stability in their legislative representation than any of the parties in Ecuador did. It fluctuated from a low of 11 percent of the seats in 1950 and 1951 to a high of 31 percent after the 1956 elections.
2.06 electoral strength
Strength is .23 for 1950-56, AC8, and .23 for 1957-62, AC6
Only in 1952 did the Liberals have a candidate mainly of their own, which was Chiriboga Villagomez. In 1956 the Liberals joined with Socialists and independents to support Clemente Huerta, and in 1960 they joined with a Socialist faction to support Galo Plaza. Because of the weakness of the Socialists, however, most of the vote for these candidates can be interpreted as Liberal. The percentage figures for these elections, respectively, were 19, 27, and 23.
2.07 outside origin
11. AC4
It is known that the Liberal Party was founded by General Ignacio de Veintimilla, who appears to have been a general because of his command of forces fighting in opposition to the Conservative government at the time. Thus, it would seem that his status is best characterized as a leader of an outlawed organization. Our information file does not contain enough historical material to clarify his status or to code this variable with much confidence.

Issue Orientation Variables, 5.01-5.15
5.01 ownership of means of production
-1, AC3
The Radical Liberal Party defends the principle of private ownership of land and other forms of property.
5.02 government role in economic planning
1, AC6
The Radical Liberal Party was very interested in the development of trade and industry in Ecuador. It also believed in the improvement of agricultural techniques.
5.03 redistribution of wealth
2, AC7
The Liberal Party sought to initiate agrarian reform by combating the system of large-landed estates in Ecuador. To do this, it tried to implement an equal distribution of land among the landless and the expropriation of uncultivated lands for the benefit of agricultural families.
5.04 social welfare
3, AC6
The Radical Liberal Party was in favor of many social reforms. It advocated worker's low cost housing and prison reform.
5.05 secularization of society
3, AC9
The Radical Liberal Party believed strongly in the separation of church and state. It introduced secular education in Ecuador, and its primary object for many years has been to combat the political dominance of the Roman Catholic Church.
5.06 support of the military
No information.
5.07 alignment with east-west blocs
-5. AC3
The Radical Liberal Party was avowedly antiCommunist. Its Party doctrines and its actions were more favorable to the United States.
5.08 anti-colonialism
-1, AC4
In 1953, Eduardo Salazar, leader of the Radical Liberal Party, expressed the need for foreign investors in Ecuador. The Liberals wanted to attract foreign capital into their country in order to expand their economy.
5.09 supranational integration
No information.
5.10 national integration
No information.
5.11 electoral participation
5, AC6
Free suffrage was one of the guiding principles of the Radical Liberal Party.
5.12 protection of civil rights
5, AC5
The Radical Liberal Party advocated protecting the civil rights of the Indians in Ecuador by protecting them against alcoholism and religious exploitation. It was opposed to the fact that the Ecuadorian masses were kept in ignorance and sought to improve their lives.
5.13 interference with civil liberties
-3. AC6
The Radical Liberal Party was the first to introduce freedom of expression in Ecuador.
5.14 / 5.15 us--soviet experts left-right ratings
US says 1, Conservative
Soviets say 1, the leadership of the Party is increasingly moving away from the progressive meaning of the principles of the Party program of 1923. The Party expresses the interests of the commercial-financial interests of the city of Guayaquil, the largest economic center of the country.

Goal Orientation Variables, 6.01-6.55
6.00 open competition in the electoral process
3.5 for 1st half, AC7
4 for 2nd half, AC7
The Radical Liberal Party generally relied upon open competition in the electoral process. In 1950, it began preparing candidates to run for office in the 1952 election. In 1951, one section of the Party wished to combine Forces with the Concentration of Popular Forces in a program to take over the government by a revolutionary coup, thus indicating disruptive techniques.
6.10 restricting party competition
0, AC5
Galo Plaza Lasso took all possible precautions to insure free elections in 1952. He attempted to keep them orderly even though opposition forces were building up around him. But, in 1956, the Liberals attempted to keep the Conservative, Camilo Ponce Enriquez, from being installed in the office of president, by joining with other parties in opposition activities.
6.20 subverting the political system
.5 for 1st half, AC5
0 for 2n0 half, AC5
The literature did not specifically mention that the Radical Liberal Party ever engaged in subversive political activities, but it can be inferred from other information that it did not. It relied almost entirely upon open competition with some incidents indicating that it sometimes restricted competition among the various parties.
6.30 propagandizing ideas and programs
It was not evident from the literature whether or not the Radical Liberal Party operated any mass communications media.
6.32--0, AC3.
The Radical Liberal Party was not known to have operated any Party schools.
6.33--2, AC6.
From time to time, the Radical Liberal Party would formally endorse certain Party principles. Examples of these principles were religious freedom and the condemnation of imperialism.
6.34--1, AC3.
The Radical Liberal Party published papers in 1961 of its belligerent opposition to the government of Velasco Ibarra.
6.50 providing for welfare of Party members
No information.

Autonomy Variables, 7.01-7.05
7.01 sources of funds
There is no information on the source of funds for the Radical Liberal Party.
7.02 source of members
5, AC3
There is no information about a social organization as a source for Liberal members. We do know that in
certain geographical areas (i.e. the coast) membership appears to be almost automatic. I hesitate to code
this variable on this information alone, because it describes the traditional Liberal stronghold and no other regions, and because it does not directly define any social groups.
7.03 sources of leaders
2 (sectors 04, 05), AC8
Liberal leaders are generally from the coast, the traditional source of business in Ecuador. Commercial interests have not been the only source of Liberal leaders. There appear to be many professional men in the leadership ranks, as well.
7.04 relations with domestic parties
5 for 1st half, AC8
5 for 2nd half, AC5
The general trend in Liberal policy during our time period is to ally with the Socialists in what appear to be parliamentary coalitions. These alliances are to be distinguished from governmental coalitions, which are short-term cabinet coalitions. The Liberals also participated in one example of a governmental alliance, that of the Plaza Lasso regime in 1950-1952. Generally the other regimes were of a more anti-Liberal philosophy.
7.05 relations with foreign organizations
5, AC5
The Liberal Party of Ecuador apparently never belonged to the Liberal international.

Organizational Complexity Variables, 8.01-8.07
8.01 structural articulation
7. AC6
The National Assembly and the Supreme Junta are the national organs of the Radical Liberal Party. The members of the Assembly are chosen by the provincial juntas (3 from each province, making 51 delegates), and the 7 members of the Junta are elected by the National Assembly. The Assembly fulfills a function parallel to the national conventions of the United States' Democratic and Republican parties--they nominate the candidate for president and vice-president and determine national strategy and tactics. The Junta is the working committee; it represents the Party in all national political matters, determines the strategy when the Assembly is not in session. Is a liaison with members in congress, and can call special sessions of the National Assembly.
8.02 intensiveness of organization
4, AC5
The parish junta is the lowest position in the Liberal hierarchy. Although the parish is not defined in terms of the number of voters, it would appear that the parish is comparable to a ward.
8.03 extensiveness of organization
5, AC6
The Liberal Party has traditionally been strongest in the coastal region, being linked with trading and banking interests. This is especially evident in the number of parish juntas that are working entities in this area as compared with the rest of the country (especially the sierra, the traditional Conservative stronghold). But it would be a mistake to consider the coastal area as the only area of Liberal strength. The Liberals have extended their organization throughout the country and have been trying to strengthen their position in other areas.
8.04 frequency of local meetings
There is no information on the frequency of local meetings.
8.05 frequency of national meetings
There is no information of the number of meetings the National Committee generally has. It would appear that the Supreme Junta would meet frequently due to its many duties (e.g., representing the Party, Liaison to Party members in congress, and control of lower units). But the total lack of data hinders any coding for this variable.
8.06 maintaining records
1, AC3
The Liberal Party publishes its views in newspapers that are pro-Liberal. There is no further information about membership lists (although it does not appear that the Liberals have any, as is the case with the other parties) nor about archives.
8.07 pervasiveness of organization
There is no evidence in the data about the organization of different societal sectors into ancillary groups. The possibility of such organization still exists. The lack of information may be a fault of the data.

Organizational Power Variables, 9.01-9.08
9.01 nationalization of structure
5, AC6
The Supreme Junta is the organ which controls the lower units in the Liberal hierarchy. It issues the directives to the provincial (next lower) junta which acts upon them, but does not seem to issue any directives of its own.
9.02 selecting the national leader
3, AC6
The Liberal National Assembly selects the presidential candidate (as in the Democratic and Republican conventions of the US). The presidential candidate is the national leader who generally represents the Party. No other national leaders, nor their selection, are defined in our data collection.
9.03 selecting parliamentary candidates
4, AC6
The provincial junta nominates the PLR candidates for the two-chambered legislative body of the Ecuadorean government, the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. This provincial junta also selects the provincial council candidates.
9.04 allocating funds
There is no data in our collection describing the PLR allocation of funds.
9.05 formulating policy
5, AC6
I would tend to view the development of Liberal strategy and tactics as a duty of the National Assembly. The Supreme Junta does have the authority to act on the strategy of the Party when the National Assembly is not is session. But the bulk of the strategic policy is formulated by the National Assembly. It should be noted that this is the broader policy orientation of the Party, not necessarily the actions.
9.06 controlling communications
There is no data relating to the level of communications control of the Liberal Party.
9.07 administering discipline
There is no information dealing with the level of organization that administers discipline.
9.08 leadership Concentration
2, AC5
The presidential candidate, as the Party leader, is the most publicized spokesman for the Liberal Party, but the Supreme Junta is the real power behind him. Generally the leading spokesman of the Party are the two or three persons attempting to capture the Party nomination for president plus the director general (acting leader) of the Party. These persons, symbols of the Party, depend upon the power and support of the Supreme Junta.

Coherence Variables, 10.01-10.06
10.01 legislative cohesion
There is no information relating to legislative cohesion among Liberal Party members. Factions within the Party are not further described in terms of their effects on legislative behavior. Nor are coalitions between various parties described in such terms.
10.02 ideological factionalism
There is no information given about ideological differences within the Liberal Party during our time period.
10.03 issue factionalism
3, AC8
Among the politically conscious, i.e., those affected or affecting the ruling powers of the Party at any level, factions develop relating to political issues during our time period. These factions do not appear to have any formal organization. We must consider these small factions. It appears that generally these divisive tendencies do not affect the common Liberal Party member (to whom being Liberal is equated with being Ecuadorean).
10.04 leadership factionalism
4, AC3
It appears that leadership contests are competitions among the ruling elites. No factionalism occurs as a result of this competition, rather there is the delegation of leadership as a protest, as during the 1952 election campaign when two factions each nominated candidates, or during the 1962 dissension concerning the Arosemena regime.
10.05 strategic or tactical factionalism
3, AC8
There is argument about strategy in relation to the issues at hand. It appears that issues and strategy have been a combined cause of the factions. These are termed small factions as described in the literature. The dissension occurs among the leaders of the Party or those who have power in the Party, not among most Party members.
10.06 party purges
0, AC6
There is no evidence of any purges of the Liberal membership.

Involvement Variables, 11.01-11.06
11.01 membership requirements
There is no information defining membership requirements for the Liberal Party.
11.02 membership participation
There is no division described in our data collection which would correspond to the levels of membership participation defined by this variable.
11.03 material incentives
There is no information relating to material incentives of the Liberals.
11.04 purposive incentives
There is no information on the militants, nor on purposive incentives.
11.05 doctrinism
0, AC3
The vague ideology/philosophy of the Liberal Party is still based on an anti-church stance, even though the Liberal philosophy of separation of church and state was incorporated into Ecuadorean law long ago. There does not appear to be any particular doctrine to which the Party members subscribe.
11.06 personalism
0, AC3
Personalism would not seem to have a place in the structured organization of the Liberal Party.