Path: Table of Contents > Essay on Party Politics > Party 354
Ecuadorian Socialist Party, 354
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 Socialist Party, 354
Partido Socialista, PS

Institutionalization Variables
, 1.01-1.06
1.01 year of origin and 1.02 name changes
1932, AC7
0, AC9
Some sources fix the date of origin for the Socialist Party as 1925, but the majority of activists in that
group then changed the Party name to the Communist Party. Remnants of the Party and opponents to the
affiliation with the comintern then regrouped in 1932, resurrecting the name, Socialist Party. In 1950, the Socialists split into a left-wing Party, the revolutionary Socialists, and a right-wing Party, which continued to bear the original name. Otherwise, there have been no name changes since the Party's inception.
1.03 organizational discontinuity
8, AC5
The Socialist Party underwent many splits and reformations throughout its forty-year history, often forming into coalitions with other groups. But, in 1958, the Party split into two groups. The right-wing group which at the time was led by Ricardo Cornelo Rosales, and the left-wing one which was led by Manuel Agustin Aguirre.
1.04 leadership competition
14, AC4
From the beginning of our time period to the split within the Party in 1958, three persons served as secretary general of the Socialists. Maldonado Estrada, Augustin Aguirre, and Isaac Lovato each served for three years. There is no mention of the authority associated with this post, but it is assumed to be the main leadership position. Also there is no indication of the process involved in the leadership change. So the coding is highly questionable.
1.05 legislative instability
Instability is .26, AC7
The Socialists never held many seats in the chamber of deputies during our time period. Their peak was 10 percent following the 1956 elections. And their low was 3 percent after the 1960 elections.
1.06 electoral instability
Instability is .67, AC5
There were no strictly Socialist candidates for the presidency during our time period, and the Party's
congressional vote was not available. But the Socialists did join a coalition in backing Laurie Dijon in
1952, Clemente Huerta in 1956, and split into two factions supporting different candidates in 1960. Basing
our estimate of Socialist strength on the 1952 election and the Parra Velasco candidacy in 1960, we arrive at figures of 5 and 6 percent respectively for the Socialist draw on the electorate.

Governmental Status Variables, 2.01-2.07
2.01 government discrimination
-2 for 1950-56, AC6
0 for 1957-62, AC3
In 1952, the Socialist Party of Ecuador was denied access to government owned newspapers. This was under the leadership of the Velasco Ibarra government. There is no evidence of discrimination subsequently.
2.02 governmental leadership
8 out of 7 for 1950-56, AC9
0 out of 6 for 1957-629 AC9
During our time period, the Socialists never had a candidate of their own for the presidency, and the candidates that they backed--Alberto Enriquez in 1948, Larrea Jijon in 1952, Clemente Huerta in 1956, and Galo Plaza in 1960--were never victorious.
2.03 cabinet participation
3 out of 7 for 1950-56, AC9
0 out of 6 for 1957-62, AC9
The only cabinet representation that the Socialists enjoyed was under the presidency of Galo Plaza Lasso. In 1950, Gonzalo Oleas Zambrano was minister of the interior. Two other Socialists were named to the cabinet in 1951 and served until the end of Plaza's term.
2.04 national participation
6 for 1950-56, AC7
4 for 1957-62, AC9
The Socialists have been the only Ecuadorean Party to attend to the needs of the Indians. But Indians have been denied the vote largely through literacy requirements. Judging its support then against the voting electorate, one finds the sources of Socialist votes at the 1952 elections reflecting the distribution of the electorate almost perfectly between the sierra and coastal regions. But in 1960, Parra Velasco, backed by dissident Socialists and Communists, received 72 percent of his vote from the coast, which cast only 46 percent of the total vote.
2.05 legislative strength
Strength is .07 for 1950-56, AC7, and .06 for 1957-62, AC8
The Socialists never held many seats in the chamber of deputies during our time period. Their peak was 10 percent following the 1956 elections. And their low was 3 percent after the 1960 elections.
2.06 electoral strength
Strength is .05 for 1950-56, acs. And .06 for 1957-62, AC6
There were no strictly Socialist candidates for the presidency during our time period, and the Party's
congressional vote was not available. But the Socialists did join a coalition in backing Laurie Dijon in
1952, Clemente Huerta in 1956, and split into two factions supporting different candidates in 1960. Basing
our estimate of Socialist strength on the 1952 election and the Parra Velasco candidacy in 1960, we arrive at figures of 5 and 6 percent respectively for the Socialist draw on the electorate.
2.07 outside origin
9, AC9
The Socialist Party of Ecuador was founded in 1932 by a Communist Party over the issue of joining the Comintern.

Issue Orientation Variables, 5.01-5.15
5.01 ownership of means of production
5, AC6
The Socialist Party wanted to overthrow private enterprise in favor of state ownership of the means of production in Ecuador. This desire was consistent with Marxist principles, upon which Socialist ideology was based.
5.02 government role in economic planning
No information.
5.03 redistribution of wealth
5. AC8
The Socialist Party called for land reforms to take place in the form of nationalization of large-landed estates. It made many declarations in favor of the peasants, for protection of small landowners, and for the creation of large co-operative farms by the government.
5.04 social welfare
3, AC8
The Socialist Party indicated a concern for the social welfare of the Indians by working on laws to protect them. While never in a majority, Socialists were always present in Ecuador's congress and worked diligently for the Indian cause.
5.05 secularization of society
5, AC9
The Socialist Party of Ecuador was both anti-Catholic and sectarian, believing in separation of church and state. It often spoke out against the Catholic Church, accusing it of using moral coercion against its members. It constantly sought to overthrow the church's influence in Ecuador for its own beliefs, which were purely atheist.
5.06 support of the military
No information.
5.07 alignment with east-west blocs
5, AC9
The Socialist Party of Ecuador was founded by a young group of intellectuals inspired by the Russian revolution. It continued to have ties with the Soviet bloc, being based upon Marxist principles. Many in the Socialist Party followed the Communist line to the letter. Ecuador looked to Russia for guidance.
5.08 anti-colonialism
5. AC6
In Party doctrines, the Socialist Party of Ecuador condemned big business and the capitalist Concentration from the United States.
5.09 supranational integration
No information.
5.10 national integration
The Socialist Party of Ecuador was supposedly a national but not a nationalist Party, desiring to form a nation of solidarity. The literature was extremely vague as to exactly what this meant and also about the exact position of the Socialists in this area, thus making the assignment of a code a difficult procedure.
5.11 electoral participation
No information.
5.12 protection of civil rights
3, AC4
The Socialists were outspoken advocates of the rights of Ecuador's large Indian population, which were neglected or ignored by most of the other parties.
5.13 interference with civil liberties
No information.
5.14 / 5.15 us--soviet experts left-right ratings
US says 4, the left-wing Socialists are Communists. The right-wing Socialists are classified as non-Communist left.
Soviets say 3, the revolutionary Socialist Party comes forth jointly with the Communist Party in defending the interests of the working masses, in supporting Cuba, and on other questions. The petty bourgeoisie and the intelligentsia in the Party show inconsistency, and an inclination toward adventurist schemes, dealing a blow to the progressive forces of the country. It has some influence among the working classes.

Goal Orientation Variables, 6.01-6.55
6.00 open competition in the electoral process
3.5, AC5
Although lacking any great success in its electoral activities, for either the presidency or the congress, the Socialists largely adhered to an electoral strategy throughout our time period.
6.10 restricting Party competition
.5, AC6
While in general the Socialist Party was not oriented toward restricting Party competition, in 1956 it attempted to oppose the Conservative Camilo Ponce Enriquez from assuming the office of president. In doing so, members boycotted chamber sessions in order that Ponce could not officially be installed in office.
6.20 subverting the political system
0, AC3
Although in 1950 a Socialist was arrested for making a speech which called for subversive activities, he was later released for insufficient evidence. No other mention of subversive activities on the part of the Socialist Party was made in the literature.
6.30 propagandizing ideas and program
6.31--2, AC6.
Newspapers were run by the Socialist Party, and they were used to attack the Conservatives in the 1952 election campaign.
6.32--1. AC3
The Socialist Party operated certain schools based on Marxist principles.
6.33--2. AC3
The Socialist Party would often pass resolutions concerning its position on various issues. One issue, for example, was the nationalization of large-landed estates in order to benefit the peasants. Resolutions such as these met with opposition from other political parties, especially the Conservatives.
The literature did not state whether or not the Socialists published position papers.
6.50 providing for welfare of party members
6.51, 6.52, 6.53. 6.54, 6.55--AC1
No information.

Autonomy Variables, 7.01-7.05
7.01 sources of funds
The information is too scanty to permit coding. The Christian Science monitor speaks about the Cuban embassy being the source of money and material for 'leftist' forces. Later in the article they allude to the Communists and the left-wing Socialists, although the author of the article never directly links these two groups with the Cuban money nor describes the amount of money given to the Party at this time.
7.02 source of members
5 (sectors 61. 03), AC6
The labor unions and student movements are traditionally sympathetic to the Socialist Party. Members of these organizations have a tendency to vote Socialist and belong to the Socialist Party, although this is not legislated by the organization (and the menders can vote for whomever they wish). These groups give indirect membership to the Socialist Party, but not by an institutionalized contribution.
7.03 sources of leaders
2 (sectors 01, 03), AC3
Historically labor and the intellectuals of Ecuador formed the leadership of the Socialist Party. There is no modern data on this variable. Therefore the level of relevance of this information is reflected in the adequacy confidence code.
7.04 relations with domestic parties
5 for 1st half, AC8
5 for 2nd half, AC5
The general trend in Socialist policy during our tine period was to ally with the Liberals in what appear to be parliamentary coalitions. During the first half of our time period, the Socialists were also involved in the Plaza Lasso government. The second half of our time period saw a wing of the Socialist Party split in an effort to maintain a coalition (anti-government) with the Communist Party and the CFP. The more traditional Socialists retained their alliances with the Liberal Party.
7.05 relations with foreign organizations
3, AC3
There are no current statements to certify whether this Party is based solely on Marxist ideology (or phrases) or whether it is really tied to the international as an active Marxist Party.

Organizational Complexity Variables, 8.01-8.07
8.01 structural articulation
2, AC3
There is a Socialist Congress of 48 persons. There is a possibility that the Socialist Party, being one of the older Ecuadorean parties, has a structure similar to the Liberal and Conservative parties. I thus hesitate to give this variable a higher adequacy confidence code, because of the lack of conclusive data on this variable.
8.02 intensiveness of organization
There is no information about the structural basis of the Socialist Party.
8.03 extensiveness of organization
There is no information on the levels of organization of the Socialist Party.
8.04 frequency of local meetings
There is no information about local organization, nor about local meetings of the Socialist Party.
8.05 frequency of national meetings
Our data collection does not specify the frequency of national meetings.
8.06 maintaining records
2, AC6
The Socialist Party publishes its own newspaper and other periodicals. This is a method of publishing Party propaganda. There do not appear to be any Socialist membership lists (N. Whitten) nor is there any evidence of archives.
8.07 pervasiveness of organization
7, AC5
It is unclear from this data whether the Socialists organized the workers in unions and retained only weak control over them, or whether the unions were organized and offered only partial allegiance and support to the Socialists. It appears that the Socialists aided in the unionization of the workers, but that these unions are non requesting and receiving better resources from other groups. Thus, I would consider these unions very independent auxiliary groups, whose allegiance to the Socialist Party may be in tradition only.

Organizational Power Variables, 9.01-9.08
9.01 nationalization of structure
There is no information on the hierarchical structure of the Socialist Party.
9.02 selecting the national leader
Our data collection does not describe the selection of the national leader.
9.03 selecting parliamentary candidates
There is no information about the selection of Socialist parliamentary candidates.
9.04 allocating funds
There is no information describing the allocation of funds.
9.05 formulating policy
5, AC6
The Socialist Congress determines major policy decisions.
9.06 controlling communications
There is no information dealing with the control of communications during our time period, although there is evidence of Socialist periodicals and other propaganda efforts.
9.07 administering discipline
There is no information about the administration of discipline in the Socialist Party.
9.08 leadership concentration
2, AC3
The information given on the centralization of leadership during our time period is sketchy at best. The Socialist Party has a Secretary General, but his authority in Party decisions is undefined. Thus this variable is coded with the lowest confidence.

Coherence Variables, 10.01-10.06
10.01 legislative cohesion
There is not enough information regarding the legislative cohesion of the Socialist Party to even hazard a choice as to the proper coding of this variable. There is evidence of splits and alliances, but no reference as to how this affected the Socialist votes in the parliament.
10.02 ideological factionalism
3 for 1st half, AC3
6 for 2nd half, AC8
In 1960 a split occurred between the more moderate wing of the Socialist Party and the more Radical Marxist Socialists. (In 1962 they were both attempting to be proven the original Socialist Party, and thus be the only Socialists allowed to be listed on the ballot. Naturally, the more traditional, moderate Party won the honor). This split followed the lines of the previous factionalism of the Party. Thus, although there is no information beyond this type of indirect evidence, I have concluded that during the first part of our time period, the Socialist Party developed a small faction within the Party due to ideological differences. During the second half of our time period, the faction formed a formal organization and later split into a separate group.
10.03 issue factionalism
AC1 for 1st half
2 for 2nd half, AC3
During the first half of our time period, issue factionalism is not documented. In 1960 the Socialists split
into two groups--one more moderate, which supported the Liberal and independent candidate for the president. The other, more radical, remained in the anti-Conservative coalition previously formed with the Communists and the CFP. During the last two years of our time period, the Socialists were in constant disagreement. Each group tried to consolidate its power as the only Socialist Party during a time of political turmoil. Thus there were great differences on issues.
10.04 leadership factionalism
There is no information regarding leadership factionalism in the Socialist Party.
10.05 strategic or tactical factionalism
1 for 1st half, AC6
6 for 2mo half, AC7
The disagreements in the Socialist Party which eventually developed into a split affected Socialist strategy. The ideological and issue-oriented disagreements led to different modes of alliance during elections. The strategy distinctions, themselves, are not the main reason for factionalism, but were outgrowths of it.
10.06 party purges
8, AC8
There were no Socialist purges during our time period. Only splits in the Party.

Involvement Variables, 11.01-11.06
11.01 membership requirements
There is no information describing membership requirements of the Socialist Party.
11.02 membership participation
The levels of membership participation are not documented in our data collection.
11.03 material incentives
0, AC3
There is no information regarding material incentives of militants of the Socialist Party. But under the circumstances of the Party's minority status, material incentives cannot have been a motivational factor for any significant portion of the militants.
11.04 purposive incentives
3, AC3
Since the Socialist Party does take an ideological stance on national issues that is generally distinctive from those offered by the traditional Liberal and Conservative parties, it would appear that many of the Socialist militants are motivated by goals which they view as dependent upon the activities of their Party.
11.05 doctrinism
1, AC5
The traditional Socialist Party of Ecuador has no written material which documents the actual doctrine of the Party (besides programs, etc.) I would suppose that the more Radical wing views Marx and Mao (being a China-oriented Party) as the source of their doctrine, but there is no evidence in our data which illustrates such a use beyond the trite catchwords and phrases often utilized by Radical groups.
11.06 personalism
0, AC3
There is no information relating to motivation of the militants by personalism. It is not assumed to be a significant motivational factor.