Path: Table of Contents > Essay on Party Politics > Party 363
Paraguayan Paraguayan Liberal Party, 363
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
Paraguayan Liberal Party, 363
Partido Liberal
Information base and researchers
The information base for party politics in Paraguay consists of 771 pages from 51 documents, nine of which are in Spanish. A total of 133 pages or 17 percent pertain to the Liberal Party. Marcelino Miyares, Judith Newsome Gillespie, and Jean Jacobsohn indexed the literature. Doreen Kostel Ellis coded the variables.

Institutionalization Variables
, 1.01-1.06
1.01 year of origin and 1.02 name changes
1887, AC9
0, AC9
The Liberal Party was formed in 1887 in an effort to defend the interests of the businessmen and intellectuals through an organized means. While the party did not change its name during our time period, in 1967 it became the radical Liberal Party (Partido Liberal Radical) to distinguish itself from the Renovacion Liberals who competed in the 1962 elections.
1.03 organizational discontinuity
8, AC9
The Renovacion split from the Liberal Party to play the role of "legal" opposition. It should thus be distinguished from the Liberal Party which was illegal throughout our period.
1.04 leadership competition
14, AC7
There is no doubt that the leadership has changed hands, but due to the fact that the leadership of this party is in exile, there may be more than one leader at a time. This does not necessarily mean that the leaders are competing against each other.
1.05 / 2.05 legislative instability and strength
Instability is undefined
Strength is .00, AC9
The Liberal Party was banned during our time period. Although it is clear that the party held no seats in the legislature and that its legislative strength score is 0 for both halves of our time period, a score for legislative instability cannot be calculated because the party was banned from the legislature.
1.06 / 2.06 electoral instability and strength
Instability is 1.83, AC3
Strength is undefined
There were elections in 1953 , 1958, and 1960, but the Liberal Party was banned and did not compete in any of these elections. Therefore, its strength score cannot be calculated, but its electoral instability score is high.

Governmental Status Variables, 2.01-2.07
2.01 government discrimination
16, AC9
The actual Liberal Party was illegal during our period. A splinter group named the Renovacion Liberal was allowed by Stroessner to participate in elections in 1962. This was not acknowledged by the Liberal Party as representing itself.
2.02 governmental leadership
0 out of 7, AC9
0 out of 6, AC9
The Colorados have held all government posts since before 1950, to the exclusion of the opposition parties in Paraguay.
2.03 cabinet participation
0 out of 7, AC9
0 out of 6, AC9
Only Colorado party members are given cabinet or advisory posts.
2.04 national participation
5, AC8
The Liberals have (as the Colorados) spread their party throughout Paraguay. Most Paraguayans are members of the two traditional parties, the Liberals or the Colorados. There is variation in the degree of strength across the country, resembling the various geographic pockets of strength of the caraies, the original leaders of the party.
2.07 outside origin
6, AC7
It appears that the Liberal Party was formed by a group of prominent citizens of Paraguayan society known as caraies (the paternalistic leaders of the encomiendas).

Issue Orientation Variables, 5.01-5.15
5.01 ownership of means of production
3, AC3
There is not sufficient information on this code to say more than the Liberals are generally conceived to be a party in the old Adam Smith Liberal tradition and would thus oppose government ownership of the means of production. After our time period, however, the party shifted to favor state intervention.
5.02 government role in economic planning
0, AC6
The Liberal Party appears to be very good at making vague and ambiguous statements. Their declaration of principles makes a vague reference to the need for government planning, but does not make any specific propositions.
5.03 redistribution of wealth
3 for 1st half, AC8
3 for 2nd half, AC8
The Liberal Party has spoken of land reform (which is that wealth which is most in need of redistribution) in two different ways during our time period. Traditionally and in the first part of our time period, the Liberals were seen as a conservative party which desired the maintenance of the old political and economic structures in Paraguay. But as of the second half of our time period, especially as of the 1960's, it appears that Liberals reoriented their policy, perhaps due to the new influence of the more radical Febreristas in their coalition. They then saw the need for agrarian reform to aid the economy.
5.04 social welfare
3 for 1st half, AC3
1 for 2nd half, AC3
Traditionally the Liberals have been of a conservative character in their views on social welfare. They are coded in this manner for the first half of our time period, although there is no firm evidence in the material that this is truly their theory at that time. In the second half of the time period, Pastore, the Liberal leader, made some general statements about the need for social justice and the need to rescue the Paraguayans from ignorance, hunger and illness. This is coded as somewhat promoting the provision of social welfare benefits, because the Liberal statement was too general for a stronger code.
5.05 secularization of society
The material on the relation of the Liberal Party to the church is confusing, to say the least. One source says that the Liberals advocate the separation of church and state and another source says that the Liberals defend the union of the church and the state.
5.06 support of the military
0, AC8
There is little information dealing with the feelings of the Liberal Party towards support of the armed forces during our time period, beyond some vague statements about the need to depoliticize the army in their declaration of principles. This is an obvious reaction to their illegal status.
5.07 alignment with east-west blocs
0, AC9
The Liberals want no alliances with the communists or with the U.S. they have proclaimed themselves anti-communist on many occasions to disprove Stroessner's charges that they conspire with the communists. They have also protested against Colorado dependence upon U.S. aid and have protested against the U.S. for supporting the "Colorado tyranny" during our time period.
5.08 anti-colonialism
There was no information whatsoever on this variable code.
5.09 supranational integration
1, AC6
The Liberal declaration of principles states that the Liberals are in favor of regional economic integration, but stops at this level of supranational integration.
5.10 national integration
There was no pertinent information on this variable code. There were some general statements about the high nationalism of Paraguayan political parties and the need the Liberals felt for a unification of opposition parties, but they were insufficient for this code. The unification of opposition parties is not necessarily an integrating device. The Liberals also call for "nationalism" in their declaration of principles, but make no further specific propositions about it.
5.11 electoral participation
There were no statements in the material about Liberal theory on the extension of the franchise in our time period, only about actions in the past. I would hesitate to code this party on past actions, especially since it appears that it was changing during our time period.
5.12 protection of civil rights
3, AC5
Being an illegal party during our time period, the Liberals were constantly protesting for a return of civil rights to the Paraguayan population. They were especially adamant about the need to free all political prisoners and to institute true political freedom.
5.13 interference with civil liberties
On this variable, there is no information beyond the fact that the Liberals are in favor of freedom of assembly and of the press.
5.14 / 5.15 us--soviet experts left-right ratings
US says 2, center
Soviets say 2, one of the traditional bourgeoisie parties. It expresses the interests of part of the commercial industrial bourgeoisie and landowners, and it enjoys a limited influence among the intelligentsia and student groups.

Goal Orientation Variables, 6.01-6.55
6.00 open competition in the electoral process
2 for 1st half, AC5
1 for 2nd half, AC5
This variable has been coded as such because although the Liberals desire reform in the electoral processes, any competition for government positions is limited because it is an illegal party. Before union with the Febreristas they leaned more towards coordination with Stroessner--later the Liberals became more radical. Thus ideally they are more dependent upon the electoral process and competition, but due to their position they boycott elections and actively oppose the government outside of party competition. This willingness for subversive activity does occur more in the second half of the time period.
6.10 restricting party competition
0, AC5
The Liberals are illegal, thus cannot restrict party competition in any way--they are outside of the electoral process. In fact, in the second part of our time period, the opposition parties have completely withdrawn from competition by boycotting elections.
6.20 subverting the political system
2 for 1st half, AC5
3 for 2nd half, AC5
The Liberals have moved more towards actively subverting political processes (or at least supporting such subversion in theory) as they have been more influenced by the Febreristas in the second half of our time period. This increased desire for subversive measures has probably also occurred because of the increased deportations-- persons outside of the country cannot change the electoral process by competition methods.
6.30 propagandizing ideas and program
6.31--2, AC9. It appears that when the Liberals can use the mass communications media, they do so. This depends upon the whim of the coloime to show his modern reforms to secure aid from the U.S.
6.32--AC1. There was no information on this subject in the material.
6.33--AC1. There was no information on this subject in the material.
6.34--2, AC9. The Liberals publish position papers in an effort to build resistance and sway support from Stroessner.
6.50 providing for welfare of party members
There is no information about this entire cluster of variables.

Autonomy Variables, 7.01-7.05
7.01 sources of funds
7, AC3
I would suppose that the Liberals collected most of their funds through the contributions of members, as they are an illegal party and would thus have difficulty appealing to any social groups.
7.02 source of members
5, AC8
It is said that membership in the Liberal Party (as in the Colorados) comes at birth. Apart from this ascriptive community tie, membership is direct rather than indirect.
7.03 sources of leaders
The Liberals (the traditional party) did not compete in the parliamentary or governmental elections due to their illegal status. There is no real information about the source of the party leaders beyond the fact that they are educated--this could place them in one or more than one institutional sector.
7.04 relations with domestic parties
7 for 1st half, AC3
5 for 2nd half, AC9
In the first half of our time period we can infer that the Liberals were completely autonomous of any domestic alliances because it appears that they did not undertake too much of the political action planned by the party directorate. Between 1957-62 this changes and the Liberals join a coalition with the Febreristas called the Union Nacional Paraguaya. This coalition was formed to coordinate the anti-Stroessner forces.
7.05 relations with foreign organizations
5, AC3
By virtue of the fact that there is no information about any links with an international organization, it seems that the Liberals are totally a national organization.

Organizational Complexity Variables, 8.01-8.07
8.01 structural articulation
6, AC5
Though the material is sketchy on this variable, it appears that the Liberals have at least two major national organs, the national convention and the party directorate. The selection procedure appears to be that of indirect representation in the election of the directorate (members elect a national convention which picks a directorate). Their functions are largely indeterminate.
8.02 intensiveness of organization
4, AC3
The Liberals are divided into comites, which are based on the branch form of divisions.
8.03 extensiveness of organization
5, AC6
The most intensive level of organization is scattered throughout the country, but again, as the strength of the party is variable across the country , so is the local organization.
8.04 frequency of local meetings
There is no information given about the frequency of the local organization meetings.
8.05 frequency of national meetings
There is no information given on the frequency of national meetings for the directorate. The national convention's meetings were curtailed due to the repression of Stroessner during our time period, but it is not known how or if this affected the directorate, which was probably operating from exile.
8.06 maintaining records
10, AC6
The Liberals maintained their party newspapers, "El Enano" and "Tribuna Liberal," during our time period. They also continued their tradition of maintaining membership lists and membership applications.
8.07 pervasiveness of organization
5, AC8
The Club Alon and the Ateneo Liberal appear to be two student groups that are associated with the Liberal Party. They appear to be popular among Liberal youth, and their relationship even appears to include an exchange of ideas (about tactics, issues).

Organizational Power Variables, 9.01-9.08
9.01 nationalization of structure
6, AC5
It appears that the national organization was hierarchically superior to the local parties. There is no information relating to a regional level in the structure, although this may only be a fault of the material.
9.02 selecting the national leader
There is no information on the selection of the party leader. This may be due to the fact that the selection process is complicated by the exile of many members, and many persons are designated as the party leaders in the literature (rather than one person). This is due to the physical dispersion of the party.
9.03 selecting parliamentary candidates
Not applicable.
The Liberal Party does not compete in national elections for the legislature due to its illegal status. In fact, the general practice for the Liberals became boycotting the elections rather than competing in them.
9.04 allocating funds
There is no information about the collection or allocation of funds in the Liberal Party beyond the fact that membership dues are collected.
9.05 formulating policy
There is no information about the formation of policy in the Liberal Party. I would hesitate to even infer that it is decentralized due to their exile, because of the example of the very centralized Febrerista party in exile .
9.06 controlling communications
5, AC3
It appears that the Liberal national organization controls its own media, El Enano and Tribuna Liberal. There is no information about the Liberal media influence in Paraguay circulation.
9.07 administering discipline
4, AC3
The most plausible group to administer discipline in the Liberal Party would be the executive committee (directorate). This is little more than an inference based on the fact that the Renovacion was expelled by them in the early 1960's.
9.08 leadership concentration
3, AC3
The Liberal Party was decentralized as far as physical dispersion during our time period, but it appears that their leadership is based on the persons in their directorate. This group may have quite a few persons speaking for them and aiding their decision-making because of their dispersion.

Coherence Variables, 10.01-10.06
10.01 legislative cohesion
Not applicable.
Paraguay was virtually a single party system during our time period, due to the measures enforced by Stroessner.
10.02 ideological factionalism
1, AC5
Ideology does not appear to have been the motivating factor for the formation of factions in the Liberal Party. There was a differing of ideology and goals in the Liberal factions, but they were based more on issues and tactics than on ideology.
10.03 issue factionalism
4, AC7
It is generally agreed that the revolutionary directorate (the Liberal faction of the early 1960's) disagreed with the old guard Liberals on issues, i.e., Their role in the political system of Paraguay. The only author who disagrees on this subject is Nichols who believes that the factions are formed basically due to leadership competition and a desire for a bigger share of the spoils.
10.04 leadership factionalism
4, AC8
Probably the most basic motivation for creating a faction during our time period was the competition of groups within the parties. This grows out of the fact that one of the parties' main functions is patronage. Thus different groups compete for a larger share of the political prize.
10.05 strategic or tactical factionalism
4, AC7
Again, it is generally agreed that the Liberal faction, the Renovacion, had a conflicting set of tactics with the traditional party. Nichols does not talk about this fact, but rather concentrates only on the leadership competition by generational motive in the Paraguayan parties.
10.06 party purges
0 for 1st half, AC9
1 for 2nd half, AC5
Between 1951-56 the Liberal Party had no purges. There is controversy about whether the split between the Liberal Party and the Renovacion was a split in the second half of our time period or whether it was a purge. It is probably a circular problem, with each side claiming that they were the ones to take action.

Involvement Variables, 11.01-11.06
11.01 membership requirements
3, AC6
There was a formal enrollment procedure including application and acceptance into the party. An annual contribution is also considered part of the requirements of membership.
11.02 membership participation
2, AC3
One would suppose that most of the members of the party are marginal members in that the party is illegal and its structure does not appear to necessitate the avid participation of the Liberal members. Most probably the members use the party when possible for their economic problems and for patronage sources.
11.03 material incentives
4, AC5
In using our definition of militant, one would classify the members of the Renovacion faction as militants and the party leaders as militants. There is probably motivation on the part of these men to join the Liberal Party for the political prizes that they would receive by gaining power. A good example of this is the fact that the Renovacion candidate for the presidency became an ambassador.
11.04 purposive incentives
0, AC6
As Nichols has pointed out in his thesis, there does not appear to be much difference between the parties in Paraguay in terms of ideological principles. Thus, purposive incentives would not be one of the most important reasons for the militant to join and stay with his party.
11.05 doctrinism
1, AC6
There does not appear to be much use or consultation of the Liberal declaration of principles.
11.06 personalism
0, AC3
There does not seem to be any overwhelming personalistic attraction to the leader of a faction, or to any leader of the Liberal Party (only the aforementioned leadership competition).