Path: Table of Contents > Essay on Party Politics > List of Variables > Party 382

Uruguayan National Party, 382
Variables and Codes for 1950-1962
9-- Organizational Power Variables

Nationalization of Structure


Formulating Policy


Selecting the National Leader


Controlling Communications


Selecting Parliamentary Candidates


Administering Discipline


Allocating Funds


Leadership Concentration

9.01 nationalization of structure
4, AC5
The party hierarchy in terms of concentration of power is perhaps difficult to measure for the following reasons. The most basic unit of the party is the neighborhood political club which selects candidates for local office, issues policy statements on purely local issues, and during election time they support different sub-lemas for national office, etc. On the national level, the executive council and the heads of the various large sub-lemas have considerable control, whether informal or formal, as to who may run in each of the major sub-lemas and his ranking on the various lists on the ballots, as well as what issues concerning the party platform will be voted on at the party convention. However there is no effective party wide institution for coordinating the aggregate activities of the various sub-lemas and the local clubs.
9.02 selecting the national leader
0, AC5
This variable is difficult to code for the Nacional party due to the presence of sub-lemas within the party. Since anyone within the party can create his own sub-lema it may be said that the leader of the largest sub-lema (in terms of votes in the election) is the head of the party. However in the case of this party the leader of the major sub-lema--Luis Alberto de Herrera-- at times during the first and second time period up until his death--was not even on the ballot. And yet he was a leader of the party for over 40 years. In the second time period there was certainly more than one national leader--in one sub-lema there were three nationally known leaders. It is thus decided that there was no identifiable leader during our time period.
9.03 selecting parliamentary candidates
3, AC5
The leaders of the major sub-lemas control who is to be placed within their own sub-lema and where on the ballot they will be placed. This process can be altered to some extent at the National Party convention a couple of months before the election. If we stop here in the process the code would be "8". However since there is more than one sub-lema in each party it can also be argued that at election time there is also a direct primary in which the individual party member votes for his own sub-lema. In this case a code of "3" would be used. Any one may create their own sub-lema within the party, i.e., run for office. Whether he is the front runner and major candidate within the party depends upon the relative position of the votes for him vis-à-vis the other members of the other sub-lemas. Whether he is in fact elected depends of course on how well the party does vis-à-vis all other parties. Thus the variable can be coded in two different ways, depending upon one's own perspective.
9.04 allocating funds
0, AC5
Funds are received at the local level in the form of dues. At the national level the party council controls the monies from the various party enterprises such as newspapers, radio-tv stations and from the national government at election time for defraying the cost of printing the ballots. How the leaders of the party actually distribute the nationally gathered money is not clearly indicated in the literature. However money is collected and disbursed at all levels.
9.05 formulating policy
2, AC5
The national political issues are generally determined by the major leaders of the sub-lemas and voted on at the national party convention. However the local clubs are able to act independently on local issues.
9.06 controlling communications
4, AC5
The major newspapers are generally controlled by the leaders of the sub-lemas. However the local clubs are also able to issue press releases, have neighborhood newspapers, demonstrations and are generally free from direct control by party leaders. Both groups influence the content of communication, but of course at different levels.
9.07 administering discipline
0, AC5
In the National Assembly and in the senate the literature mentions that on a few occasions the party caucus's leaders had to use severe voting control. Since the leaders ape able to control whether a member is aligned to be listed on the ballot of a sub-lema that he is presently in, the leaders do have considerable control when necessary over the members. Generally, however, the members are allowed to vote any way they want with little control coming from the party.
9.08 leadership concentration
2, AC5
Although the heads of the various sub-lemas do at times make pronouncements on behalf of the party, there is no general way in which party policy is issued. It could be argued that the party platform voted on by the delegates to the national convention is the only real authoritative voice on policy decisions and in this case a code of 0 could be used.