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Operational Definition. Parties are coded according to their positions concerning the joint application of certain criteria concerning the extent and nature of electoral participation, as discussed above.



Advocates maintaining or introducing universal adult suffrage (commonly 18 to 23 years of age) plus favoring competitive elections to choose government leaders.



Advocates maintaining or introducing adult suffrage for males but not for females plus favoring competitive elections.



Advocates maintaining or introducing popular enfranchisement in principle, but favors substantial abridgments on the basis of competence, interest, or compliance reflected in nondiscriminatory application of literacy tests, property requirements, or educational qualifications plus favoring competitive elections.



Includes ambiguous positions.



Supports a situation which disenfranchises a substantial minority of the population either through discriminatory application of a legal test or through explicit exclusion of social groupings (an example of exclusion because of "social incompatibility"), or favors banning parties with substantial followings from competition or existence.



Supports a situation which disenfranchises a majority of the population either through a discriminatory application of legal tests or through explicit exclusion of social groupings, or allows only one party to compete in regular elections.



Advocates a significant reduction in the proportion of the enfranchised population, or opposes popular election as a general principle for selecting government leaders, that is, holds no elections or one-party elections very irregularly.

Coding Results. This was the only variable in the study that underwent a fundamental reconceptualization from studying the preliminary results of coding. Originally, this variable was conceptualized more narrowly as "extension of the franchise," which did not allow for the nature of electoral participation. While Thomas's study (1974) of party positions over almost 100 years found "extension of the franchise" to be a useful differentiator among parties around the turn of the century, that variable has been blunted with the passage of time and the diffusion of ideas about political modernization. Voting as a symbol of democracy was so widely supported across the world by the 1950s that few parties dared advocating limiting the electorate, even if their sympathies did not lie with popular participation in government in the broader sense. About three quarters of our parties were coded at the strongest pro position of "universal suffrage."

When the variable was reconceptualized from "extension of the franchise" to "electoral participation" and the parties rescored accordingly, fewer than two-thirds remained in this strongest pro category, and almost one quarter emerged with con scores in opposition to electoral participation. (See Tables 6.13a and 6.13b.) Moreover, we witness a shift away from electoral participation from 1950-1956 to 1957-1962 in the tendencies of the world's parties. Extension of voting rights may be politically expedient to some governments, but the meaningful exercise of those rights is another matter entirely.

Basic Variable 5.12: Protection of Civil Rights

Plano and Greenberg distinguish "civil rights" from "civil liberties" by pointing out that liberties guarantee protection of persons, opinions, and property against arbitrary government interference, whereas rights are usually protected through positive governmental acts to guard against discrimination from outside the government (1967, pp. 56-57). We therefore define civil rights as claims on social opportunities that are justified simply on the basis of community membership. When someone is denied social opportunities available to others, he is being denied his civil rights. Infringement on civil rights becomes a potential political issue when social opportunities are systematically denied to socially significant groups of people. These acts of discrimination are most frequently directed toward social minorities on the part of those in the majority, but they may also occur on behalf of a minority discriminating against the majority. The latter situation is particularly volatile.

Party orientations toward the infringement of civil rights through discrimination can follow two directions. The party might advocate government action to eradicate or discourage discrimination, or, at the other extreme, it may actually promote or support discrimination through legislative proposals. In either case, the target population might be either minorities or the majority in a society, depending on who controls the gov-

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