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Chapter 15: Continuity and Change: 1950-1978 (pp. 162-169), p. 169
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onstrates significant system change, as fourteen new parties qualified for study after 1962. While few new parties were created in South America and the Anglo-American area, system change in these countries is seen in analyzing changes in party legislative representation from 1950 to 1978. Changes in legislative representation among Anglo-American parties occur through elections almost exclusively. This process of "institutionalized" electoral change is present also in South America, but elections as a source of change in South American parties are occasionally supplemented by extra-institutional processes, such as military coups. Party system change in both Anglo-America and South American nations can be contrasted with the "static stability" found in Eastern Europe. In these countries, virtually no system change has occurred through the introduction of new parties, termination of old ones, or variations in legislative strength of existing parties.

The party systems in the Third World excluding South America have experienced substantial changes since the 1950s. Fewer than 50 percent of the original parties in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Central America have continued to 1979, and 33 of the 50 new parties came from countries in these regions. Because so many of the parties have Third World origins, it is tempting to suggest that conditions in these countries are conducive to party life. They are conducive to party birth perhaps but not party life, for parties in these countries tend not to have long life spans. Among all our regions, only Western Europe can be said to be conducive to party life in the sense of providing for party birth and party continuity.

Party instability in many Third World nations can perhaps be attributed to the relative infancy of their political systems. Western and South American nations have longer traditions of nation-state governmental institutions. Although control of these institutions may shift abruptly (especially following coups in South America), the institutions themselves tend to continue, providing the thread of continuity to sustain parties awaiting for yet another change in governmental control. But memories of governmental systems with functioning parties are rare in Third World nations, and it is difficult to maintain the will to continue without a clear and common vision of the purpose of survival.

A trend in system change seems present in these findings on party continuity and change since 1950. Conditions appear to be less favorable in 1979 for "bargaining politics" as practiced by pragmatic "catchall" parties. This is evidenced both in the shift toward one-party and extreme multiparty systems and in the slight drop in the proportion of "centrist" parties. In Western Europe, this trend is seen most clearly in Denmark, although Britain also has been troubled recently by party fragmentation in the home of two-party politics. The Netherlands and France, on the other hand, show signs of movement in the other direction-toward the consolidation of parties, if only in presidential elections in France. The individual country sections in Part Two describe the trends in specific party systems since 1950. Those discussions are too brief to convey any substantial knowledge of party politics in given countries, but they should give adequate orientation to a country's parties for sensible use of the data provided.

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