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Concepts for Analyzing Political Parties (cont)

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would do by picking coalitions out of a hat" (Laver and Schofield 1990, 96).

Like Laver and Schofield, Budge and Keman (1990) reviewed the empirical research sparked by the pure office-seeking theory and concluded that the theory fit the data better when it permitted only coalitions that were ideologically "connected," which fits with findings by Franklin and Mackie (1984) about the importance of ideology in predicting to coalition formation. However, that restriction modified the office-seeking assumption by introducing a policy-seeking strategy (pp.17-19). Budge and Keman also reviewed results from pure policy-based theory (core theory) that predicted coalitions whose policies would be closest to those of its component parties (Laver and Schofield 1990) but found no improvement in results (pp.19-26). In formulating their own theory of party government, Budge and Keman rely on a mixed strategy: parties seek office as a means of advancing policy (p.31).

In an important article, Strom (1990) outlined and critiqued three pure party strategies: vote-seeking, office-seeking, and policy-seeking. He then proposed seven hypotheses stating the effects of institutional features on competitive party behavior, for example:

1. The greater the degree of electoral competitiveness (the uncertainty of electoral contests), the more parties will pursue votes. . . .

7. The greater the office benefit differential between government and opposition relative to the policy influence differential, the greater the propensity of political parties toward office-seeking behavior" (pp.588-589)

Strom incorporated his propositions concerning parties' internal organization into two causal models to explain the mix of strategies pursued by competitive political parties.

In the poetically titled, Paper Stones,[26] Przeworski and Sprague explored the strategic decision confronting democratic socialist parties that arises from this dilemma: "Socialism cannot be achieved without participation in democratic institutions, but participation erodes the will for socialism" (1986, 2). Przeworski and Sprague reported, moreover, that the proportion of the population employed as wage earners in industrial activities never surpassed 50 percent in any country. Because socialist parties regularly peaked at less than 50 percent of the vote, they needed to broaden their appeal beyond the proletariat. However, "By broadening their appeal, socialist parties dilute the general ideological salience of class and, consequently, weaken the motivational force of class among workers" (p.45). Przeworski and Sprague conducted a rigorous quantitative analysis of the consequences for socialist parties in opting for "pure supraclass and pure class-only strategies" in seven countries, saying "The difference between the shares resulting from pursuing pure strategies is the range of choice that a party faces when it decides which course of action to adopt" (p.106). In most cases, they concluded that a pure supraclass strategy from the beginning would have been preferable, particularly in Denmark and Norway. Although such a strategy would have cost socialist parties some working-class votes, their net increment in voting support would have been positive.

Competitive tactics: In military terminology, strategy refers to a plan for pursuing a goal while tactics refers to actions taken to implement the strategy. Similarly, party tactics refer to what parties actually do to carry out their strategy. The cross-national literature on party tactics that fulfill a competitive strategy is relatively small. Penniman (1981) studied campaign styles. Farrell and Wortmann (1987) analyzed parties in three countries for "political marketing"--use of candidate packaging and communications media. Bowler (1990) examined the effects on voters of party movement on issues. Sainsbury (1990) edited a symposium on strategies and party-voter linkages in several countries, and noted that parties confronted a dilemma, in that "dwindling membership increased the difficulties of parties to mobilize and structure the vote, while less direct citizen involvement in parties make congruity between mass opinion and public decisions more difficult to achieve" (p. 6).

Governmental Status

The term "governmental status" refers to the nature and extent of a party's participation in national politics. This concept subsumes research on parties' electoral strength and political importance.[27] In keeping with a vote-seeking model of the party and our form of government, American scholars are apt to measure party dominance by percentage of votes won in elections and control of the executive. In keeping with an office-seeking model and a parliamentary form of government, European scholars look at percentages of seats won in parliament and participation in government--i.e., the distribution of cabinet ministries. As Budge and Keman said, "Evaluations of office-seeking theory have concentrated on the emergence of government coalitions because it is here that the theory is most explicit and widely applied" (1990,15). More definitively, Strom

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