The Cadence of Intra-party Relations


Professor: Align Left          Student: Center         Gadfly: Align Right



  1. Let’s talk about Pedersen, for a moment,[1]
  2.      And add to our conversation,
  3.            Of political parties,
  4.                  Of salience.
  5. The students provide undivided attention,
  6. Hoping to hear this sage’s academic reflection.
  7. The cadence of democracy,
  8.      Is drummed upon society,
  9.      From power and compromise;
  10.            By political parties.
  11. Now this cadence is complex, for instance;
  12.      When are rank-and-file members and activists,
  13.            Drumming up malevolent authoritarianism,
  14.                   Or virtuous denizen reflections?
  15.      When are rank-and-file members and activists,
  16.             Of significant influence to governance?
  17.      When is power within political parties distributed?
  18.      When do party parliamentarians or the party organization,
  19.             Engage decision-making and coalition negotiations?
  20. A young graduate student,
  21. Cannot help himself from,
  22. Pondering aloud this question:
  23. When is this sounded, and, who hears it?
  24. Pederson’s intra-party analysis of coalition formation,
  25.      Challenges the unitary actor assumptions.
  26. For if parties are significantly different in their structures, and,
  27.      There is an absence of robust regression, then,
  28. The unitary actor model should recognize structural differences.
  29. Pedersen expands, “How intra-party politics influence
  30.      Inter-party negotiations is a theoretical puzzle.” So,
  31. Are coalition negotiations fragmented by decentralized decisions?
  32. Do institutionalized procedures create policy output equilibriums?
  33. Are activists or party leaders able to control the agenda? And,
  34. Isn’t it wiser for the party to control policy over the public orchestra?
  35. The silence was deafening,
  36. As Kroar designed to thwart apathy.
  37. Identify some angled answers to this conundrum!
  38. The literature shows that when parties are treated as units,
  39.       Intra-party relations don’t affect the parties’ coalition performance,
  40.                                     OR,
  41. Parties with centralized power are likely winners in coalition negotiations,[2]
  42.                                     OR,
  43. Decentralized decision procedures create stronger party positions,
  44.       In coalition negotiations;[3]
  45.                                     AND,
  46. Pedersen tests internal party distribution,
  47.       Within Danish political parties,
  48. My studious students, she tests,
  49.       Their winning legislative accommodations.
  50. By the way, legislative accommodations are,
  51.        Informally binding legislative coalitions,
  52.               ‘Tween parties and the parliament.
  53. What are the beats of discourse,
  54. For internal and external bargaining resources?
  55. Internal bargaining resources are observed,
  56.       During inter-party negotiation(s) choice:
  57.            Does the party compromise on policy,
  58.                   In order to influence the policy voice?
  59.            Or does party purity mean the most,
  60.                    Bargaining via ideological poise.
  61. What are the weakness in this show?
  62. The former two modes of internal bargaining resources,
  63.             In the policy-seeking model of party behavior—are ignored; because,
  64. (1) policy purity and (2) policy influence do engage different strategies;
  65.             To accomplish public policy in the midst of coalition behavior drums.
  66. Policy purists try to influence the overall public debate and policy agenda,
  67.       And are less likely to enter into coalitions, like the Danish SPP,
  68.             Who where unable to internally enter into coalitional government,
  69.                With the similar minded Social Democrats, and so indeed,
  70.                    Unable to enter into a coalition and gain cabinet positions,
  71.                         ‘Cause of the national party organization protests,
  72.                            The drums of a single ideological rapport, hence,
  73.                                Strong external bargaining resources trumped,
  74.                                     Weaker internal bargaining resources; thus,
  75.                                       “Party motives in inter-party negotiations
  76.                                            Are conditioned by intra-party politics.”[4]
  77. Pedersen tests the power structure within the party from:
  78.         Candidate, Sanction, Policy, and Information.
  79. Please expand.
  80. Candidate: Who picks them? The national party? A grassroots election?
  81.             Ex ante, the national party may control the ideology of the candidate.
  82.             Ex post, the national party may deny compromisers reselection.
  83. Sanction:  Who slaps their hand? The national party? A parliamentarian?
  84.             MPs acting against the party may lose their seat via exclusion.
  85.                  Exclusion is a deleterious reprimand.
  86. Policy: Does the parliamentarian site the national party organization?
  87.             Must policy be a reflection of the party platform?
  88. Information: Must the parliamentarians inform the national party organization?
  89.             Does the party veto policy compromises before the vote decision?
  90. Of course, the science of this is to understand, exactly to what extent,
  91.       The former create an observed powerdistribution.
  92. Pedersen thus does operationalize the former items of power to reckon,
  93.       The effects of external and internal bargaining power upon,
  94.              Legislative accommodations.
  95. And she also then tests, the questions from the start of class.
  96. She finds that power distribution does not significantly impact,
  97.       The coalition behavior of political parties.
  98. She suggests that parties with a strong national government,
  99.       Are more likely to enforce party purity, thus largely,
  100.             They are more inflexible during inter-party pacts,
  101.                   And so their policy is less likely to become the law,
  102.                          Created by the government.
  103. She reveals that intra-party politics systematically does impact,
  104.       The coalition behavior of political parties—that their stance,
  105.             May shift because of the power of the national party,
  106.                   Whether the position advocates purity, or, policy influence.
  107. The students’ undivided attention faded.
  108. The professor had clearly come full circle.
  109. For the next topic most awaited,
  110. While Kroar anticipated this hurdle:
  111. Aren’t party memberships declining,
  112. While at the same time, ironically,
  113. More people influence candidates and policy?[5]
  114. Parties are quantitatively declining.
  115. Leadership is qualitatively redesigning:
  116.       The incentives to induce enrollment, so,
  117.       New members may play a more active roll,
  118.       New members may dynamically alter the party’s soul.
  119. The demographics of party memberships,
  120.       Have never mirrored population trends.
  121. Party members are much more likely than the average Joe,
  122.       To engage in intense political activities and behavior.
  123. Party members are wealthier than the average citizen,
  124.        More often middle class and union membership matters, friends,
  125.        They’re more often male and more religious, and,
  126.        Older than the average denizen.
  127. Scarrow and Gezgor not only prove that age membership,
  128.       Significantly increased in 7 of 8 European countries, but,
  129.             Discussed the impact of policy preferences upon pensions!
  130. And party members were significantly male dominated,
  131.             From 10 to 30 percent in the 2000s.
  132. And party members in 6 of 7 countries were positively more educated,
  133.             Than the population in the 2000s.
  134. Six countries showed positive union differences, from 6 to 30 percent.
  135. Five countries proved significant positive income differences,
  136.             Between party members and the population in the 2000s.
  137. A student attempted thoughtfulness:
  138. Wish we could compare those numbers,
  139. To the 1990s, professor.
  140. Precisely! With the exception of age, statistically,
  141.      The demography of party membership, over the two decades,
  142.             Transformed toward the population average—since the ‘90s.
  143. So the distance ‘tween the voters,
  144. And the activists in the parties;
  145. Is a closing gap, though still a gorge?
  146. Their evidence says that party membership is shifting,
  147.      Away from those few citizens with bountiful resource withdrawals,
  148.            Discouraging political scientists to advocate May’s Law:
  149.                 That party members prefer political incentives, and,
  150.                        That party members are [strongly] ideologically driven.
  151.       ‘Twas confirmed by an Eurobarameter data discovery,
  152.             That the ideological gap ‘tween the party members and populace,
  153.                   Existed. But the difference was slight, in summary:
  154.                         The gap did not impact by more than a point, [this squall],
  155.                               The political polarization walls.
  156. There is no evidence that the drop in party membership,
  157.       Has led to the enrollment,
  158.             Of radicals!
  159. There is no evidence that the drop in party membership,
  160.       Has left the party system a more polarized environment,
  161.             Of parties [from the median voter] on sabbatical![6]
  162. Carla assumed the professor had finished amusing:
  163. Professor,
  164. Will you get to party patronage and the nature of parties,
  165. In new democracies?
  166. Kopecký and Spirova from Leiden University,
  167.       And Gerardo Scherlis from Buenos Aires,[7]
  168.               Scientifically study this quandary.
  169. Carla thought quandary was loaded vocabulary:
  170. What angles did they explain?
  171. Regime consolidation and regime performance,
  172.      Are impacted by party performance.
  173. And these new democracies have created many political parties,
  174.       Thus important are their workings as discrete actors; however tardy.
  175. But class, how do these parties organize?
  176.        Through partisanship do they increase in size?
  177. Ava couldn’t help herself:
  178. Quandary indeed!
  179. The authors’ evidence is a study of party patronage.
  180.       Adding to the research of electoral behavior,
  181.       Adding to the relationship of parties, organizations, and civil society,
  182.       Adding to our knowledge of party membership,
  183.             Inducing political sobriety!
  184. Oh, this professor does opine!
  185. The angles that they play [are]:
  186.      They don’t research the relationship to society, rather the state.
  187.      They link patterns of party patronage with models of party frames.
  188.      They empirically measure patronage to solicit clarification of this debate.
  189. Now class, patronage is an electoral resource,
  190.      Recall our past dyadic relationship discourse,
  191.             There is the politician or party, and, access to the supporter.
  192. Avoiding a morass, patronage is also an organizational resource,
  193.       This happens when the party patronage actually purports,
  194.             To distribute positions in state institutions to supporters.
  195. The students’ typing was at a roar,
  196. But one found the time to explore:
  197. Does the politician or the party make the appointment?
  198. Or,
  199. Does the new government simply stamp the party’s list of friends?
  200. And,
  201. Are these jobs for friends or expanding professional networks instead?
  202. Great questions!
  203. A long moment was taken.
  204. Let us imagine our scholars’ connections,
  205.      ‘Tween the goal of the party and motivations:
  206.             When the motivation of the patronage is electoral,
  207.                  The party’s goal is to increase votes.
  208.             When the motivation of the patronage is organizational,
  209.                  They seek cohesion, discipline, fund-raising, and partisan networks.
  210.             When the motivation of the patronage is governmental,
  211.                   The party’s goal is about decision-making process control.
  212. Let us remember our scholars’ demarcations:
  213.      ‘Tween party patronage and party organizations:
  214.             When we’re researching a Cadre Party,
  215.                  Intra-party patronage control is by party notables,
  216.                  Motivations for patronage are habitually electoral,
  217.                  Appointees are personal friends and supporters.
  218.             When we’re researching a Mass Party,
  219.                  Intra-party patronage control is advanced by the central office,
  220.                  Motivations for patronage are organizational ‘n enormous,
  221.                  Appointees are not personal fiends; rather, it’s partisan mortise.
  222.             When we’re researching a Cartel Party,
  223.                   Intra-party patronage control resides with the public office,
  224.                   Motivations for patronage sound a governmental chorus,
  225.                   Appointees are party experts and elites from academia’s fortress.
  226. A libertarian interjected:
  227. So under the cartel party style,
  228. We need not worry about the waning,
  229. Of membership in parties?
  230. I expect that research, from that intelligent question,
  231.      To be on my desk, by the end of the semester.
  232. Many chuckled.
  233. Seriously, the sounds of the intra-party cadence are complex and may heed,
  234.       These Cadre, Mass, and Cartel parties may breathe,
  235.             Within the same election cycle, you see:
  236.                  Our scholars were surprised to find,
  237.                       That patterns of patronage have at times superseded,
  238.                              The cartel party dynamic grind.
  239. For sometimes patronage looks like a cartel party with,
  240.       Big appointments called by the big shots.
  241.             This makes a cartel party appear as if,
  242.                   It were a cadre party with institutional make-up.
  243. A post-positivist dreamed:
  244. Are mass parties extinct?
  245. Leaving intelligent patronage,
  246. To the cartel party for keeps?
  247. Observe in Bulgaria the strength of the central office,
  248.             Controlling patronage appointments,
  249. Where the Party Chairman is also the Prime Minister, for instance,
  250.             The Bulgarian Socialist Party, 2005-9, as a Mass party—
  251.                        Was no disappointment!
  252. The professor finally noticed the time:
  253. Thank you class for your duration through my narration.
  254. Please remember this lecture as:
  255. The cadence of intra-party relations.
  256. The class ended, but not the class dynamics:
  257. One student understood the discussion.
  258. Another felt lost in a cloud of academia.
  259. Kroar met the acquaintance of Happiness.
  260. The permanently tardy student never quite tuned in.
  261. But most, dear friend, were thankful for the pieces of the Party Puzzle given.


[1] This begins an analysis of Pederson. 2010. How Intra-party Power Relations affect the Coalition Behavior of Political Parties. Party Politics, 16, 737. Sage.

[2] Strøm.

[3] Moar.

[4] Page 739.

[5] This begins an analysis of Scarrow and Gezgor. 2010. Declining Memberships, Changing Members? European Political Party Members in a New Era. Party Politics, 16(6), 823-843. Sage.

[6] This study does not comment on American politics.

[7] This begins an analysis of: Kopecký, Spirova, and Scherlis. 2011. Beyond the Cartel Party? Party Patronage and the Nature of Parties in New Democracies. Joint IPSA/ECPR Conference.


One thought on “The Cadence of Intra-party Relations

  1. Pingback: Poli-Sci “Parties” Poetry Book « Political Pipeline

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