Party Label Means What Exactly?

In researching parties and ideology (consistency, flip-flopping, etc), there are many ways to illuminate empirical evidence. I prefer looking at party member’s votes against whatever I’m researching via Kitchelt. I like it because American elections are about the economy (stupid), and religion takes sides on many issues and fundimentalists are distinct from secularists. I do believe that I will prefer a new strategy to measure party members upon the citizenry in the future. Thus this challenge.

Kitchelt’s et al. party positions in two dimensional space:

    • To the north: Secular libertarians,
    • To the south: Religious authoritarians,
    • To the east: Market liberalism,
    • To the west: Social protectionism.

Some scholars may prefer the Downsian continuum and placement of the median voter. Why?

What is your preferred research approach? Please describe? Feel free to experiment!

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