The country positions on the economic left-right dimension are the same as the ones in Figure 5.5. However, some important variations can be observed on the vertical axis, especially among Venezuelans, Brazilians, and Peruvians. Both Venezuelans and Brazilians are predominantly authoritarian on the political dimension but only moderately fundamentalist on the cultural dimension. In contrast, Peruvians are moderately pro-democratic on the political dimension and predominantly fundamentalist on the cultural dimension. Although the rest of the countries have relatively similar positions on both the political and the cultural dimensions, in Venezuela, Brazil, and Peru there is no correspondence between liberal and pro-democratic views or between authoritarian and fundamentalist views.
The global process of political and economic change that took place during the past two decades created opposing views about democracy and the market among the mass publics of several emerging democracies. As Tucker put it a decade ago, "The crucial evidence that a society is in the throes of cultural change is the emergence of conflict between exponents of new ways and defenders of the old ones. That is what we see now in Russia. Whatever else may be said, it is clear that an effort has begun to cut down the swollen state and re-invigorate the spent society, and that it is encountering heavy resistance" ( Tucker 1987:194). In fact, resistance was not expressed only in regard to the economic system but, even more important, in regard to the political system. Opposing views about democratization were so deep in some emerging democracies that they influenced party support significantly, thereby constituting a relevant political cleavage. This political cleavage was rooted in the value and issue orientations of the mass electorates. To the extent that political parties and candidates in the emerging democracies represented not just different programmatic goals but different types of political regimes, the democratic-authoritarian cleavage plays a role in the prospects for democratic consolidation.
The increase in political competition has provided voters with several political options, some of which represent the advance of democratic politics and some, the main resistance to democracy. Voter preferences are likely to reflect existing elite agreements or disagreements with the more aware citizens reflecting them more faithfully ( Zaller 1992). Thus the democratic- authoritarian cleavage that dominates political competition in some emerging democracies may be to some extent fed by the salience of democratic and authoritarian elites. The relevance or irrelevance of the democratic-authoritarian cleavage may be linked with the prospects for democratic consolidation: Simply based on issue salience and voter preferences, the prospects are more
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Publication information: Book title: Political Cleavages:Issues, Parties, and the Consolidation of Democracy. Contributors: Alejandro Moreno - Author. Publisher: Westview Press. Place of publication: Boulder, CO. Publication year: 1999. Page number: 164.