Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Democracies

By Paul Webb; David Farrell et al. | Go to book overview

The decline of the two-party system in New Zealand represents a decline of parties in general, at least in terms of the level of relatively spontaneous support they receive. The increased support that parties receive from the state makes it possible for parties to maintain their roles and institutionalize their organizations on a base of substantially lower membership than in the past. But the level of taxpayer support for parties and politicians in general is an issue in New Zealand politics, although more at the level of relatively trivial excesses in travel expenditure. The other symptom of low public tolerance for expenditure to support the political process is a campaign to reduce the size of the legislature, which increased under MMP to 120. Reduction of the size of the house received overwhelming support in a non-binding referendum held at the time of the 1999 election.

The effects of proportional representation have opened up the political marketplace, and made it more difficult to maintain any hint of a two-party 'cartel', with system-level rules that prevent or at least limit competition from outsiders (Katz 1996). Nonetheless, persistent opposition to the new electoral system indicates continued support for the reimposition of a two-party cartel among some of the key actors in New Zealand politics. The implications of such a counter-revolution on public attitudes to the party system and political legitimacy in general could be far-reaching.


References

Bartolini, S. and Mair, P. (1990) Identity, Competition, and Electoral Availability: The Stabilization of European Electorates 1885-1985 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

Bean, C. (1996) 'Partisanship and electoral behaviour in comparative perspective', in M. Simms (ed.) The Paradox of Parties: Australian Political Parties in the 1990s (Sydney: Allen and Unwin).

Crawford, A., Harbridge, R., and Hince, K. (1998) Unions and Union Membership in New Zealand: Annual Review for 1997 (Wellington: Industrial Relations Centre, Victoria University of Wellington).

Denemark, D. (1991) 'Electoral instability and the modern campaign: New Zealand labour in 1987'. Australian Journal of Political Science 26: 260-76.

—— (1992) 'New Zealand: the 1987 campaign', in Shaun Bowler and David Farrell (eds) Electoral Strategies and Political Marketing (London: Macmillan).

—— (1996)'Thinking ahead to mixed-member proportional representation: party strategies and election campaigning under New Zealand's new electoral law'. Party Politics 2: 409-20.

Duverger, M. (1954) Political Parties: Their Organization and Activity in the Modern State (London: Methuen).

Easton, B. (1989) The Making of Rogernomics (Auckland: Auckland University Press).

Gustafson, B. (1976) Social Change and Party Reorganization: The New Zealand Labour Party Since 1945 (London: Sage Publications).

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Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Democracies
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Comparative Politics ii
  • Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Democracies iii
  • Acknowledgements v
  • Contents vii
  • List of Figures ix
  • List of Tables x
  • Notes on Contributors xiv
  • 1: Introduction 1
  • References 14
  • 2: Political Parties in Britain 16
  • References 42
  • 3: Italian Parties 46
  • Appendix: Glossary of Party Acronyms 73
  • 4: Party Decline in the Parties State? the Changing Environment of German Politics 77
  • References 103
  • 5: France 107
  • References 147
  • 6: The Colour Purple 151
  • 7: The Scandinavian Party Model at the Crossroads 181
  • References 210
  • 9: Spain 248
  • References 276
  • 10: Parties at the European Level 280
  • References 306
  • 11: Still Functional After All These Years 310
  • 12: Canada's Nineteenth-Century Cadre Parties at the Millennium 345
  • References 377
  • 13: Political Parties in Australia 379
  • References 406
  • 14: Parties and Society in New Zealand 409
  • References 434
  • 15: Conclusion 438
  • Index 461
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