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Journal: Journal of Comparative Politics
ISSN 1337-7477

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 52;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Party programmes, frequently also called manifestos or platforms, are written documents in which a political party sets out the programme either for its general inter-party making or for broader pre- and/or post-election purposes. As such, the party programme is regarded as an important constitutive part of each democratic party ‘body’ or, even wider, the element of democratic election processes or even the democratic political system in general. Analysing party programmes also represents one of most visible theoretical and methodological research topics inside various political science disciplines. Based on such understandings of the roles of party programmes, the main aim of this article is to disclose the prevailing characteristics of those party programmes prepared or used for the purposes of Slovenian national parliamentary elections (e.g. electoral programmes). With this in mind, we expect to be able to give mainly a general descriptive assessment of the status and importance of party electoral programmes in the case of a young post-socialist democratic state, actually the first of that kind in the Slovenian case. Accordingly, a comparative approach of analysing the outlook and content dimensions of party programmes is applied. The comparison is made from three different perspectives: a) party perspective that relates to the comparison of the programme content of the competing political parties, where their pre- and post-electoral parliamentary status is especially considered; b) time perspective relating to the comparison of the last two national parliamentary elections (2004 and 2008); c) coalition agreement perspective, according to which party electoral programmes are compared to the contents of the crucial post-electoral document. The conclusions, on one hand, expose many similarities among the compared elements regardless of party status, as well as some major differences on the other hand. The latter relate mostly to the contextual dimensions of the programmes and enable us to classify electoral party programmes into four different types according to their prevailing characteristics.
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