Ian McAllister and Donley T. Studlar,
"New Politics and Partisan Alignment: Values, Ideology and
Elites in Australia," Party Politics , 1
(April, 1995), 197-220.
There is little doubt that the value priorities of citizens
in advanced industrial democracies have changed
significantly since the 1970s (Gibbins, 1989), although the
extent and sources of these value changes are much in
dispute (Inglehart, 1971, 1977, 1990a; Dalton, 1988;
Muller-Rommel, 1989; Dalton and Kuechler, 1990;
Rohrschneider, 1990; Clarke and Dutt, 1991; Duch and Taylor,
1993; Inglehart and Abramson, 1994; Franklin and Rudig,
1995). More significantly, there is as yet little evidence
about the consequences of value change for party systems.
Early research suggested that these new value priorities
would produce realignment, with new groups of parties
espousing New Politics concerns emerging to replace older,
collectivist-oriented parties. But despite some electoral
success for New Politics groups in the 1980s, their impact
on the formal structures of the party systems of advanced
industrial societies has been small.
Figures and Tables:
Figure 1: The hypothetical relationship between values,
ideology and party alignment as a party system moves from
stability to instability, to eventual realignment. A double
line represents a major influence, a single line a moderate
Table 1: Value priorities among voters in four democracies
and among Australian party elites (%).
Table 2: Political ideology among voters and party elites
(second-order factor loadings).
Table 3: The impact of values on ideology among voter (OLS
Table 4: Values, ideology and party support among voters
(logistic regression estimates).
Table 5: Values, ideology and party support among party
elites (logistic regression estimates).
Table 6: Comparing the log-linear models of association
among Old and New politics, voters and party elites.
More generally, our results have implications for the
development of party systems in other advanced societies. By
using matched mass-elite data collected at the same point,
we have been able to demonstrate the interactive process
that operates between mass demands and opinions and elite
positions and appeals. Although political change may occur
at the mass level, this does not mean that it is
automatically translated into change at the elite level.
Equally, elite appeals or strategies may not always gain
mass support. The process of adaptation by which parties
change their outlooks to accommodate changes at the mass
level appears to be a much more far-reaching process than
was once thought. To assess party system change properly,
future research strategies need to evaluate the evidence at
the elite as well as at the voter level.