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Geoffrey Evans and Stephen Whitefield, "Economic Ideology and Political Success: Communist successor Parties in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary Compared," Party Politics , 1 (October, 1995), 565-578.

First paragraph:
There has been considerable variation in both the electoral strategies and fortunes of communist successor parties in east-central Europe. In the Czech Republic, the dominant party is Vaclav Klaus's Civic Democratic Party with its sustained commitment to liberal market reforms. Against it, the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (CPBM) is widely perceived to occupy an ideologically extreme position on the left of the political spectrum,symbolized by the fact that, alone among the successor parties in the region, it chose to retain its old name (Wightman, 1993; Ishiyama, 1995;Mansfeldova and Kitschelt, 1995). It performed reasonably well in the 1992 elections but has declined in support since by comparison with the social-democratic Czechoslovak Social Democratic Party (CSDP) (Obrman,1993). In Slovakia, by contrast, the most powerful party to emerge from Public Against Violence, 1989, was Vladimir Meciar's Movement for a Democratic Slovakia, which aligned itself not only to greater Slovak independence but to a much more cautious programme of economic reform. The communist-successor Slovak Party of the Democratic Left (PDL) has fared reasonably well over two elections under these conditions while presenting an image of a moderate and modernizing movement (Butorova and Butora, 1995;Ishiyama, 1995). Clearly, the most successful electoral performance has been that of the former communist party in Hungary which, as the Hungarian Socialist Party (HSP), has stood on a platform of support for a social safety net while continuing in a more competent manner with marketization,which it can claim to have begun while still in power. After an initial poor showing in the 1990 elections, it emerged with a plurality of the votes in the elections of May 1994 (Racz, 1993; Evans and Whitefield,1995a; Ishiyama, 1995; Keri and Levendel, 1995).

Figures and Tables:
Table 1: Attitudes towards economic policy among communist-successor-party supporters in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary (percentage agreeing with each statement).
Figure 1: Economic ideology: distributions by country and position of communist-successor party supporters.
Figure 2: Left-right self-placement: distributions by country and position of communist successor-party supporters.
Table 2: Economic experiences and expectations in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary (percentage agreeing with each statement).
Table 3: Predicting economic ideology and left-right self-placement: pooled regression analyses for the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary (standardized beta coefficients).

Last Paragraph:
In the Czech lands, the CPBM appears to face the greatest obstacles and must either move much further to the right - which might be difficult given its current support and the reputation it has established with voters - or await a very significant reorientation of public opinion in the light of economic failure. In Hungary, the possibilities are likely to be much more open. The HSP has established itself as near to the centre of public opinion on the economy;however, it must now not only assume responsibility for its performance but be prepared to adjust its stance with any success in marketization which results from its tenure in office. In Slovakia, the PDL faces another set of difficulties in ideological competition. Standing close to the mean position on the economy alongside the ruling party, it may find it hard to benefit either from the success or failure of cautious marketization.Apart from emphasizing greater competence on these questions, therefore,its greatest change may derive not from its stance on the economy at all,but from its distinctive position from the MDS on the other issues of significance to electoral competition in Slovakia, especially those concerned with ethnic rights.