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Livianna S. Tossutti, "From Communitarian Protest Towards Institutionalization," Party Politics, 2 (October 1996), 435-454.

First Paragraph:
The emergence of more than 200 ethnic and territorially based political parties in the industrialized West since 1945 is symptomatic of weakened ties between citizens and brokerage parties.International economic instability, the microelectronic revolution and the declining relevance of sociological cleavages have contributed towards the erosion of citizen loyalties to the traditional agents of state-society linkage (Ware, 1989:2-3). Parties catering to subnational groups have been attempting to re-establish these links with uneven levels of success. In their analysis of parties as intermediaries in state-society relations,Lawson and Merkl identify four types of alternative political organizations that emerge when traditional parties fail to develop responsive policies or to introduce opportunities for participatory democracy. The alternatives are classified as environmental,supplementary, communitarian or anti-authoritarian, based on their origins,structure, policy agendas, leadership, membership and tactics (1988:3-38).

Figures and Tables:
Table 1: Demographic profile of Reform Party voters, 1993 (%).
Table 2: Voter confidence in institutions,1993 (%).
Table 3: Reform vote by issue preferences,partisanship.
Table 4: Stepwise multiple regression analysis of Reform vote.

Last Paragraph:
The lessons proceeding from these cases suggest that while political alternatives can survive through identity change, an inevitable identity crisis can block any further progress at the polls. Lawson (1988:31) has argued that the longevity of supplementary organizations is not linked so much to their success in filling a linkage void between institutions and voters as to institutional variables such as electoral systems and campaign finance laws. Preliminary observations on the Lega's identity crisis suggest that perhaps the principal obstacle to the continued success of supplementary parties is not an institutional variable but a political one: internal dissension and the resilience of the electoral competition.