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Andreas Ladner and Michael Brändle, "Does Direct Democracy Matter for Political Parties? An Empirical Test in the Swiss Cantons," Party Politics, 5 (July 1999), 283-302.

First Paragraph:
Direct democracy has become more and more popular in the last few years. Especially since the 1970s the use of referendums has increased (Kobach, 1993: 4ff.; Butler and Ranney, 1994: 5) and a growing number of voices describe direct democracy as a panacea for increasing disenchantment with politics, politicians and political parties. Accordingly, questions concerning the influence of direct democracy on different elements of the political system and on the political culture have become of vital interest.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1: Different classifications of direct democracy (Pearson correlation coefficients)
Table 2: 'Control variables' and direct democracy (Pearson correlation coefficients)
Table 3: Control variables and 'party strength' (Pearson correlation coefficients)
Table 4: Use of direct democracy and strengh of party organization
Table A1: Correlation matrix 'party strength' (Pearson correlation coefficients)

Last Paragraph:
Further and more thorough research is doubtless needed to determine the real influence of direct democracy on political parties. Nevertheless, this study makes it clear that in the Swiss case at least, direct democracy should not automatically be held responsible for comparatively weak parties, at least as far as organizational aspects are concerned. Other and better explanations have to be found, such as social and cultural heterogeneity and cross-cutting cleavages, together with very strong federalism and the system of consociationalism.