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Ronald L. Holzhacker, "Campaign Communication and Strategic Responses to Change in the Electoral Environment: Germany after Reunification," Party Politics, 5 (October 1999), 439-469.

First Paragraph:
Political parties in parliamentary democracies compete for support by communicating appeals to the electorate during periodic election campaigns. Election campaigns are an especially important period of party competition because they occur at a time of heightened competition in which parties attempt to communicate favorable messages to the electorate. The electorate's awareness and the impact of this communication on the electorate is high because of the forthcoming vote decision. The messages communicated to the electorate may be analyzed by a systematic evaluation of the content and form of the campaign communication produced by political parties.

Figures and Tables:
Figure 1: Mean values on the economic and social values issue guestions by party vote in the East and West
Table 1: Voting in the 1994 Bundestag election by social class (%)
Table 2: Time-of-vote decision by party and electorate: 1994 Bundestag election
Figure 2: Communicated issue emphasis of the German political parties based on an analysis of the television campaign commercials 1983-94
Table 3: Candidate-orientated appeals in television campaign commercials (%)
Table 4: Issue vs candidate-orientated appeals in television campaign commercials (%)
Table 5: Degree of attack: positive vs negative appeals in television campaign commercials (%)
Table 6: Temporal reference: television campaign commercials (%)

Last Paragraph:
This research suggests that the discipline's static models, which attempt to fix the nature of party competition, should yield to dynamic models which acknowledge that the strategic responses of parties to change in their electoral environment alters the nature of party competition in a party system. A dynamic model of party competition which requires one to analyze the electoral environment and the strategic adaptation of parties assists in the understanding of election campaigns as a key mass--elite linkage institution in modern democracies.