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Michelle M. Taylor-Robinson, "Old Parties and New Democracies: Do They Bring out the Best in One Another?" 7 (September 2001), Party Politics, 581-604.

First Paragraph:
Parties have become fundamental institutions of democracies by fulfilling essential functions such as structuring and simplifying elections, recruiting political leaders, helping make government accountable to the people and providing opportunities for political participation beyond voting. However, in third-wave democracies where traditional parties exist we should ask if they perform these functions, or hinder them. Our purpose here is to explore whether traditional parties in Latin America's third-wave democracies perform such functions. Put more generally, when do traditional parties show off their best democratic traits in a new democracy, and when do they instead create obstacles to democratic consolidation?

Figures and Tables:
Table 1: Countries' Freedom House rankings since the transition to democracy
Table 2: Past behaviour of traditional parties
Figure 1: Relationship between parties' past tactics for obtaining power and progress consolidating the current democratic regime (H1A-C)
Figure 2: Relationship between parties' past internal procedures and progress consolidating the current democratic regime (H1D-E)

Last Paragraph:
Analysis of past behavior can provide clues about when a party will be a democratic actor. A party with which the mass public and political elites identify has little incentive to change undemocratic ways. Even if the party loses an election, it will have difficulty changing because its behavior is an entrenched habit for its leaders and hard-core supporters. Such parties will fulfill some of the functions typically performed by parties, such as structuring and simplifying elections and recruiting political leaders. They will not, however, help deepen democracy, because they will not give citizens the opportunity to participate beyond voting. As Haggard and Kaufman write (1999: 84-5): 'In Latin America, most transitions were really redemocratizations. Consequently, the organization and behavior of political parties and interest groups reflected historical legacies to some extent.' Latin American parties generally failed to establish ties to the people and effectively articulate their demands. In the third-wave democracies of the region this has resulted in '[g]reater cynicism among the population toward the political process, lower party loyalty, and lower voter turnout where turnout is not kept high by compulsory voting' (Huber et al., 1999: 180). Thus, it is important to explore further when traditional parties will help democracy to deepen. Traditional parties may fill a vacuum during the transition negotiations, but if they continue old behavior that denies the people the opportunity to participate, they will hinder democratic consolidation.