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Jack Bielasiak and David Blunck, "Past and Present in Transitional Voting: Electoral Choices in Post-Communist Poland," Party Politics, 8 (September 2002," 563-585.

First Paragraph:
Party system formation has claimed much attention from scholars interested in the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe. These inquiries generally have a twofold thrust, addressing both the level and character of party system development. The first question is whether the supply and demand sides of the competitive party politics (parties and voters) are approaching equilibrium, culminating in 'consolidation' (Bielasiak, 1997; Olson, 1998; Rivera, 1996). The second issue concerns the form of the emerging party-electorate equilibria. Scholars have examined this topic by mapping social and ideological cleavages present in the electorate, and then seeing how party positions correspond to the geography of the electorate (Evans and Whitefield, 1993; Markowski, 1997; Miller and White, 1998). This approach is an appealing way to represent the main elements of competitive party systems, because it presents the relative proximities of parties and electoral groups on the main cleavage dimensions.

Figures and Tables:
Figure 1. Vote Shares by Organizational Affiliation
Figure 2. Odds of Voting for SLD vs. Liberals (N = 779) by Organizational Affiliation and Pro-Market Attitudes
Figure 3. Odds of Voting for SLD vs. Right (N = 779) by Organizational Affiliation and Pro-Market Attitudes
Figure 4. Attitudes & Vote Choice: Factor Change Plot (N = 869)
Figure 5. Economics & Vote Choice: Factor Change Plot (N = 854)
Table 1. Changes in Expected Voting Probabilities Given Standardized Change

Last Paragraph:
The natural expectation is that the saliency of the past in voting behavior and party competition is bound to erode with time, or at least be recast in a new discourse. Theory suggests that time attenuates the effects of the past on the present. First of all, demographic factors come into play. Voters old enough to have experienced the pre-transition period will gradually be replaced in the electorate by young voters with experience only in the posttransition period. Moreover, as economic interest groups crystallize in the new era, they are likely to cut across the Solidarity versus Communist Party heritage, rendering them less germane to the voter. Despite these trends, the past continues to have a strong bearing on post-communist politics. Certainly in Poland questions of decommunization have played an important role in recent Polish public debates, including formulation of the new 1997 constitution and the 2000 presidential elections (Misztal, 1999). A new discourse of politics has taken shape around the legacy of the past, one that continues to affect voters' identities and preferences, so that the past continues to serve as an important guidepost to electoral choice