A Taste of Honey Is Worse Than None at All? Coping with the Generic Challenges of Support Party Status in Sweden and New Zealand

Bale, Tim and Bergman, Torbjörn (2006) A Taste of Honey Is Worse Than None at All? Coping with the Generic Challenges of Support Party Status in Sweden and New Zealand. Party Politics, 12 (2). pp. 189-202. ISSN 1354-0688

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Abstract

Some parties support rather than join the executive, thereby operating in a grey area between opposition and office – in governance but not in government. Previous research on the New Zealand Greens’ experience as a support party has shown that this liminal position may prove a blessing or a curse – or, more likely, a mixture of both. This article compares the experience of the Swedish Greens. While the Swedish party gained more on policy, it suffered the same frustrations as its Kiwi counterpart with regard to consultation, to the media and to a government that could potentially find support elsewhere. It, too, avoided overwhelming internal tensions, but was likewise left wanting more. Neither party broke into government at the next election, but tried to put lessons learned into practice when supporting centre–left cabinets once again. That the challenges encountered were so similar suggests the possibility that they are common to support parties elsewhere.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Originally presented to the workshop 'New Parties in Government?' at the ECPR Joint Sessions, Uppsala, April 2004
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Politics
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General) > JF0020 General. Comparative government
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN7721 Sweden
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions and public administration (Asia, Africa, Australia, Pacific Area, etc.) > JQ3995 Australia. New Zealand. Pacific Ocean islands
Depositing User: Tim Bale
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:56
Last Modified: 14 May 2012 08:53
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/23096
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