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A Taste of Honey Is Worse Than None at All? Coping with the Generic Challenges of Support Party Status in Sweden and New Zealand
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-08, 00:38 authored by Tim Bale, Torbjörn Bergman
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.
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NotesOriginally presented to the workshop 'New Parties in Government?' at the ECPR Joint Sessions, Uppsala, April 2004
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