Can a religious-niche party change – or was Kirchheimer right? Analysing the Finnish Christians’ search to become a catchall electoral party
Arter, David (2022-07-28)
European Politics and Society
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
Small-party persistence is a story in itself, especially when the party in question emerged as an entirely new party, lacked societal rootedness and did not boast any recognisable persons among its founding figures. The particular case is the Finnish Christian League SKL (from 2001 Christian Democrats KD), one of a family of post-Second World War fundamentalist Christian parties in the Nordic region which, over the six decades of its existence, has, unlike its Swedish and Danish counterparts, consistently surpassed the threshold of representation, but only once gained over 5 per cent of the national vote. This article asks firstly: What factors would account for SKL/KD’s persistence as a small party? Secondly, why has SKL/KD remained a small party despite efforts to expand its electoral base? Was Kirchheimer correct that certain types of party simply cannot become catchall parties? Kirchheimer, it is argued, was essentially right: SKL/KD’s ‘nicheness’ has been its greatest electoral strength but also the greatest barrier to electoral growth and significant party change.
- TUNICRIS-julkaisut