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“The Portuguese Communist Party's Historical, Parliamentary, Oppositional Tactics in National and European Parliaments: Case Study-European Integration.”
Carlos Cunha (Cunha, C.);
Título Evento
ECPR Joint Sessions/session #16 “Opposition Parties as Strategic Actors in Parliament in National and European Parliaments: Case Study-European Integration.”
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The Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) celebrated its 97th anniversary on March 6 2018 as one of the strongest communist parties in Western Europe and as the oldest Portuguese political party in continuous existence. The party’s strength has declined since its parliamentary electoral apex in 1979 when it obtained 19 percent of the vote. Still, in the 2015 parliamentary election it received a respectful 8.3 percent at the polls. Given that the PCP continues rooted in an orthodox, Marxist-Leninist foundation when most other international communist parties have evolved with the fall of the Soviet Bloc, these results are quite good. My analysis will focus on the oldest opposition party in Portugal. As even the PS has been swept up by the neo-liberal tidal wave, albeit a more compassionate variant, increasingly the PCP has played a crucial role in insuring that interests and perspectives of the traditional left are aired. While the party emits an appearance of change in varied ways and attempts to rejuvenate its image, for example, by allowing younger leaders to play important roles in the party, in the end attempts for drastic alteration have failed. For the most part, the PCP’s tactics and rhetoric in parliament continue to remain orthodox as in the past. Close examination of party policies regarding European Integration, Social Issues, Syndicalism, Internal Divisions, Local Government, Public Policy, Internal Party Organization and Finance, Parliamentary Activity, or Cultural Programs do not demonstrate major shifts. I will emphasize the party’s oppositional tactics within parliament over time by focusing on these varied areas, but using its permanent opposition to European Integration as the underlying vehicle. I will often juxtapose the PCP with the Left Bloc (BE) stances in Parliament. Tone, language, emphases, and priorities often stand out as the main variation.
European Union Parliaments Political Parties Public Policy Social Policy Domestic Politics Euroscepticism Southern Europe
  • Ciências Políticas - Ciências Sociais