Thursday, April 10, 2014

International Politics and International Parties

Tony Clement tweeted earlier today that he was attending an IDU conference.

The IDU, or International Democrat Union, is a federation of political parties.

In effect, it is the closest thing we have to "The Conservative Party of Earth"

As a Federation of parties, with some of them having differing statuses from others, it is a bit difficult to get a hard grasp on exactly who is a member. The same is true for many of the other internationals. I will list the major internationals - IE the ones who have been able to elect more than just a handful of members in more than just a handful of places - as well as their Canadian member for comparison.

Conservative - International Democrat Union (IDU)
New Democrat - Socialist International (SI)
Liberal - Liberal International (LI)
Greens - Global Greens (GG)

Pretty well every huge party in the democratic first world are members of one of these. The US Democrats are not part of LI, but unofficially work with them. At the same time, some other Democrats, like Howard Dean, are part of the Progressive Alliance (PA) which is becoming an alternative to SI, especially among parties wishing to become more moderate.

 So why do I say it's difficult to figure out who is a member?

The European Peoples Party is a regional affiliate of the IDU. In effect, the EPP is a member of the IDU. Italy's UDC is a member of the EPP. However, the UDC is not a member of the IDU, but unofficially works with the IDU though the EPP, much as the US Democrats unofficially work with LI.

If there were a single, legal, "Conservative Party of Earth" and no national parties, the UDC would certainly be a part of that.

Thus here is how I'm going to approach this. Associated parties, even a strained association, will be considered members. EPP and ECR members will be viewed as IDU members. The US Democrats, will be counted in the LI. UK's Labour will be counted as SI.

With this I've decided to take the first world democracies, in particular ones with a good number of members, and see how this "world" vote breaks down. For reference, I'm taking the following votes and elections:

US President
Canada Federal
Australia Federal
Germany, France, UK, Italy, (largest european countries)

For the most recent election, and adding up the popular vote totals.

IDU - 40.6% - 122M
LI - 26.5% - 80M
SI - 14.7% - 44M
GG - 2.2% - 7M
Oth - 16.0% - 48M

While this is certainly not a whole-world sample size, it is a good base to build on. If posts like this are popular, I will eventually extend the countries included.

I'd also like some feedback. Should I include both provincial and federal election results, or does that just count the same people two times?

Which countries should I expand to?

Should I make logical presumptions about parties that are not members of an international political federation but that would only fit into one of them?

Should I split parties that seem to better fit into two groups? Alternatively, should I include subgroups like Progressives (from SI) and the smaller Democratic group from LI?
For example, the overwhelming majority of the LI vote comes from the US Presidential election.

Should I use non-presidential elections, and if so, do I use the lower house? If countries use PR, should I use constituency votes or PR votes?

Or is attempting to calculate a "world election result" pointless to begin with, and should I abandon the venture here and now.


  1. Interesting post. I guess a major first world democracy you missed is Japan. Spain, Poland and Romania are also large European democracies. With the latter having somewhat of a weak democracy index.

    I feel a good analysis would be to look at just the Anglosphere nations (US, UK, Canada, Australia, NZ) since our politics, parties and culture has many similarities.

  2. There is another major group called the Centerist Democrats International, formerly known as the Christian Democratic International. It has some members who also join the IDU, but most are one or the other. I guess it makes a certain amout of sense to combine them under the heading Conservatives, but some of the CDI members clearly aren't completely small-c conservatives, especially in Latin America where they tend to be socially conservative but more center-left economically ( the Christian Democratic party of Chile being the classic example).

  3. Building on your theme, I've assembled this map of the lower houses of Canada, the United States, and Mexico, colored by European colours based on international affiliation where possible