Governments and supporting parties: what relationship can one expect in the 21st Century
In parliamentary systems, the link between governments and the parties supporting them is typically regarded as being so strong that the expression has been coined to refer to this type of relationship. Yet, in practice, there are major variations between the two : these relate to possible reciprocal influence on three planes, those of appointments, of policy-making, and of patronage. Contrary to what is often believed, governments often play a key part and supporting parties are forced, more or less reluctantly, to follow. This has led to doubts about the extent to which the relationship can ever be harmonious and even to the view, probably exaggerated, that it has become increasingly conflictual.
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