The Relevance of Small Parties: From a General Framework to the Czech "Opposition Agreement"
Czech Sociological Review
This paper has two primary aims. The first is to briefly outline the general question of the relevance of small parties. The second aim is in this context to characterise the interesting situation that has emerged in the Czech Republic since the early elections into Parliament were held in June 1998. Following the elections the two strongest parties (ČSSD and ODS) reached a written agreement with the purpose of limiting the influence of small parties as well as making it easier to form a
... er to form a government. A modification of the electoral system in the Chamber of Deputies, as well as a significant strengthening of these two large parties at the expense of the small ones, would bring about a situation not particularly harmful to Czech democracy and in fact, quite the opposite, would contribute to the consolidation of democracy. 1 ) This clearly becomes evident in a simple indicator, which is the number of parties in Parliament. The information to be found in the fourth edition of this well-known work, written by J.-E. Lane and S. Ersson, speaks clearly. While the average number of parties represented in Parliament in eighteen Western European countries between 1950-1969 has remained with slight variations