In the process of democratisation, it is expected that a former dominant party, at least one which abides by the rules of electoral contestation, will transition into a “catch-all” party. A catch-all party aims to attract the votes of all social cleavages and classes of voters outside what would be considered their traditional voter base. As part of the wider debate about democratisation in East Asia, this paper examines how two of East Asia’s liberal democracies—Japan and South Korea, the LDP and GNP/Saenuri, respectively, have adapted to electoral defeat and in what ways they have transitioned into catch-all parties in the Kircheimer mould. This paper finds that while intra-party reforms which could fit a catch-all model have yet to be institutionalised, data from the Comparative Manifesto Database shows that there has been a significant change in which policies both parties promote and that these are designed to appeal to a broad base of voters.
|Number of pages
|East Asia: An International Quarterly
|Published - 5 Aug 2017