Talk:Single-party state

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Archives: 2003-2009

Single party states in Latin America[edit]

Some person has been re-introducing the Institutional Revolutionary Party of Mexico as a single party from the 1920s to 2000, but it was not. It was in fact a dominant party. More difficult to understand, this addenda was twice listed below a title implying that most Latin American countries had single party states during the cold war or anytime in the past, which is wrong. Only Cuba (de facto, since the 1960s) and Paraguay (in 1947-1962) were single party states. Military dictatorships, which were far more common, were not based on parties. Salut, --IANVS (talk) 06:50, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

However, I apologize for labeling the edit as "vandalism"; hitting the button happened quicker that thought. Hope this note explain the reversal. --IANVS (talk) 06:53, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

Confederate States of America[edit]

The Confederate States of America had effectively only one political Party -- the Democratic Party. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pbrower2a (talkcontribs) 05:45, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure that once you take over a part of the contry, you can call yourself whatever you like. See: Peoples reupblic of China, and Republic of China. 74.128.56.194 (talk) 05:32, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

True or Parrtial 1-party.[edit]

Are there any nations that possess what is called a "one party" government, but in reality the one party is so broadly defined as to be meaningless (and allow for debates and such)? i cant figure out a better wording for this. 74.128.56.194 (talk) 05:30, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

Wisconsin is not single party state[edit]

I noticed in the article an I.P put Wisconsin, a U.S state, down as a single party state. I reverted it, albeit before I logged in, and then checked the edit history. This same I.P has put Wisconsin down twice, and each time it was reverted. Wisconsin does not meet the definition for a dominant party state, much less a single party state. Given that their are currently elections going in that state, and from reading this page I've gotten the impression that there is some dispute about the election I'm going to assume that the I.P was trying to advance a POV. Wikipedia is not the place for advancing a POV. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Red Macgregor (talkcontribs) 07:46, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

Haiti[edit]

Wasn't Haiti a single-party state under the Duvaliers? Josh (talk) 04:39, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

Cuba[edit]

According to this article, Cuba previously had a semi-presidential system. Is there a source for this? Josh (talk) 02:07, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

Edit: Likewise for South Vietnam. Josh (talk) 02:09, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

North Korea[edit]

Given that the succession of leadership in the DPRK has been from father to son for what is now the third generation should we look to moving it out of the single-party State category and putting it in the Absolute Monarchy category? In the case of a single-party state the Party normally chooses the leader on the death / retirement / arrest of the old leader. That does not seem to be the case here. Andrew (talk) 08:22, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

North Korea is not operating according to primogeniture: Kim Jong Un was not the oldest of Kim Jong Il's sons. Officially, the Workers Party continues to rule, via the Supreme People's Assembly, and the head of government is the Prime Minister of North Korea and the functioning head of state is Kim Yong Nam who is no relation...--Jack Upland (talk) 18:14, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

Recording devices[edit]

I have heard the term 'one party state' also used to describe states where the consent of only 1 party (rather than both parties) is needed to record conversations. As opposed to a two-party state where both people need to consent to make a recording of a conversation. I am wondering if through disambiguation we could reflect this somehow. Ranze (talk) 07:27, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

I added a disambiguation hatnote to that effect back in 2009, as well as one to Two-party state; the hatnote disappeared a couple of times recently, but I just re-added it. --Josh Triplett (talk) 05:02, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

Taiwan[edit]

Taiwan should be added to the list of single-party states. --128.42.156.120 (talk) 21:39, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

No it shouldn't. The Republic of China operated under one-party rule in the past, but not anymore. That's why it's listed under former section as "Republic of China (Kuomintang) 1928-1987". The current government system of what's commonly called Taiwan is a multi-party system. Abstractematics (talk) 18:01, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

Split[edit]

A user has been attempting to WP:SPLIT part of the list on this article to List of single-party states (though hasn't actually followed through with the pasting part of the split) based on the premise that "This is an article, not a list, you do see the difference between an article and a list?" However, WP:EMBED clearly states that lists embedded within an article are perfectly acceptable. Are there any policy based reasons for a split? Given that this article is only 16kb, a split hardly seems necessary. What are others thoughts on this? TDL (talk) 15:13, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

I've just fully protected the article due to the edit warring. Please discuss the matter here on the talk page. Mark Arsten (talk) 00:24, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

single party system is not figting for two party so all country using single party system — Preceding unsigned comment added by 112.79.46.125 (talk) 15:43, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

Single?[edit]

There is no source for defining a "single-party state" as other than a state where there is only one party (e.g., the USSR). I would say when someone calls China a "single-party state" they are speaking loosely or ignorantly; this is not evidence for the definition used by this article.--Jack Upland (talk) 02:26, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

It is like calling a single parent household a single person household. Etc.--Jack Upland (talk) 11:40, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

Singapore?[edit]

Given the loose definition used in this article, why not include Singapore?--Jack Upland (talk) 00:55, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

Singapore is actually more like a dominant-party system, one where multipartism is allowed (unlike the single-party state) but where several factors make it very unlikely that the dominant party is defeated, at least during a long period of time. Other examples are the ANC in South Africa, the PRI in Mexico or the LDP in Japan (the last two ended up losing power after 50-some years of dominance). Place Clichy (talk) 08:39, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
But in China, North Korea, etc, multiple parties are allowed.--Jack Upland (talk) 11:41, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

Allowed? Yes, they allow other parties as long as the people in those parties don't mind losing their families. Ezza1995 (talk) 12:58, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

Rubbish. Check the facts before spouting your opinion. For example, North Korea has the religiously-based Chondoist Chongu Party; China has the Revolutionary Committee of the Kuomintang (the "patriotic" Nationalists).--Jack Upland (talk) 17:33, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
The list is well supported by sources. Single party states are not defined by the presence or absence of multiple parties, as suggested above, but rather by the fact that "only one political party is legally allowed to hold power". All of the entries (excluding SADR) on this list are listed by that source and by others. If you can find a source which says Singapore is a single party state, it too should be added. But without sources it should not. TDL (talk) 20:01, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
Rubbish. There is no law in North Korea that says that the Labour Party is the only party allowed to hold power. If you disagree, cite the law.--Jack Upland (talk) 08:48, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
At your request:

"The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea shall conduct all activities under the leadership of the Workers’ Party of Korea."

Regardless, your interpretation of North Korean law is irrelevant as it is WP:original research. On Wikipedia we must follow what WP:reliable sources say on the matter, not the personal opinion of wikipedia editors. I've provided a source which supports the fact that North Korea is a single party state. There are ample others: [1][2][3][4][5]. Britannica describes North Korea as a "unitary single-party republic". If you think all these reliable sources are "rubbish", then please provide sources which refute them. TDL (talk) 19:05, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
But the Constitution also says: "The organs of State power at all levels, from the county People’s Assembly to the Supreme People’s Assembly, are elected on the principle of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot." Admittedly it is not easy to reconcile this with the article you quote, but it is wrong to say no other party can legally hold power. Clearly, the people are legally able to elect the candidate of their choice. Therefore another party could legally win the election. In any case, the "leadership" of the Labour Party does not preclude another party holding power in a coalition with the Labour Party. Arguably another party could rule on its own, and the Labour Party could "lead" as a loyal opposition and guardian of the principles of the state that it founded. More likely, if another party did win they would need to change the Constitution before they could deviate from the Labour Party line. But all this could be done legally. QED.
Of course there are sources which say North Korea is a "single party state", because "single party state" (or "one party state") is a pejorative term from the Cold War which is loosely applied to many countries, as this Talk page amply demonstrates. For example, Gore Vidal said, "There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party ... and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat"[6]
As for Singapore:[7], [8] etc. Of course, others will argue that Singapore is not a single party state, and the People's Action Party just wins every election fair and square. My fundamental point is this page is inevitably a violation of the NPOV policy. Enemies of particular states will often brand those states "single party states", but there is no universally accepted taxonomy (as Wikipedia currently implies) which allows us neutrally to say that North Korea is a single party state, but Singapore isn't.--Jack Upland (talk) 20:52, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes there are elections in North Korea, but there is only one candidate per riding. And the Worker's Party has the power to decided who goes on the ballot. So it's rather misleading to say that "people are legally able to elect the candidate of their choice". Regardless, your and my personal interpretations of the constitution, and semantical arguments, are OR. I've provided numerous sources which support the fact that only the Worker's Party can legally hold power, and I've seen none to the contrary.
You are conflating single-party vs dominant party states with democratic vs undemocratic states. Whether the People's Action Party wins elections "fair and square" is not relevant to the question of whether they are a single-party state. The point is that they legally could lose power in principle since there are no constitutional provisions guaranteeing them power. There are plenty of dominant party states which are NOT single party states in which the elections are certainly NOT fair. But they retain their power through other means, ie. voter intimdation. This distinction is explained in detail here. A perfect example of this is Syria. They recently changed their constitution to eliminate the analogous Article to the North Korean one I listed above ("the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party leads the state and society"). Since their power is no longer constitutionally entrenched, they are not a single-party state. Whether their elections were "fair and square" is a separate issue entirely.
This article is not based on the statements by "enemies", it is based on the analysis of reliable sources. A loosely applied definition in a letter to the editor or by a novelist is hardly convincing otherwise. (Note that this source you linked to defines Singapore as a "single-party dominant state", which is what is listed at dominant party state, not here.) There is a very clear and well sourced definition of what a single party state is, as well as which states satisfy this definition. I understand that you find the term perjorative, but wikipedia is not the place to WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS. NPOV doesn't say we can't write things that might upset some people, it says we must follow what the sources. And as far as I can see, the sources are unanimous on this issue. That a few anonymous editors on the internet think other states belong on the list does not change that fact. TDL (talk) 23:17, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
The sources are not "unanimous". It is just you dismiss or distort sources that don't fit your predetermined position. To argue that an article entitled "The cultural logic of a capitalist single-party state, Singapore" does not call Singapore a "single party state" is absolutely ridiculous. I am not "upset" by the use of perjoratives. I just object to the illogical and biased taxonomy being used here.--Jack Upland (talk) 04:32, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
I presented numerous academic sources which examine the subject of this article in detail. This isn't an article on every place which has ever been referred to informally as a "single-party state", as you seem to believe, it is about states "in which a single political party has the right to form the government". These states are commonly referred to as "single-party states" in academic literature. That the phrase is occasionally used for other purposes is irrelevant. There is nothing "illogical" or "biased" about that. That this descriptive terminology might be uncomfortable to those who support such states is not a valid reason to pretend that such states don't exist.
The sum total of the "sources" you have presented purporting to discredit the academic consensus are a letter to the editor by a quality manager, a comment made by a humorist in a book entitled "Matters of Fact and of Fiction", and the title of an article, which if you actually read beyond the title refutes the entire premise of your argument by stating that Singapore is a dominant party state. Those are facts, not "distortion". Next you will be citing facebook posts made by your friends, or a passage in Lord of the Rings referring to Gondor as a single party state. None of this is compelling evidence that Singapore meets the academic definition of a single party state, nor does it discredit the fact that there is an academic consensus on the definition of the concept. NPOV does not permit us to give weight to WP:FRINGE theories such as these which cannot be substantiated by reliable sources. I have no "predetermined position". My position is simply that we should follow academic sources such as this, rather than unsubstantiated personal theories. If you can provide a source which states that Singapore meets the academic definition of a single party state, I would happily add it.
What exactly is it that you think should be done with this article? Deletion? TDL (talk) 01:54, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
More distortion and ad hominem attacks. This merely indicates how weak your argument is. But let's put that aside. What is the basis for this "academic definition"? The introduction and the "Concept" section of this article cite no secondary sources.--Jack Upland (talk) 03:04, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
"Ad hominem attacks"? Please do point out where I have "attacked" you in my last comment and I will certainly strike it. Of course, since you won't be able to do that as no such "attacks" were ever made I would ask that you strike this personal attack against me and focus on supporting your theory with something other than Lee Kek Chin the quality manager's letter to the editor.
The basis of the academic definition is the secondary sources I linked to above. Have you still not read them yet? Start with that, and if you still have questions I will be glad to respond. TDL (talk) 03:26, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
The passage in Principles of Comparative Politics (pp 611-612) which you rely on is muddled and superficial. It acknowledges that "minor parties are sometimes [!] allowed to exist" in "single-party systems," but only refers to Communist Poland. It states baldly that "All single-party systems occur in dictatorships" which is clearly false as the USSR after Stalin was not a dictatorship, but rather had a collective leadership. It then says that in "single-party dominant systems", "multiple parties are legally allowed to exist", which it has just said was true of "single-party systems"!!! It then refers to "single-party dominant systems" having "other active parties", which again is true in many countries it describes as "single-party systems"!!! Hardly an authoritative text from a scholarly point of view. In any case, one academic textbook does not represent an academic consensus.
And what about the article itself? While you accuse me of original research (for comments made on a Talk page!!!), the article itself has no citation for its core thesis. The entire article appears to be original research on this basis. So, yes, by the strict application of Wikipedia rules, it could be deleted.
With regard to Singapore, The Straits Times is Singapore's leading newspaper, and one which supports the regime. The presentation of this letter to the editor - in a way that more resembles a featured column - indicates some level of support to the assertion that it is good that Singapore is a "single party state". And you launch an ad hominem attack on the author. And with the academic article, "The cultural logic of a capitalist single-party state, Singapore", surely the title speaks for itself. Once again, you claim that there is something in the article that somehow supports your argument, but don't cite it. It is widely acknowledged that Lee Kuan Yew and his successors in government have used the law to suppress political opposition, first on the grounds of Communist subversion, starting with Operation Cold Store, and then suing opposition leaders for defamation. According to your definition (apparently from that one book), a single party state is a state where "only one political party is legally allowed to hold power". The operation of the law in Singapore clearly does not allow parties other than the People's Action Party to hold power, or even function in opposition.--Jack Upland (talk) 04:22, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

Isle of Man[edit]

Could the Isle of Man be worth a small mention? If you look at this article then you will notice that only 1 party won any seats, so you could describe the Isle of Man as a single-party state, all be it where the majority of those elected are independents. Ezza1995 (talk) 12:56, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

No, it doesn't. The Isle of Man has had several political parties and has no single-party system as such. --Soman (talk) 08:10, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

At the last Manx general election, only 1 party stood candidates though. Ezza1995 (talk) 14:42, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

This just illustrates the problem with this article, as discussed elsewhere. It's all POV, no hard facts. The Isle of Man could be included, so could Singapore. Equally, North Korea and China could be excluded.--Jack Upland (talk) 18:04, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: no consensus to move the page at this time, per the discussion below. Dekimasuよ! 21:36, 8 November 2014 (UTC)


Single-party stateSingle-party system – request change so as to expand the relevance of the topic in relevance to other articles. At this stage I am particularly thinking of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant which, despite its name, is not internationally recognised as a state. --Relisted. Dekimasuよ! 22:17, 4 November 2014 (UTC) Gregkaye 16:09, 28 October 2014 (UTC)

Ban-Ki Moon even went as far as to describe it as a Non-Islamic, Non-State. The disambiguation page State provides the interpretations of state as follows:

  • State (polity), an organized political community, living under a government
  • Sovereign state, a sovereign political entity in public international law; a society having exclusive domain over a territory
  • "State", in some contexts virtually synonymous with "government", e.g., to distinguish state (government) from private schools
  • Nation state, a state which coincides with a nation
  • Federated state, a political entity forming part of a federal sovereign state such as the United States, Australia, India and Brazil

Arguably only the third definition can apply to an unrecognised state.
For instance, in the article Sovereign state we read: "International law defines sovereign states as having a permanent population, defined territory, one government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states." I think that the word system fits in as well as state and this would expand potential use. Gregkaye 16:09, 28 October 2014 (UTC)

Support Per nominator, as well as the example of Dominant-party system. --Sundostund (talk) 17:41, 28 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose there is no indication this is about a system of governance in the proposed title, there are other single-party systems in the world having nothing to do with governance. Monopolies are single party systems (note that "party" is not the same thing as "political party", there are parties in lawsuits, and they are not usually political parties). Single-party system of governance would solve that problem. -- 67.70.35.44 (talk) 07:36, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose per 67.70.35.44's comment above. The proposed title is vague and less common. —  AjaxSmack  23:42, 4 November 2014 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

List[edit]

What is the source for this elaborate list?--Antemister (talk) 12:51, 21 February 2015 (UTC)