Party line (politics)

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In politics, the line or the party line is an idiom for a political party or social movement's canon agenda, as well as specific ideological elements specific to the organization's partisanship. The common phrase toeing the party line describes a person who speaks in a manner that conforms to his political party's agenda. Likewise, a party-line vote is one in which most or all of the legislators from each political party voted in accordance with that party's policies. In several countries, a whip attempts to ensure this.

The Marxist-Leninist concept (see General line of the party) of democratic centralism involves strict adherence to, and defense of, a communist party's positions in public.

According to American educator Herbert Kohl, writing about debates in New York in the late 1940s and early 1950s,[1]

The term "politically correct" was used disparagingly, to refer to someone whose loyalty to the CP line overrode compassion, and led to bad politics. It was used by Socialists against Communists, and was meant to separate out Socialists who believed in egalitarian moral ideas from dogmatic Communists who would advocate and defend party positions regardless of their moral substance.

— "Uncommon Differences"

On the other hand, in inner-party debate sessions, the line can be questioned, criticized, and changed if necessary[need quotation to verify].

Used loosely, the phrase "the party line" may also refer to the non-party organizations such as religious groups, business offices, or social network a that may have a semi-official organizational policy or position that is unrelated to any political party.

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