Bloc party?

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Last seen on: NY Times Crossword 11 Sep 21, Saturday

Random information on the term “Bloc party?”:

A bloc party (German: Blockpartei) in politics may refer to a political party that is a constituent member of an electoral bloc. However, this term also has a more specific meaning, referring to non-ruling but legal political parties in an authoritarian or totalitarian regime (most notably communist regimes) as auxiliary parties and members of a ruling coalition, differing such governments from pure one-party states such as Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, although such minor parties rarely if ever constitute opposition parties or alternative sources of power.

Sometimes, a bloc party is called a satellite party.

The concept has its roots in the Popular front idea where Marxist and non-Marxist political parties and other organisations would belong in an umbrella organisation. Following the end of World War II, elections were held in areas already under Soviet influence who would become members of the Eastern Bloc, while giving voters choice, would be seen as a step towards a totalitarian, Communist-led regime. Bloc parties were able to retain their non-Marxist orientation, but in practice were always subordinate to the ruling Communist party, and all legal parties and civic organisations were required to be members of the official coalition. Elections were not competitive as the composition of legislatures was generally pre-determined. Parties only occasionally dissented from the line of the ruling party. Some parties were pre-existing, others had been newly formed, to appeal to specific sectors of society. However, during the fall of Communism, many hitherto subordinate bloc parties would begin to assert their independence and play a role in the democratisation process, while others would be unable to continue functioning either due to a loss of guaranteed yet artificial representation (granted to them by the ruling Communist Party), or due to the stigma of being associated with subservience to the Communists, and would either dissolve or fade into obscurity.

Bloc party? on Wikipedia