Published online by Cambridge University Press: 28 October 2019
The FA, like every political party organization in a democratic context, has a tension between choosing policies and candidates that are closer to the preferences of the median voter versus those that are closer to members´ preferences. This chapter analyzes the role that the organizational structure exerts over the party in opposition and the party in government. The chapter presents observational evidence concerning the influence of the party on crucial policy issues and on the government’s decision-making. Also, it briefly details the process of ideological transformation of the FA. The chapter shows that the FA organizational structure limits the leaders’ and government’s room to maneuver. It limits party leaders´ incentives to moderate their positions because major decisions need to have the organization´s explicit support, or at least an absence of opposition. When the FA is in government, the party organization also constrains government action concerning substantive and crucial policy issues. The lesson from the analysis in this chapter is that the party´s organizational structure can present challenges for strategic adaptation but provides insurance against the risk of brand dilution.