Coalitions and political parties as a reflection of societal changes and cultural rifts in 12 parliamentary democracies
In parliamentary government, prime ministers sit at the head of a coalition of parties that represent the interests and values of disparate sections of the population in their country. These parties and their parliamentary opposition embody far more than opposing views of how best to administer public affairs. The policies of governments in a consensus model of democracy are a product of negotiated compromises between parties that represent different constituencies based on historical, geographic, and demographic divisions. These factors are often based on broader ethnic, linguistic, and religious differences. Just as these elements vary between countries, so too do the parties in government.