|Part of the Politics series|
A big tent party, or catch-all party, is a term used in reference to a political party's policy of permitting or encouraging a broad spectrum of views among its members. This is in contrast to other kinds of parties, which defend a determined ideology, seek voters who adhere to that ideology, and attempt to convince people towards it.
Main article: Politics of Armenia
Following the 2018 Armenian parliamentary election, the My Step Alliance rose to power on an anti-corruption and pro-democracy platform. The alliance has been described as maintaining a big tent ideology, as the alliance did not support any one particular political position. Instead, it focused on strengthening Armenia's civil society and economic development.
Main article: Politics of Australia
The Liberal Party of Australia and its predecessors originated as an alliance of liberals and conservatives in opposition to the Australian Labor Party, beginning with the Commonwealth Liberal Party in 1909. This ideological distinction has endured to the present day, with the modern Liberal Party frequently described as a "broad church", a term popularised by former leader and Prime Minister John Howard. In this context, "broad church" is largely synonymous with "big tent". In the 21st century, the party is often characterised as having a "small-l liberal" wing and a conservative wing, which frequently come into conflict with each other. The party has historically found strong support primarily from the middle-class, though it has in recent decades appealed to socially conservative working-class voters.
From its foundation the Justicialist Party has been a Peronist catch-all party, which focuses on the figure of Juan Perón and his wife Eva.
Juntos por el Cambio is an Argentine big tent political coalition. It was created in 2015 as Cambiemos. It is composed of Republican Proposal (centre-right), Civic Coalition ARI (centre) and Radical Civic Union (centre).
In Bangladesh Awami League's Grand Alliance (Bangladesh) and BNP's 20 Party Alliance forms coalition with a wide range of parties, thus being catch all parties.
Main article: Centrão
In Brazil, the Centrão (lit. 'big centre') is a term for a large bloc political parties that do not have a specific or consistent ideological orientation and aim at ensuring proximity to the executive branch in order to guarantee advantages and allow them to distribute privileges through clientelistic networks. The Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB) is one of the oldest and most notable "Centrão" and Big Tent party in Brazil, despite begin Brazil's largest party, both in number of members and elected officials, it has never elected a President, only using their position as the largest party as a "bargaining chip" for previleges and advantages. MDB was founded on 1965 at the start of the Brazilian military dictatorship as part of an enforced two-party system by the dictatorship where the only allowed parties were either National Renewal Alliance Party (ARENA), a catch-all party representing the interests of the dictadorship, and MDB, formed to represent a wide-range moderate and less radical opposition to the dictadorship, without a clear program except the democratization of the country. Other Big Tent centrão parties include the Republicans (REP), Progressists (PP), Liberal Party (PL), Brazilian Labour Party (PTB), We Can (PODE), Brazil Union (UB), Social Democratic Party (PSD), Social Christian Party (PSC), Act (AGIR), Patriot (PATRI), Forward (AVANTE), Solidarity (SD) and Republican Party of the Social Order (PROS).
At the federal level, Canada has been dominated by two big tent parties practicing "brokerage politics."[a] Both the Liberal Party of Canada and the Conservative Party of Canada (and its predecessors) have attracted support from a broad spectrum of voters. Although parties such as the Quebec nationalist Bloc Québécois have elected members to the House of Commons, far-right and far-left parties have never gained a prominent force in Canadian society and have never formed a government in the Canadian Parliament.
The centre-right National Coalition Party has been described as catch-all party supporting the interests of the urban middle classes.
The La République En Marche! party founded by President Emmanuel Macron has been described as a centrist party with a catch-all nature.
Both the Christian Democratic Union of Germany/Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CDU/CSU) and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) are considered big tent or catch-all parties, known in German as Volksparteien ("people's parties").
The Indian National Congress attracted support from Indians of all classes, castes and religions opposed to the British Empire.The Janata Party which came into power in India in 1977, was a catch-all party that consisted of people with different ideologies opposed to The Emergency.
Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are considered catch-all parties and are supported by people from different social classes and political ideologies. Both parties are, however, usually described as being very similar and are positioned on the centre-right with a liberal-conservative ideology. The reasons for their remaining separate are mainly from historical factors, with those who supported the Anglo-Irish Treaty in the 1920s eventually becoming Fine Gael and those opposed to the treaty joining Fianna Fáil to seek an independent Ireland.
In Italy, the Five Star Movement, led by the comedian and actor Beppe Grillo, has been described as a catch-all protest party and "post-ideological big tent" because its supporters do not share similar policy preferences, are split on major economic and social issues and are united largely based on "anti-establishment" sentiments. The Five Star Movement's "successful campaign formula combined anti-establishment sentiments with an economic and political protest which extends beyond the boundaries of traditional political orientations", but its "'catch-all' formula" has limited its ability to become "a mature, functional, effective and coherent contender for government". The Northern League attracted voters in its early years from all of the political spectrum. Forza Italia, on the centre-right, and the Democratic Party, on the centre-left, are considered to be catch-all parties and were mergers of political parties with numerous ideological backgrounds.
Main article: Factions in the Liberal Democratic Party (Japan)
Historically, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) had been formed as a big-tent party uniting groups ranging from Keynesian centrists to nationalist neoliberals. The party developed an intricate factional system to maintain co-operation and to ensure hegemonic success in elections. However, the party has seen some former factions defect or die out since the 1990s, especially the more moderate ones, which has led the party to shift overall towards the right.
The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) held power in Mexico for 71 uninterrupted years, from 1929 to 2000. It was founded after the Mexican Revolution by Mexican President Plutarco Elías Calles. Then known as the National Revolutionary Party, it was founded in 1929 with the intent of providing a political space to allow all surviving leaders and combatants of the Mexican Revolution to participate and for the resolution the grave political crisis that had been caused by the assassination of President-elect Álvaro Obregón in 1928. Throughout its nine-decade existence, the PRI has adopted a very wide array of ideologies, which are often determined by the President of the Republic in turn. The party nationalized the petroleum industry in the 1940s and the banking industry in the 1970s. In the 1980s, the party went through reforms that shaped its current incarnation, with policies characterized as centre-right, such as the privatization of state-run companies, closer relations with the Catholic Church, and embracing free-market capitalism and neoliberal policies.
The National Regeneration Movement, founded by, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has often been described as a big-tent party because of its various constituents, which joined its ranks during the 2018 Mexican general elections. The party-led Juntos Hacemos Historia is a big-tent alliance that contested the 2021 Mexican legislative election.
The centre-left Socialist Party (PS) and centre-right Social Democratic Party (PSD) have been described as catch-all parties.
The centre-right Save Romania Union PLUS (USR PLUS) is considered a big-tent or catch-all party.
Citizens (Spanish: Ciudadanos) has been considered as an example of astroturfing in the Spanish media since 2015. Originally founded as a social-democratic regional party opposed to Catalan nationalism, the party switched to a catch-all message to attract votes from the right to the moderate left in the party's appearance in the national political landscape. Its stance includes a mix of liberalism and pro-Europeanism, but the party has also embraced populist views on the legitimacy of its political opponents; conservative views on topics such as the criminal system and personal property and Spanish nationalist positions; and many problems by its own leader, Inés Arrimadas. It has become one of the most recognisable catch-all parties in the history of the country. In the mid-2010s, however, the party's main ideology is perceived to have drifted towards the right, with Albert Rivera admitting that it would not agree to form a coalition with the two main centre-left and left parties after the April 2019 Spanish general election, regardless of the results. Furthermore, some commentators argue that Ciudadanos was attempting to supplant the People's Party, which suffered massive losses as the hegemonic party of the right and thus contributed to the shift in Ciudadanos to the right. Similarly, Ciudadanos has allied with both the conservative People's Party and the far-right Vox to achieve coalitions in regional parliaments. That has given rise to the expression "the three rights" to describe the grouping, which defines its opposition as "the left".
The African National Congress (ANC) has been the governing party of South Africa since the country's first democratic election, in 1994, and it has been described by the media as a "big tent" party. An important aspect of its electoral success has been its ability to include a diverse range of political groups most notably in the form of the Tripartite Alliance between the ANC; the South African Communist Party; and the country's largest trade union, COSATU. Additional interest groups in the party are members of the business community and traditional leaders.
When Gordon Brown became the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in 2007, he invited several members from outside the Labour Party into his government. They included former CBI Director-General Digby Jones who became a Minister of State and former Liberal Democrats leader Paddy Ashdown who was offered the position of Northern Ireland Secretary (Ashdown turned down the offer). The media often referred to Brown's ministry as "a government of all the talents" or simply "Brown's big tent".
In Scotland, the Scottish National Party is possibly the longest-established big-tent party in the UK, with the goal of seeking Scottish independence by those that support various other political ideologies and from various political positions. Since 2007, the SNP have been the largest single party in the Scottish Parliament and has formed the Scottish government continuously since the 2007 Scottish general election.
All for Unity is a big tent anti-SNP electoral alliance that contested the 2021 Scottish Parliament election but failed to win any seats.
The Democratic Party, during the New Deal coalition, which was formed to support President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal policies from 1930s to the 1960s, was a "big-tent" party. The coalition brought together labor unions, working-class voters, farm organizations, liberals, Southern Democrats, African Americans, urban voters, and immigrants.
The Blue Dog Coalition is a big-tent caucus of centrist and conservative Democrats in the House of Representatives, some of whom are socially conservative and fiscally and economically progressive or vice versa. For a brief period after the 2006 and the 2008 elections, when Democrats held a majority in the House, the Coalition wielded increased influence over the party, but its power declined again after most of its members were defeated or retired in the 2010 elections. Its Republican counterpart is the Republican Main Street Partnership.
To counter the New Deal coalition, the Republican Party was for much of its history a "big tent" party that encompassed a wide range of right-wing and center-right causes, including a wide range of politicians who were fiscally conservative and socially moderate or liberal and vice versa. During the 1970s and the 1980s, the Republicans attracted support from wealthy suburban voters in the South and Midwest, Northeastern moderates, Western libertarians, and rural conservatives across the country. From 1968 to 1988, Republicans won five out of six presidential elections, with the only exception being a narrow loss to the Democrat Jimmy Carter in 1976. The culture wars of the 1990s and the growing influence of the Christian right within the party have prompted the socially moderate and liberal sections of the Republican base, particularly in the Northeast and the Midwest, to begin slowly leaving the party in favor of moderate Democrats or independents.
After the 1974 Dallas Accord, the Libertarian Party embraced the big-tent idea to the extent it ensured that the anarcho-capitalist views would not be excluded from the majority minarchist party.
two historically dominant political parties have avoided ideological appeals in favour of a flexible centrist style of politics that is often labelled "brokerage politics"
...most Canadian governments, especially at the federal level, have taken a moderate, centrist approach to decision making, seeking to balance growth, stability, and governmental efficiency and economy...
Canada's party system has long been described as a “brokerage system” in which the leading parties (Liberal and Conservative) follow strategies that appeal across major social cleavages in an effort to defuse potential tensions.
First Past the Post in Canada has favoured broadly-based, accommodative, centrist parties...
Morena's star has risen so quickly because it offers refuge to such a wide range of beliefs and ideologies. The party has room for old guard supporters of Hugo Chávez and Fidel Castro, young leftist academics, former PRI leaders, evangelical Christians, actors, athletes, and even the odd business tycoon or two. In this way the party resembles the big tent of the PRI, which more than a guiding philosophy was guided by the administration of political power.
In a few months, he has assembled a coalition stretching from socially conservative Christian evangelicals to admirers of socialist Venezuela and business tycoons, each with contrasting visions for Mexico. Dozens of lawmakers from across the political spectrum have switched sides to join Lopez Obrador’s National Regeneration Movement (MORENA), a party that is not yet four years old.
...GD as a catch-all movement...
Both major parties in the Armenian parliament [Republican Party and Prosperous Armenia] represent elite groups. With almost no ideology to speak of, they are catch-all parties, a phenomenon becoming typical in the modern world.