Europe is essentially a continent ruled by states with democratically elected governments. In any such society, political parties are the oil that enables the political process to function smoothly. Constitutional provision for public representation and elections may be crucial for democracy, but they are largely meaningless in the absence of organized political parties. Indeed, with particular reference to Europe, Dalton (1988: 127) has described political parties as 'the primary institutions of representative democracy'. Citizens see parties as an agency through which they can identify with government, parties largely manage the process of elections, and governments rely on parties to sustain them in power. In societies new to democracy, such as many of those in central and eastern Europe, the creation or re-establishment of multiple political parties to replace the tyranny of the one-party state is one of the most urgent aspects of the process of social reconstruction (Klingemann and Fuchs, 1995).