This article examines party platform change in a third wave democratic country, Taiwan, during its first fourteen years of full multiparty elections. A variety of datasets show that Taiwan's parties have moved from polarized positions toward a moderate center on all core electoral issues. However, the parties have not converged into indistinguishable catchall parties; instead they have instituted a state of moderate differentiation. The degree to which Taiwan's parties have moderated and been electorally successful has been intimately tied to the internal balance of power between election-oriented and ideologically conservative factions or leaders. In response to public opinion and electoral competition, Taiwan's election-oriented leaders attempted to drag their parties toward centrist positions. The key variable constraining convergent party movement and maintaining differentiation has been the strength of ideologically conservative party factions. When these ideologically oriented factions have held the upper hand in parties, they have promoted ideologically orthodox but often unpopular policies. Even when the election-oriented faction is in control at the party center, secondary factions have been able to constrain movement away from party ideals.
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