Reihe: WSI-Diskussionspapier, Nr. 198; April 2015.
ISSN: 1861-0625 (Print).
The advocates of modern western democracy promote the viewpoint that the class division of the society is becoming outdated. We attempt to disprove this state ment with an example of 28 German parties who participated in the 2013 federal election. The official party positions on 38 policy issues are considered and the parties are identified with vectors of this 38-dimensional policy space. The statement in question, that there is no predominant political axis, would imply that the party vectors are scattered homogeneously, making a ballshaped cloud of `observations'. However, the Prime Component Analysis (PCA) shows that the party vectors constitute a thin ellipsoid whose two longest diameters cover 83.4% of the total variance. The consequent party ordering is the left-right axis rolled in a circumference, making the far-left and far-right ends meet. Basing on this empirical evidence, we conclude that neither the leftright characterization of parties nor the class opposition is outdated.