a political party that embraces a wide range of beliefs & backgrounds among its members rather than requiring strict adherence to ideology as a prerequisite for membership.
In the United States, during the latter half of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th, the Republican Party boasted membership of big business interests, laborers (both of whom supported the GOP’s tariff strategy) as well as many African-Americans, due to Republican Abraham Lincoln’s abolition of slavery and the party’s stance on civil rights.
Also, in the United States, a very good example of this approach was the New Deal coalition which formed in support of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal policies. This coalition brought together labor unions, southern Dixiecrats, progressives, and others in support of FDR’s economic program, even though these groups strongly disagreed on other issues.
In the news…
- The Miami Herald: Bring back the GOP big tent (8/26/12)
- The Washington Post: Frozen out of GOP convention speaking role, Ron Paul lectures his party at counter rally (8/27/12)