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(L. oppositio, place against, opposite). 1) Contraposition of a group’s own criteria, ideas and policies against the policies and ideas in power. Non-violent resistance to such policies and the proposal of alternatives to the official policy. 2) Minority that, in deliberative bodies, opposes the government policy and at times forms a “shadow cabinet.” This form of o. is termed parliamentary o. 3) Minority or minorities within a political party that pronounce themselves to be against the party’s political strategy and organizational or other measures. O. typically involves tactical and organizational questions, but at times can be extended to key political issues and lead to a split in the party or its dissolution. Various conservative and communist parties in Europe, America and Asia dissolved in this way. In many cases, the opposing minority forms its own faction, with its own organizational headquarters, funding and publicity apparatus, but remaining within the framework (platform) and statutes of the party. Such o. within a party is called internal o.