DOI: 10.5553/RP/048647002002044004523

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In het oog, in het hart?

De Antwerpse districtsraadsverkiezingen en de kloof tussen burger en bestuur

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Peter Thijssen and Danny Van Assche, "In het oog, in het hart?", Res Publica, 4, (2002):523-548

    Together with the city council elections, the citizens of Antwerp elected on 8 October 2000 nine district councils. This new decentralised political level is primarily initiated to restore the confidence of the citizens in the city (and district) government(s). By analysing the results of the city and the district elections we try to find indications whether citizens feel closer to their new district governments or not. Apparently district elections resulted neither in a higher voter turn-out, nor in less blank votes. Nevertheless, there is a significant correlation of voter turn-out and blank votes with population (density) of the districts. And although the differences between the electoral results of the city elections and the district elections are not huge, a different political landscape comes more or less into existence in the several districts. Quite surprisingly the number of list votes is higher on the district elections than on the city elections, while we would have expected a higher number of preferential votes. Correctingfor incumbents and famous candidates on the lists, our initial expectations hold much better. Generally spoken, we can conclude that the district elections do not give much proof of a closer connection between the citizens and the city government. Nevertheless we find some important differences between the districts.

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