Res Publica

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Issue 2, 1975 Expand all abstracts

Access_open Het effekt van de oppositie op het regeringsbeleid in België van 1965 tot 1971

Authors Wilfried Dewachter, Edith De Graeve-Lismont and Guy Tegenbos

    The government-opposition scheme of a two-party system does not function that clearly in a multiparty system which is the case in Belgium. To examine to what extent the opposition parties in a multi-partysystem are functional for policymaking, the period 1965-1971 was chosen for Belgium, providing a complete scale of government and opposition parties.A content analysis of all political parties' platforms in 1965 permits to determine the policy objectives, classified in policy areas, so that at the end of the six years a survey could be made about the completely andpartly realised planks of the platforms according to government and opposition parties, according to the party-strength which was congruent with the duration of government participation. In Belgium a distinctioncan also be made between the traditional opposition parties and the nonelitist opposition parties, which during the given period were not accepted as possible government parties by the political elite. To obtain a correct evaluation of the realisations, the approach took successively into account the absolute number of platform-planks, the number of specific items of a party and the degree of importance andsocial repercussion of the distinct planks that could be realised.Although respectively for 6, 4 and 2 years in the government the CVP, the BSP and the PVV realise approximately the same number of planks. The non-elitist opposition party Volksunie realised a smaller butstill considerable number of objectives. So did also, but to a smaller extent the RW, KP and FDP. The interpretation of these results could be the loss of distinctiveness of the government-opposition scheme in amultiparty system, the elite-consensus in Belgium, the function of the «zweeppartij» strategy and the definition of the opposition in terms of action.

Wilfried Dewachter

Edith De Graeve-Lismont

Guy Tegenbos

Access_open Le pacte culturel

de sa genèse à son application

Authors Christian Daubie

    The Belgian Parliament passed in 1973 a law protecting the ideological and philosophical tendencies; this text is a legal translation of an agreement between most of Belgian political parties, the «culturalagreement». The laborious elaboration of this text especially is to be seen in connexion with the existence, since 1970, of autonomous cultural communities. This agreement organizes, in the «cultural» sphere, a protection of ideological and philosophical tendencies, more especially in connextion with political families, according to the traditional approach of the pluralism - more precisely of the plurality - in the Belgian State. The cultural agreement has two objects in view: to prevent and to bring remedies to the discrimination by specific guarantees (rather «negative»). The law institutes an organ of control, a national permanent Commission, with a principally consultative competence. The agreement is protecting at first minorities and majorities, with a political expression; the efficiency of these provisions chiefiy depends on the collaboration and the reciprocal confidence between the «culturalpartners».

Christian Daubie

Access_open Les questions parlementaires écrites

Authors Françoise Drion

Françoise Drion

    From the outset the Belgian press has been a political press. The catholic and liberal newspapers, however, have never been tightly linked to the corresponding political parties, whereas the socialist and communistnewspapers depend officially from their respective political party so that they can be considered as real party-papers.Of the 39 Belgian newspapers 20 can be defined as catholic, 7 as liberal, 7 as socialist and 1 as communist; 4 newspapers call themselves «neutral», but on several political occasions they heve nevertheless taken up position. Among these 39 newspapers only 19 can be considered as «independent»: of the 20 catholic newspapers 16 belang to 5 different newspaper chains; 7 of the liberal dailies are owned by only 3 newspaper groups; 3 of the 7 socialist papers belang to the same chain and 3 of the so-called «neutral» dailies are published by only one group. From the circulation figures of the Flemish press it emerges that the catholic and liberal newspapers make some progress, while the socialist dailies are constantly regressing. The total circulation of the Frenchspeaking newspapers is slightly receding, but here again the socialist newspapers are the big losers. It should be noticed that only the circulation figures of the Flemish newspapers are officially ascertained, whereas the major part of the French-speaking newspapers do not allow such an official control.From this it is clear that in Belgium there exists a real disproportion between the number of readers of political opinionnewspapers and the voters for the corresponding political parties. For the moment the number of readers of catholic newspapers surpasses the amount of voters for the CVP-PSC-party in an considerable way. This also applies to the liberal press, where the amount of readers outnumbers the voters for the PW-PLP-party. On the other hand, the number of readers of socialist newspapers even does not amount to half of the numbers of voters for the BSP-PSB-party.

Theo Luykx

Access_open Note sous l'article 25 bis de la Constitution belge

Authors Stefan Schepers

Stefan Schepers

Nicole Loeb

    Comparisons between international integration and integrative processes on lower social levels or in other social sectors have rather been neglected in the recent development of integration theory. However, they might have taught something more about the dynamics of integrative processes in general. International integration here, is compared with the creation and development of multi-purpose or all-purpose interest groups. Both are viewed as dynamic social processes of increasing interdependence and interaction, which start from the recognition that individual interests might better be served by turning them info group-interests, through a process of successive compromises. Such social processes are accompanied by the creation of proper structures and by a shift of loyalty to the group or community-level.

Frans Govaerts

    Since about 1900, public opinion has generally been defined as a psychosocial phenomenon. We want to return to a more political definition because it provides a more synthetical view of it.As such, it requires to be analyzed essentially in dialectical contrast with decision making.Different aspects may be distinguished in it, such as «opinion families» and «opinion movements». Their processes are not quite identical, altough they are simultaneous.Furthermore, public opinion exists everywhere. But it follows different ways whether it appears in hierarchical or in egalitarian institutions.

A. Delobelle

Raphaella Bilski

Editor Res Publica