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Issue 1, 1988 Expand all abstracts

Access_open Les élections législatives du 13 décembre 1987

Analyse des résultats

Authors William Fraeys

    Organized only two years after the previous general elections, the 1987 poll, characterized by a great stability of the electorale, will probably have a deep political impact on the country's future. If the rate of external mobility suitably gauges the extent of the citizens' shifts in votes, the 1987 elections will have ranged among the four most stable general elections out of the twenty-two that have taken place since universal suffrage has been introduced. And yet, because of the decline of the outgoing coalition, on the one hand, which is mainly due to the loss suffered by the CVP, and because of the change of majority within the Walloon Regional Council and the French-speaking Community Council, on the other, the political situation appears very different after the 13th December 1987 elections. The observer can only be struck by the asymmetrical behaviour of the voters in the northern and southern parts of the country. In Flanders, the main party is on the decline white all other parties are winning votes. However, everything seems to show that the motivation of the voters who did not vote twice for the same party in 1985 and 1987, but who, as we said, are not very numerous, was an economic and social motivationrather than a language or community-related one. The gains of Agalev, the PVV and the SP in the face of the Volksunie's status quo cannot be explained otherwise. The gains of the Vlaams Blok, notably in Antwerp, are probably due to social (attitude towards immigrants) rather than community-linked motivations too. In the W alloon Region, on the contrary, the main party is registering an obvious gain, white the other parties are declining or stagnating. In this case, the motivations seem to be numerous: they have a social and economic background on the part of voters who trusted the main opposition party, but they are also community linked and inspired by considerations that have to do with the relationships between the Walloon and Flemish people in the Belgian State under transformation. The political prospects then appear uncertain. This is even more true that two other elections are to take place in the next eighteen months. These concern the opposite levels of the elected Assemblies: the municipal Council and the European Parliament.

William Fraeys

Access_open Stemmen in Vlaanderen op 13 december 1987

Een statistische analyse

Authors Marc Swyngedouw and Jaak Billiet

    Taking into account the limits of such data, this study analyses the shifts in voting behaviour from the national elections in 1985 to those in 1987 in Flanders, using log-linear modelling. The use of data from poll surveys for estimating shifts between subsequent elections poses some methodological problems. The second part presents the results of the analysis. About 13,51 % of -the 1985-voters switched. Although there are significant shifts between all the political parties, the Christian Democratic Party (CVP) loses on all fronts. A log-linear analysis of party-reference by sex, age and occupational status shows the strength and weakness of each party in different societal categories. In conclusion, an interpretation of the shifts is proposed. The following factors can account for the major shifts: the desintegration of the catholic pillar, the emergence of a dual society, the affinity between neo-liberalism and yuppie-culture and the conflict between the language communities.

Marc Swyngedouw

Jaak Billiet

    At the general elections in Belgium, the voter has the possibility to bring out a vote for a party or a vote for a candidate of the party (a preferential vote). At the general elections of December 13, 1987, for the House of Representatives, the voters have voted for 48 % by preference, whereas, for the Senate 38 % of them have done so. The evolution is still stagnating. The use of preferential votes is varying from one electoral district toanother: from 65 % in the district of Tongeren-Maaseik to 33 % in Mechelen. There is also a difference from one political party to another. The highest percentage is obtained by the Christian-democratic parties: 60 %; the lowest by the ecologists: 23 %. The preferential votes individual candidates obtain differ widely. This is not only as a result of their popularity, but also of their political position and rendering of services. Preferential voting is characteristic to politically conscious voters.

Erwin Das

    Due to the dissolution of Parliament, election diate had to be advanced. As parties did not dispose of a long time in order to constitute their candidates-lists, their leadership were compelled to abandon all kinds of consultation of their members. They therefore used the technique of indirect vote, by asking the active militant core to approve a test-list of candidates selected by the leadership.

Jan Ceuleers

Access_open De autonome keuze van de parlementsleden door de kiezers

Een quasi-experiment

Authors Wilfried Dewachter

    The Belgian electorate has the possibility not only to decide on the number of seats for the different parties, but also to appoint the members of parliament. By making insufficient use of the preferential vote, the electorale however denies itself the power to choose members of parliament. In a quasi-experiment the difference in the selection of members by the political parties and by the electorale is examined for the period 1949-1987. The Difference is small, tending to lower the more the electorate use the preferential vote, which is the key to that autonomous selection. A puzzling result, which can be understood taking into account that the growth of the preferential vote is nearly exclusively given to or attrackted by the candidates leading the party lists. A striking illustration of the difficult emancipation of the electorate.

Wilfried Dewachter

    At the provincial council elections of the 13th of december 1987 only one of the three traditional political families made a general progress, namely the socialists. Mainly in Wallonia the socialists improved their position seriously. In this part of the country they are the only and absolute winners of these provincial elections. The christian-democrats and the liberals were subject of a severe decline. Por the christian-democrats this decline was mainly situated in Flanders. The liberals had a serious decline in W allonia, that couldn't be counterbalanced by the small progress they made in Flanders. The ecologists made progress, mostly in the Flemish part of the country and in Brussels. By the federalist parties the Volksunie had a loss of three provincial council seats in Flanders, but the seperatistic and extreme right party Vlaams Blok won two seats. The communists disappeared totally from the provincial councils in Belgium. The results of the provincial council elections had a similar profile as these of the House of Representatives and the Senate which where held at the same day.

Danny Toelen

Access_open Ontvangen boeken - Livres reçus - Books received

Authors Editor Res Publica

Editor Res Publica

Editor Res Publica