Res Publica

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Issue 2, 1994 Expand all abstracts

Access_open Het gebruik van de voorkeurstem bij de gemeenteraadsverkiezingen

Een terreinverkenning in de provincie Limburg

Authors Johan Ackaert

    There is only few information available about the use of preferential votes at local elections, since the Belgian Home Department does not publish that particular statistical material. This article registers the size of preferential voting and discusses its consequences for the local political system, based on statistical data collected in the 43 municipalities of the Limburg province where local elections were held in 1988. Nearly 9 of the 10 voters used the preferential vote to express their choice. This is a much higher level than the one noticed at the general elections. The use of preferential votes is varying according to the size of the municipalities (more preferential votes in the smaller ones) and differs from one party to another (f.e. 92.7 % for the christian-democratic parties to 47.1 % for the radical left). The local election system and the size of preferential votes at local elections explain why nearly 7 of the 10 local councillors broke through the order of the candidate-list. For the comparison, this occured only twice at the 1991 general elections.

Johan Ackaert

    Given the under-representation of women in the elected assemblies, women politicians argue in favor of a higher representation of their gender in the political realm. Their claim is based on different kinds of arguments. We present and discuss the four following arguments: proportional representation and parity, interest representation, ressource utilisation and the argument of a different women 's voice.

Catherine Degauquier

Access_open Relativiteit en succes van een Europees voorzitterschap

Het Belgisch voorzitterschap van naderbij bekeken

Authors Jan Beyers and Bart Kerremans

    The Belgian Presidency is generally seen as being a success. On many difficult questions, the Belgians succeeded in forging compromises between the member states. There is a risk however, that the apparent successes of this Presidency will lead to an over-estimation of the role which a EU-president can play. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to its limits and possibilities. It can help to relativize the Belgian presidency and to improve insights into the potential role of EU-presidents within the decision-making of the European Union.

Jan Beyers

Bart Kerremans

    In this article a typology of respondent's ability to participate in a survey interview is created by means of a latent class analysis. The indicators in the analysis are: the interviewer's evaluation of the respondent's ability, the use of the "don't know" response category and inconsistent answers. It was possible to fit a latent class model with three classes or types of respondents. The three types are clearly differentiated concerning ability. As expected, this typology is related to respondent's education and age. Ability to participate is higher for better educated and younger respondents. Given the fact that political preference is also related to these two background characteristics, there is a relationship between the respondent's typology and the political preference of the respondents.

Geert Loosveldt

Access_open Ontwerpen van beleid en beleidsproblemen

Authors Oscar Van Heffen

    The main question of this article is: Which methods ofdesigning a policy are fit to solve or diminish complex and certain, complex and uncertain, simple and certain, simple and uncertain policy problems? On the basis of a contingency approach hypotheses are formulated with regard to this question. These hypotheses are confronted with the field of Dutch municipal policies for marginal adolescents (in the period 1980-1990). This study intends to point out: - that a diagnosis-modelfor designing a policy is appropriate to tackle complex and certain problems; - that a learning-model for designing a policy is appropriate to tackle complex and uncertain problems; - that a fitting policy theory is a necessary, but insufficient condition for an effective policy; - that a lack ofconsensus in the political environment of the process of designing a policy has a negative effect on the goal attainment, if the opponents of the policy have the power to obstruct the process of implementation; - that a lack professional qualities of implementers has a negative effect on the goal attainment.

Oscar Van Heffen

Access_open Nationalisme et parlementarisme

La percée complexe du nationalisme flamand au Parlement belge (1873-1914)

Authors Pasal Delfosse

    This article is related with the linguistic conflict in Belgium and the role of the parties and parties factions in the Parliament during the period 1873-1914. As a contribution to the history of the belgian Parliament, it illustrates the way the flemish claims for more autonomy were transformed in complex agreements in which non-linguistic matters, related to the system of cleavages of the belgian society, somestimes played a crucial role.

Pasal Delfosse

Access_open Démocratie directe

Un moyen pour remédier aux défauts fonctionnels de la démocratie représentative?

Authors Silvano Möckli

    Devices of direct democracy are an important structural element in Switzerland's political system. In this article, institutions and functions of Switzerland's direct democracy will be presented. Then the author will pursue whether the direct democracy can be used as a device to prevent a dysfunctional parliamentary system of government. He comes to the conclusion that Switzerland's direct democracy is not an exportable good. We know from the Swiss experience that there is no single model that describes how initiatives and referendums function in every state.

Silvano Möckli