Search result: 37 articles

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Year 1984 x

    At the European elections the Belgian voter has, as at the general elections, the possibility to bring out either a vote for a party or a vote for a candidate of the party (a preferential vote). At the European elections of June 17, 1984 the voters have voted for half by preference, whereas in 1979 more than half of them have done so. There is a great difference between the Dutch speaking and the French speaking voters: the first have voted for less than half by preference, the second for more than half. There is also a difference from one politica! party to another. The highest percentage is obtained by the socialist parties (almost sixty percent for the French speaking and the same percentage for the Dutch speaking socialists), the lowest by the «green» partyAgalev (almost twenty-one percent). The preferential votes of individual candidates differ widely, pointing out not only their popularity but also to a certain extend their political power.


Mark Deweerdt

Editor Res Publica

    This research on the rate of actzvzty of the Members of the Belgian Senate is a remake of a study made five years ago by M. Dèweerdt, although the method is different (a global quotation has been used instead of summing up the length of bills, oral and written questions, etc...) the results are nearly the same. Half of parliamentary work (legislation and control) is performed by less than one fifth of the Members. The directly elected Members, who are also Members of the «Vlaamse Raad» or of the «Conseil de la Communauté française» or of the «Conseil Régional Wallon», seem also less active than their indirectly elected colleagues, which does not plead for the legally organized cumulation of mandates. The Members in charge of a municipal mandate are also less active than their colleagues. On the contrary, it was impossible to trace any link between language, parliamentary position (membership of majority or opposition), or sex and rate of parliamentary activity.


C. Hocepied
Article

De evolutie van de uitgaven van de Belgische gemeenten sinds 1974

Analyse in functie van het inwonersaantal en van de regionale ligging

Journal Res Publica, Issue 5 1984
Authors Johan Coens
Abstract

    In view of a better comprehension of the current bad situation of the municipal finances, the evolution of the expenses of the Belgian municipalities has been investigated. Although the attention is focussed on a descriptive analysis, some explanatory indications are also given by analysing the expenses in functionof the number of inhabitants and of the geographical situation (i.c. belonging to the Flemish, Walloon or Brussels region). Special attention was given to the evaluation of the potential inffoence of the amalgamation of the municipalities, which in 1976 reduced their number from 2359 to 596. The global municipal expenses have increased by circa 25 % (in real terms). The pattern of expenditures (i.e. the relative share of the different earmarks) remained fairly stable. There was a positive - although not rectilinear, and important exceptions exist - correlation between the population number and the level of expenses. The number of inhabitants also infiuences the destination of the revenues in a significantway. The amalgamation process seems to have only an indirect repercussion on the expenses, particularly by the change in the spreading of the municipalities over the different categories. Especially the remarkable and relevant inter-regional differentiation of the expenses - W alloon municipalities spend more money per inhabitant and following other priorities - needs further research.


Johan Coens
Article

Les élections européennes de 1984

Analyse des résultats pour la Belgique

Journal Res Publica, Issue 5 1984
Authors William Fraeys
Abstract

    The European election which took place on June 17, 1984 must be seen in a more national than European context. Compared with previous general elections, the turn-out was generally lower and individual candidates polled a larger number of votes. Ought the Christian Democrats and Liberals, who make up the ruling coalition, be pleased about their respective results? A careful approach is required to answer that question. For the country as a whole, thefour governing parties lost 2.45 % of their share of the vote in relation to the 1981 general election. This cannot be seen either as a massive repudiation or as a very satisfactory result. After two and a half years in power, this can be regarded as an average performance. However, if one takes a closer look at it, the result cannot be said as being very satisfying. In Flanders, the Liberals suffered a severe setback whereas the level of support for the Christian Democrats was only fractionally higher than in 1981. Between them, the two governing parties lost 6.72 % of the votes. In Brussels, the four ruling parties gained 9.89 %. This is partly due to two factors: the votes polled by Mr. Nols and, more importantly, the fact that no UDRT candidate stood in the election. It is not at all certain that a similar result would be recorded at a general election. Finally, in Wallonia, the two governing parties put up a good fight and gained 1.37 % of the votes whereas the Socialists and the Green movement made gains not because the ruling parties suffered a defeat but because of the considerable losses both by the Communist Party and by the nationalist parties.


William Fraeys
Article

Het kortstondig bestaan van De Nieuwe Wereld

democratisch dagblad

Journal Res Publica, Issue 5 1984
Authors Jan Ceuleers
Abstract

    From November 16, 1945 tilt ]anuary 8, 1946, the Flemish wing of the UDB (Unie der Democratische Belgen; Fr.: Union Démocratique belge; E.: Union of Democratie Belgians), a newly founded political party, published a newspaper in Dutch «De Nieuwe Wereld». An analysis of articles and columns indicates the options the UDB intended to follow: rather leftist but rejecting the traditional party system and religious adherence as a lawful issue for political discussion and action, solliciting people's union as an acquisition earned during World War II by opposing the German occupation. Presumably due to financial shortcoming, the newspaper subsisted only two months.


Jan Ceuleers
Article

Psychologische aspecten van gepersonaliseerde verkiezingen

Perceptie van de persoonlijkheid van de kandidaten en de invloed ervan op het stemgedrag

Journal Res Publica, Issue 5 1984
Authors Hans De Witte and Leo Lagrou
Abstract

    This study investigates bath the relationship between evaluation of personality traits of party-leaders and party identification, and the evaluation of personality traits as a determinant of voting behaviour. One month before the Belgian national elections of November 81 201 voters evaluate personality traits of four welt known leaders of the main Flemish political parties. Factor analysis indicated three main dimensions in the evaluation of personality traits of politicians: reliability, expertness and self-control. The personality profiles of every party-leader were quite similar when comparing the profiles of groups of subjects with different party preferences. However, subjects who identificated with a certain party rated the party-leader of this party more favorable on all personality traits than did subjects who identificated with another party. These discrepancies in favorableness were rather small for expertness and selfcontrol, but big for reliability and attractiveness. Analysing determinants of voting behaviour we differentiated four types of voters. Convinced voters were determined mainly by party preference and political views. Policyoriented and routine-voters taak into account in the first instance their political views and secondly their party preference. Personality traits of party-leaders functioned as the main determinant only for the voting behaviour of our indifferent subjects. Between these personality traits, mainly the evaluation of expertness had predictive power.


Hans De Witte

Leo Lagrou

Ivo Vanpol

Mark Deweerdt

Ivo Vanpol

W.S. Plavsic

Editor Res Publica
Article

Belgian Politics in 1983

Communitarian Struggles Despite the Economic Crisis

Journal Res Publica, Issue 4 1984
Authors Jozef Smits

Jozef Smits

    The 1980 state reform is unsatisfactory for two main reasons. It remained unfinished on crucial points, e.g. the definitive settlement for the Brussels region and the transformation of the senate into a chamber for regions and communities. As the preparations for a revision of the constitution, necessary for such a change in the senate's assignment, have not even started, the independance of regions and communities has remained a dead letter. Secondly, the laws which should have executed the state reform concerning the competence-division between central, regional and communal government, remain obscure on many instances. No homogeneous policy-packages have been transfered to the communities or to the regions; moreover in the transfered policies certain parts were reserved for the central government and finally the limits between the several fields of competence are far from clear-cut. The result is policy-dispersion, endless competence-conflicts and immobility. The fundamental question remains whether the equivalence of central laws and regional and communal laws is a correct decision, or whether one should return to a hierarchy between the different policy-levels.


Jan Ceuleers

    The factors that determine the decision-making mechanisms on the regional level are twofold in nature: internal and external. We may distinguish three internal factors: 1° the councils of the regions are composed of members of the national parliament; 2° on the national level, the regional problem is not dealt with by representatives of the regions; 3° the conventional system controls the relationship between the executives and the councils of the regions. The external factors may be reduced to five: 1° the regions do not have jurisdiction for their entire territory; 2° the financing of the regions is done via a system that implies no financial responsibility and onesidedly favors the southern regions; 3° the financial burden of some decisions of the nation is imposed on the regions; 4° the distribution of authority disregards federal practice; 5° conflicts of authority are not resolved by a purely jurisdictional organ. Finally, we stress the contiguous existences·of regions and communities as substructures white the latter are the true components of the Belgian nation.


Robert Senelle

    The distribution of competences between the national state, the communities and the regions is subject to criticism. The state reform laws f 1980 have admittedly led to many confiicts, due to a lack of clearnessof the terms of the law and to the incomplete character of the reform. A clear option is to be made between a federal regime as such, a regionalised state and separatism; so far this option has only been postponed, which leaves the actual state structure rather confused and hardly workable. A series of conditions both of a politica! and a legal nature have to be fulfilled in order to clear the situations.


Leo Neels
Article

De Staatshervorming van 1980

rijk aan mogelijkheden

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3 1984
Authors Hugo Weckx
Abstract

    The 1980 State Reform has been criticized a lot and yet it is to be carried out at full. Back in 1980 this reform proved not only to be the ultimate answer to the political needs of those days but it was also closely connected with the 1963 and 1970 reforms. The only criticism to take into consideration for a possible reform in 1990 is an economie one: separate financial possibilities and responsibilities of federal organizations are a must in the future. In the meantime «1980», rich in possibilities, must be offered fair chances. Maintenance of a central administration that is well defined and strengthened by an important arbitration task is not wished for. The idea of creating regions with an independance to such an extent that failures are no langer accepted is irrational. The motto «Flanders can do it better» should not be fostered.


Hugo Weckx
Article

Besluiten

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3 1984
Authors Jan Ceuleers

Jan Ceuleers

    The financial arrangements are the cornerstone of any lasting federal organization of the state. A delicate balance has to be struck between financial responsibility, solidarity, and the constraints imposed by theeconomie and monetary union. On the average member states in existing federal countries rely for two thirds on autonomous sources of finance, and for one third on solidarity. In the Belgian devolution act of 1980 the financial provisions run counter to the financial orthodoxy for a cooperative federalism. Nevertheless, provided certain adjustments are made in financial techniques, in debtand credit financing, the financial arrangements of 1980 may serve as a second best solution towards further devolution.


Dirk Heremans
Article

De besluitvormingsmechanismen op nationaal en gewestelijk vlak

Een federale staat zonder federaal gezag?

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3 1984
Authors Omer Coenen
Abstract

    The rapid evolution that has taken place since the state reform of 1980 has made the need felt that some options of this state reform must be adjusted. In spite of this need, the core question is whether or not one should, in the first place, adapt the structures of the national government so it can carry out its national tasks. The clear establishment of communities and regions, the structuring of the political parties on the basis of these entities, the socio-economic substratum that is based on the duality, of the country, are indexes that show that the regions have numerous policy supporting structures while they are virtually absent on the national level. The political decision making on the national level is very restricted in this perspective. The state reform of 1980 has established three levels of equal standing between which the division is total. However, the probem immediately arises of a common parliament and a socio-economic substratum on which a national parliament and a national government should be able to rest if the Belgian state is to survive with its substructures. The solution here is twofold: either the substructures will have to create organs of the central state or the organs of the central state will have to be assembled on the basis of a national political election free of the substructures.


Omer Coenen
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