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De keuze tussen groen en extreem rechts in Vlaanderen

Sporen van een nieuwe breuklijn

Auteurs Jaak Billiet en Marc Swyngedouw

Jaak Billiet

Marc Swyngedouw
  • Samenvatting

      Studies about the Flemish voter's perceptions and attitudes revealed that the ecologist (green) party "Agalev" and the radical right-wingparty "Vlaams Blok" were each other's antipodes. These two parties were perceived by the voters as extreme poles on dimensions that were mainly formed by the parties' (perceived) viewpoint about the rights of immigrants, about Flemish political autonomy, and about materialistic versus postmaterialistic policy alternatives. According to the voters' attitudes, the two electorates were polarized by their attitudes towards immigrants, (post)materialism, economic conservatism, and Flemish nationalism. The electorates of these two 'extreme' parties were very similar in age composition (more in youngest generations), urban/rural environment (more living in large urban agglomerations), and church involvement(more non-Catholics). The voters of the ecologist party were more likely to have finished higher education and to have a high occupational status. Blue collar workers with little educational formation were over-represented among the electorate of the right-wing party. Using the data collected among 2,691 Flemisch voters after the 1991 General Elections, this study analyses relevant attitudes and socio-demographic characteristics within one global logistic-regression model. The focus is on the Vlaams Blok versus Agalev with the other electorates as reference category. Controlled for social characteristics, four attitudinal variables still show significant (and opposite) net effects on the likelihood of votingfor Agalev or for the Vlaams Blok and not for the other parties: the attitude towards immigrants, Belgian/Flemish nationalism, (post)materialism, and readiness to make efforts for the preservation of the physical environment. This findings support Swyngedouw's thesis about the emergence of two new cleavages: the so called universalistic/particularistic and postmaterialistic/materialistic cleavages that are capable tocatch about 20% of the Belgian-Flemish voters in the early 90s.

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