Zoekresultaat: 172 artikelen

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Article

Negatieve campagnevoering in de Nederlandse consensusdemocratie: de ontwikkelingen sinds Fortuyn

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 3 2010
Trefwoorden negative campaigning, consensus democracy, election campaign, political advertising, election debates
Auteurs Annemarie S. Walter
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    During the last decades, election campaigns in Western Europe have undergone major changes. In response to an altered electoral market, political parties have started to campaign more offensively, making use of campaign tactics such as negative campaigning. Negative campaigning strongly conflicts with the political culture of consensus and cooperation that is inherent to many West European political systems, especially in the Netherlands, in which coalition building has always been a necessity. Taking the Netherlands as a case-in-point, this article demonstrates that even in a consensual multiparty system like the Dutch one negative campaigning is on the rise. Indeed, by exploring the last four election campaigns this study demonstrates that negative campaigning is part-and-parcel of the Dutch electoral politics ever since 2002.


Annemarie S. Walter
Annemarie Walter (1985) is als promovenda verbonden aan de afdeling Politicologie van de Universiteit van Amsterdam en schrijft een proefschrift over negatieve campagnevoering in West-Europa. Haar onderzoeksinteresses liggen op het gebied van politieke communicatie en partijgedrag.
Research Note

Het eigen karakter van lokale politieke groeperingen

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 2 2010
Auteurs Marcel Boogers en Gerrit Voerman
Auteursinformatie

Marcel Boogers
Marcel Boogers (1964) is als universitair hoofddocent verbonden aan de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van de Universiteit van Tilburg. Zijn onderzoek richt zich op lokale politiek, politieke elites en andere intermediairen tussen politiek en samenleving.

Gerrit Voerman
Gerrit Voerman (1957) is directeur van het Documentatiecentrum Nederlandse Politieke Partijen van de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. Centrale thema’s in zijn onderzoek zijn partijgeschiedenissen, politiek leiderschap en verkiezingscampagnes.
Article

Partijen in spagaat?

Eensgezindheid en meningsverschillen onder leden van Nederlandse politieke partijen

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 2 2010
Trefwoorden Political parties, party members, party members survey, unity within parties, representative democracy
Auteurs Josje den Ridder, Joop van Holsteyn en Ruud Koole
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Political parties are the building blocks of representative democracy since they traditionally perform roles that are considered essential for the functioning and well-being of democracy. In the study and evaluation of the democratic system as a whole, as a general rule, parties are treated as unitary actors. Most political parties, however, are membership organizations and their external functioning is partly dependent on internal affairs, including the behavior and opinions of their members. In this paper we open the black box of parties and show on the basis of a 2008 survey among seven political parties how united or divided ordinary Dutch party members are with respect to various political issues and orientations. It is shown that most parties are rather united on most issues. They are least united on two of the most pertinent issues of today’s politics, i.e. the integration of ethnic minorities and European integration.


Josje den Ridder
Josje den Ridder (1982) is politicoloog en verbonden als onderzoekster aan het Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau (project Continu Onderzoek Burgerperspectieven). Zij publiceert over verkiezingen en kiesgedrag, en over politieke partijen en partijleden. Zij werkt aan een dissertatieproject ‘Opvattingen en activisme van partijleden van Nederlandse politieke partijen rond de eeuwwisseling’.

Joop van Holsteyn
Joop van Holsteyn (1957) is neerlandicus en politicoloog. Hij is als universitair hoofddocent en bijzonder hoogleraar Kiezersonderzoek verbonden aan het Instituut voor Politieke Wetenschap, Universiteit Leiden. Hij publiceert over politieke participatie en electoraal gedrag, publieke opinie, opiniepeilingen en opinieonderzoek, extreem-rechts in Nederland en politieke cartoons.

Ruud Koole
Ruud Koole (1953) is historicus en politicoloog. Hij is als hoogleraar Politicologie, in het bijzonder met betrekking tot de Nederlandse politiek en haar institutionele ontwikkeling, verbonden aan het Instituut voor Politieke Wetenschap, Universiteit Leiden. Van dat instituut is hij de wetenschappelijk directeur. Hij publiceert over politieke partijen, interne partijdemocratie, partijfinanciën, en populisme.
Article

Tussen establishment en extremisme: populistische partijen in Nederland en Vlaanderen

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 2 2010
Trefwoorden Extremism, populism, political parties, democracy
Auteurs Paul Lucardie
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Populist parties are often associated with extremism. However, the term ‘extremism’ is usually ill-defined and value-laden. Conceptual analysis will help to define populism as well as extremism in a more precise and value-neutral sense. Empirical analysis of the programmes of six Dutch and three Flemish parties suggests that populism does not entail extremism, even if it can be combined with it. The Centre Party and Centre Democrats as well as the Socialist Party and the Flemish Bloc may have displayed extremist as well as populist tendencies at some point. Yet the (more or less) populist parties Liveable Netherlands (Leefbaar Nederland), the List Pim Fortuyn, the Freedom Party, the movement Proud of the Netherlands (Trots op Nederland) and the List Dedecker should not be considered extremist.


Paul Lucardie
Paul Lucardie (1946) is onderzoeker bij het Documentatiecentrum Nederlandse Politieke Partijen aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. Hij doet onderzoek naar politieke partijen en ideologieën in Nederland (in mindere mate ook in Duitsland en Canada).
Article

Stemrecht, stemplicht, opkomstplicht: inleiding tot het debat

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 1 2010
Trefwoorden compulsory voting, turnout, electoral participation, electoral systems, types of democracy
Auteurs Arend Lijphart
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Compulsory voting was abolished in the Netherlands in 1970 without a thorough debate about the likely consequences. On several occasions, I have recommended its retention in countries that have it and its introduction in countries that do not have it. Compulsory voting has a positive effect on turnout and is a guarantee for equal electoral participation by different groups in society. However, the debate is far from closed. In particular, the relationship between compulsory voting and type of democracy (majoritarian vs consensus democracy, majoritarian vs proportional electoral systems) requires further research.


Arend Lijphart
Arend Lijphart (1936) is als onderzoeksprofessor emeritus verbonden aan de Universiteit van Californië, San Diego, USA. In 1963 promoveerde hij aan Yale University. Hij is auteur van een groot aantal gezaghebbende boeken en artikelen in het bijzonder op het terrein van de vergelijkende politicologie. In 1995-1996 was hij president van de American Political Science Association. In 2001 ontving hij een eredoctoraat van de Universiteit Leiden, in 2009 van de Universiteit Gent.
Article

Hoe populistisch zijn Geert Wilders en Rita Verdonk?

Verschillen en overeenkomsten in optreden en discours van twee politici

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 4 2009
Trefwoorden populism, Netherlands, discourse, Geert Wilders, Rita Verdonk
Auteurs Koen Vossen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In the Netherlands, the rise of new parties such as the Lijst Pim Fortuyn, the Partij voor de Vrijheid, lead by Geert Wilders and the movement Trots op Nederland, lead by Rita Verdonk, have attracted much attention. In an attempt to interpret and explain the (temporary) advance of these parties, both commentators and political scientists have often used the notion of populism. In most commentaries however, it remains unclear what the term exactly means and whether it has any explanatory value. The aim of this article is to investigate whether Rita Verdonk and Geert Wilders and their movements may actually be labelled as populist. By discerning the presence of the features of an ideal-typical populism in discourse and performance of both politicians their ‘degree of populism’ is measured. The differences in degree of populism also helps to explain why Geert Wilders and his party proved (thus far) more successful and durable.


Koen Vossen
Koen Vossen (1971) is universitair docent Nederlandse politiek Instituut Politieke Wetenschap, Universiteit Leiden. In 2003 is hij gepromoveerd op een proefschrift getiteld Vrij vissen in het Vondelpark. Kleine politieke partijen in Nederland 1918-1940 (Wereldbibliotheek 2003). Zijn belangstelling gaat vooral uit naar protestpartijen en populisme in de Nederlandse politiek in heden en verleden.
Article

Parlementaire circulatie in de Belgische Kamer van volksvertegenwoordigers, 1831-2008

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 4 2008
Trefwoorden Belgium, parliament, legislative careers, legislative turnover
Auteurs Frederik Verleden en Christophe Heyneman
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article examines legislative turnover and parliamentary career length in the Belgian Chamber of Representatives since Belgian independence in 1831. Early on a stable representative elite emerged, characterized by a relatively low turnover and an average parliamentary career of nearly ten years. This pattern has changed substantially in the second half of the twentieth century. The average career length in the Chamber is nowadays historically low, due to some extent to the practice of level-hopping. The distribution of career lengths is at the same time highly asymmetrical. The literature on parliamentary careers and turnover suggests three major explanatory variables: regime change, the evolution of political parties and of the institutional framework. In the Belgian case institutional reform and regime change generated merely temporary effects. The same goes for the rise of the organised mass party at the end of the 19th century. The drop in average career length after the Second World War corresponds with a tighter hold of political parties on the selection process of parliamentary candidates.


Frederik Verleden
Frederik Verleden (1980) werkt als assistent aan het Centrum voor Politicologie van de KULeuven. Zijn voornaamste onderzoeksthema’s zijn: Belgische parlementaire geschiedenis en fractiewerking.

Christophe Heyneman
Christophe Heyneman (1979) studeerde af als licentiaat Politieke Wetenschappen aan de KULeuven en werkt momenteel als attaché in het Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Parlement.
Article

Klasse is niet dood – Zij is levend begraven

Klassengebonden stemgedrag en cultureel stemgedrag in westerse samenlevingen (1956-1990)

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 4 2007
Auteurs Jeroen van der Waal, Peter Achterberg en Dick Houtman
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    By means of a re-analysis of the most relevant data source (Nieuwbeerta & Ganzeboom 1996), this paper criticizes the newly grown consensus in political sociology that class voting has declined since World War II. An increase of crosscutting cultural voting, rooted in educational differences, rather than a decline of class voting proves responsible for the decline of the traditional class-party alignments. Moreover, income differences have not become less, but more consequential for voting behavior during this period. It is concluded that the new consensus has been built on quicksand. Class is not dead – it has been buried alive under the increasing weight of cultural voting, systematically misinterpreted as a decline of class voting, due to the widespread application of the Alford index.


Jeroen van der Waal
Promovendus aan de vakgroep Sociologie, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.

Peter Achterberg
Post-doctoraal onderzoeker aan de vakgroep Sociologie, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.

Dick Houtman
Universitair hoofddocent aan de vakgroep Sociologie, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.
Article

Coalitiesteun in Antwerpen, Hasselt en Oostkamp

De invloed van politieke ontevredenheid, politiek wantrouwen en etnocentrisme vergeleken

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 4 2007
Auteurs Marc Swyngedouw, Koen Abts en Jarl Kampen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this paper we investigate the effects of political dissatisfaction, political distrust and ethnocentrism on support to the incumbent coalition in three different municipalities in Flanders. Theoretically, we define the concept of political trust, at which it is differentiated from political satisfaction and political alienation. At the same time, four dimensions of political distrust are disentangled: competence, integrity, responsiveness and justice. Empirically, four research questions may be distinguished. First, we investigate whether political satisfaction, political trust and ethnocentrism have an independent effect on support to the ruling majority. Second, we check whether there are differential effects of the dimensions of political trust on the dependent variable in the different municipalities.Third, we try to connect the micro-level data with macro-level, by linking the results with the characteristics of the local government and the party system. Fourth, we examine the influence of the presence of extreme right.


Marc Swyngedouw
Hoogleraar aan het Centrum voor Sociologisch Onderzoek (CeSO-K.U.Leuven).

Koen Abts
Wetenschappelijk medewerker aan het CeSO (K.U.Leuven).

Jarl Kampen
Postdoctoraal onderzoeker aan de Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen (V.U.Brussel).
Article

Belgian Politics in 2006

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 2-3 2007
Auteurs Sam Depauw en Mark Deweerdt
Auteursinformatie

Sam Depauw
Postdoctoral Fellow of the Fund for Scientific Research – Flanders at the KU Leuven.

Mark Deweerdt
MA in Political Science.

Jo Noppe
Vrij medewerker van het Centrum voor Politicologie van de KU Leuven in samenwerking met de secretariaten van de politieke partijen.
Article

De gemeenteraadsverkiezingen van 8 oktober 2006

Evolutie sinds 1976

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 2-3 2007
Auteurs Johan Ackaert, Herwig Reynaert, Koenraad De Ceuninck e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The 2006 local elections in Belgium were the first one organised after the transfer of the local authorities competences from the federal to the regional level. This means by consequence that the different regions have as well the competence in designing the institutional framework of local government as the competence of changing electoral rules. The same elections were also the first ones after drastic reforms in the national political landscape (eg., the democratic Flemish nationalist party split in different groups, nearly all the parties changed their name and particularly in the Flemish part of the country, different kinds of alliances between parties emerged).
    All over the country, the Christian democrats made progress and the ecologists suffered a declining trend. For the other parties, results depend from one region to another.
    In the Flemish part of the country, the socialists and the extreme right wing joined the Christian democrats as winners of the elections. The other parties lost votes. This was particularly the case for the liberals and ecologists (the winners of the 2000 local elections). Liberals are however the winners in the Walloon part of the country, together with again the Christian democrats. In this region, socialists and ecologists were set back. In the Brussels region, we noticed progress for socialists and Christian democrats and declining figures for liberals and ecologists.
    Analyses of political competition, number of groups in local councils and single party majorities point out that the fragmentation of local politics is not growing. The local political landscape seems to be more stable in the Walloons compared with the Flemish region.


Johan Ackaert
Docent aan de Universiteit Hasselt.

Herwig Reynaert
Docent van de Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Gent.

Koenraad De Ceuninck
Assistent van de Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Gent.

Kristof Steyvers
Doctor-assistent van de Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Gent.

Tony Valcke
Assistent van de Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Gent.
Article

De provincieraadsverkiezingen van 8 oktober 2006

Electorale tendensen in Vlaanderen en Wallonië

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 2-3 2007
Auteurs Tony Valcke, Herwig Reynaert, Kristof Steyvers e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The 2006 provincial elections in Belgium were the first organised after the transfer of the bulk of competences on local and provincial government from the federal to the regional level. This means that the different regions have both the competence to redesign the institutional framework on provincial government and to change the electoral rules. The government has exercised its competence: some institutional and electoral rules are now different in the two regions. These elections were also the first after drastic reforms in the national political landscape (e.g., the democratic Flemish nationalist party split in different groups, nearly all the parties changed their name and different kinds of cartels and alliances between parties emerged, especially in the Flemish part of the country).
    All over the country, the Christian democrats and the extreme right parties were the winners of the elections, while the ecologists suffered from a declining trend. For the other parties, results differ according to region. In the Flemish part of the country, the socialists joined the Christian democrats as winners, where in the Walloon provinces they lost votes. The Liberals however noticed declining vote shares in the Flemish provinces, while winning in the Walloon part of the country.
    Because of the electoral design the evolution of the provincial political landscape offers an interesting electoral barometer of the upcoming federal elections. Provincial elections do not only ‘predict’ the political future of other levels however, they are path dependent in their own right as well. Historical, institutional, political and electoral forces all codetermine the actual outlook of current provincial events. The analysis for 2006 has once again confirmed this.


Tony Valcke
Assistent Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Gent.

Herwig Reynaert
Docent Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Gent.

Kristof Steyvers
Doctor-assistent Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Gent.

Johan Ackaert
Docent Universiteit Hasselt.

Duco Bannink
Dr Duco Bannink is verbonden aan de capaciteitsgroep Maatschappelijke Risico's en Veiligheid van de faculteit Management & Bestuur van de Universiteit Twente.

    In national elections the results tend to become more ‘nationalized’: a homogeneous party offer all over the territory, less variation in the results per constituency and more homogeneous electoral swings. This article investigates whether this nationalization can also be witnessed at local elections. It focuses on two indicators: the party offer and the voting behaviour. The party offer is the presence of the national parties on the local ballot paper, while the voting behaviour looks at patterns of homogeneity across the municipalities.
    The answer to the question of nationalization is mixed. The Flemish and Walloon local elections display the same long-term trend as the national elections, but they keep their own local character. The heterogeneity of the local party offer clearly demonstrates the local specificity of the local elections, and consequently the voting behaviour also differs from the voting behaviour at national elections. We also find that the local elections in Wallonia are less nationalized than in Flanders.
    Although the local character of the local elections remains important, the newer parties – Ecolo and Groen! – show until 2000 a clear trend towards nationalization. Especially the extreme right Vlaams Belang shows positive scores on all indicators of nationalization since its first local appearance in 1982.


Fanny Wille
Fanny Wille is verbonden als assistent/vorser aan de Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen en de Vakgroep Micro-economics of the Profit and Non-Profit Sectors aan de Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Zij doet onderzoek naar lokale coalitievorming.

Kris Deschouwer
Kris Deschouwer is gewoon hoogleraar aan de Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Hij doet onderzoek naar politieke vertegenwoordiging in systemen met een complexe institutionele context.

    We analyse the presence of a cost of ruling and/or incumbency advantage in the municipal elections in Flanders of 1988, 1994 and 2000. The empirical work concentrates on vote share evolutions of the three main parties: CD&V, Sp.a and VLD. We find evidence that being in power leads to an incumbency advantage, especially for those parties who provide the mayor. The results indicate that this electoral advantage is not uniform among parties (the socialist party appears to benefit more) and, importantly, the incumbency advantage seems to dampen over successive elections. From the perspective of the local politicians, it is important to keep in mind that this incumbency advantage at the local level was insufficient to compensate for the general trend of the major parties to lose votes at all levels of government. Indeed, even in the 1988 elections – where a clear local incumbency (mayor) advantage could be identified for each of the three parties – it was the case that government parties on average lost votes.


Jan Vermeir
Jan Vermeir promoveerde in 2006 tot dr. in de economische wetenschappen aan de VUB met een proefschrift ‘Essays on Elections and Coalition Formation’. Hij is auteur van artikels in European Journal of Political Research, Electoral Studies, Applied Economics, ...

Bruno Heyndels
Bruno Heyndels is hoogleraar in de economie aan de VUB. Hij verricht onderzoek omtrent de interactie economie & politiek, economie & cultuur en economie & sport. Hij is auteur van talrijke publicaties in (internationale) tijdschriften.

    Official results of local elections are especially interesting when collected at the lowest level possible, to enable analyses of voting behaviour on the smallest social unit. In Antwerp, together with the city-level results, the voting results for the city districts are public too. Yet, still no possibility exists to review the official results at the neighbourhood level. This lack of data makes it difficult to relate specific neighbourhood characteristics to voting behaviour in those neighbourhoods and to compare them. Thus, to collect the data on neighbourhood voting behaviour, we organised an exit-poll in 18 neighbourhoods of seven districts in Antwerp, during the recent county, local and district elections. This article briefly sketches the exit-poll and its organisation and presents the main results. These results will be compared with the formal results on district level, and the neighbourhoods will be compared to one another. The results are – as expected – slightly biased, although in some districts more than in others. Voting behaviour in neighbourhoods turns out to vary strongly. We try to explain the voting behaviour with the help of several neighbourhood characteristics, like the proportion of immigrants and unemployed. The analysis confirms some important correlations, but refutes others.


Lien Warmenbol
Lien Warmenbol werkt na een onderzoeksproject over probleemjongeren in problematische buurten momenteel aan haar doctoraat in de politieke wetenschappen aan de Universiteit Antwerpen. Dit onderzoek richt zich op de buurtgerelateerde processen die spelen bij het stemgedrag in Antwerpen.

Marjolein Meijer
Marjolein Meijer werkt aan haar doctoraat in de politieke wetenschappen aan de Universiteit Antwerpen. Haar onderzoek richt zich op de Europese Unie, democratie en uitbreidingen. In het afgelopen jaar verzorgde zij met Lien Warmenbol een leeronderzoek over de gemeenteraadsverkiezingen in Antwerpen.

    It is often suggested that the nationalization of local elections has increased. As a result, a hypothesis could be that the mutual differences between policy programs of local divisions of the same national party decrease. In this contribution, we focus on the local election of October 8th 2006 in order to analyse these mutual differences. The aim of this contribution is to measure the homogeneity or heterogeneity of the policy positions of the local divisions of national political parties, on a range of substantive issues on which they have the freedom to differ. Therefore, we compare the opinions of local party agents within the different party families. We use the results of a survey among the representatives of the local departments of the different political parties in the run-up to the local elections. Our research shows that, regarding to the selected questions, in general the local divisions speak with one voice. Our analysis does not indicate that there is a large mixture of visions between divisions of the same national party. Besides, this analysis shows that in general, the size of the municipality can seldom be used in indicating the relative disagreement within political families. This level of agreement is the largest within the green party and the smallest within the liberal family. Those are also the two parties of which the local agents say that the influence of supra-local party levels is small, compared to representatives of other political families.


Carl Devos
Carl Devos is docent aan de vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen van de Universiteit Gent, voorzitter van het vakgebied Belgische binnenlandse politiek, directeur van het Instituut voor Politieke Besluitvorming en Conflictmanagement en lid van het Centrum voor Lokale Politiek van de Universiteit Gent. Hij doceert o.a. over politieke besluitvorming, federalisme en conflictmanagement.

Dries Verlet
Dries Verlet is doctor in de politieke wetenschappen, doctor-assistent aan de vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen van de Universiteit Gent, lid van het Centrum voor Lokale Politiek, van het Instituut voor Politieke Besluitvorming en Conflictmanagement van de Universiteit Gent en van de Urban Policy Research Group van de Ghent University Association. Hij schreef een doctoraal proefschrift over tevredenheid en subjectief welzijn op lokaal vlak. Zijn onderzoek situeert zich in de domeinen lokale politiek, methodologie, statistiek, verkiezingen, tevredenheid en de studie van de kwaliteit van het leven.

Herwig Reynaert
Herwig Reynaert is hoogleraar aan de vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen van de Universiteit Gent, voorzitter van het vakgebied lokale en regionale politiek en van het Centrum voor Lokale Politiek, lid van het Instituut voor Politieke Besluitvorming en Conflictmanagement van de Universiteit Gent en hoofd van de Urban Policy Research Group van de Ghent University Association. Hij publiceerde als auteur en/of coauteur talrijke boeken en is auteur van tientallen wetenschappelijke artikels en hoofdstukken in boeken over politieke rekrutering, politieke elites, verkiezingen en tevredenheid over lokaal beleid. Hij doceert o.a. de vakken lokale politiek, vergelijkende politiek, Belgische binnenlandse politiek. Hij is eveneens promotor van onderzoeksprojecten rond de provincies, de fusies van gemeenten, schepenen en gemeenteraadsleden, ...

    Together with the city council elections, the citizens of Antwerp elected on 8 October 2006 for the second time their district councils. This new decentralised political level is primarily initiated to restore the confidence of the citizens in the city (and district) government(s). By analysing the results of the city and the district elections we try to find indications whether citizens feel closer to their new district governments or not. Firstly district elections resulted definitely not in less blank votes. Secondly, the number of list votes is higher on the district elections than on the city elections, while we would have expected a higher number of preferential votes. Thirdly, we see that the differences between the electoral results of the city elections and the district elections are becoming more pronounced. Although this last result seems to support the legitimacy of the decentralised district they merely reflect changes in the logic of the city elections. Mainly as a result of media coverage the city elections were direct elections of the mayor. Therefore voters used the district elections to vote for their preferred political party. This was not always possible at city level, because some parties did not have an eligible candidate for mayor. Generally spoken, we can conclude that the district elections do not give much proof of a closer connection between the citizens and the city government.


Peter Thijssen
Peter Thijssen doceert methodologie en politieke sociologie aan de Faculteit Politieke en Sociale Wetenschappen, de Faculteit Rechten en de Managementschool van de Universiteit Antwerpen. Zijn onderzoek spitst zich toe op politieke attitudes en politieke participatie, in het bijzonder van verschillende leeftijdsgroepen. Recente boeken zijn ‘Van beschrijving naar inzicht’ (Acco, 2006) en ‘Babybom? Draagvlak van de intergenerationele solidariteit’ (Acco, 2006, met De Pauw).

    According to our analysis of the campaign expenses declared by the Flemish candidates for the 2003 federal and the 2004 regional elections candidates of the three traditional parties spend, on average, about 70 à 80% of what they are allowed to. The impact of the spending limit is much smaller for the other parties, the candidates of which spend only about 50% of what they are allowed to. Incumbents and candidates who are also mayor in a municipality tend to spend more. The background characteristics of the candidates have almost no effect on the expenditures. There is only a small effect of gender, in the sense that women candidates spend less. On average, one third of the individual campaign expenditures is financed by the individual candidates, and two thirds by the party. However, in the liberal party the contribution of the party is substantially lower (35 à 40% on average), while it is higher (80% on average) in the socialist party as well as for female candidates


Bart Maddens
Hoofddocent aan het Centrum voor Politicologie, K.U.Leuven.

Karolien Weekers
Wetenschappelijk medewerker aan het Centrum voor Politicologie, K.U.Leuven.

Jo Noppe
Doctor in de sociale wetenschappen, K.U.Leuven.
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