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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.

    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.
Article

Doen (wijzigende) instituties ertoe?

De invloed van het gemeente(kies)decreet op de gemeenteraadsverkiezingen van 2006

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 1 2007
Auteurs Johan Ackaert, Koenraad De Ceuninck, Herwig Reynaert e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    With the local elections in 2006, new organisational schemes have been applied by the Flemish government to the 308 municipalities. These schemes included institutional reform aimed to change the outset of local government. In this article we studied the influence of these reforms in practice. Are they actually carriers of change? We thereby focused on the direct aspects linked to these reforms. While many instruments of reform had indirect intended effects, acceptance and action among key decision-makers (both voters and local governors to the extent of their discretion) to use them directly becomes crucial. Our analysis has shown that, with some exceptions, direct autonomous space for action was only limitedly used, hence reducing the chances for indirect change. While it is still too early to fully assess the foreseen indirect effects, in our opinion it is crucial to understand the nature of these local reforms within the central (Flemish) bargaining arena. The latter seems to have transformed the new schemes of local governmental organisation to the path-dependent art of the political feasible.


Johan Ackaert
Johan Ackaert is docent aan de Universiteit Hasselt. Hij promoveerde tot doctor in de sociale wetenschappen aan de KU Leuven op een proefschrift over de rol van de burgemeester. Zijn onderzoek richt zich enerzijds op politieke en maatschappelijke participatie en anderzijds op het lokale bestuur, beleid en politiek.

Koenraad De Ceuninck
Koenraad De Ceuninck is Licentiaat in de Politieke Wetenschappen, wetenschappelijk medewerker aan de vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen van de Universiteit Gent, lid van het Centrum voor Lokale Politiek van de Universiteit Gent en van de Urban Policy Research Group van de Ghent University Association. Hij bereidt een doctoraat voor over de gemeentelijke fusies in België. Zijn onderzoek en publicaties behandelen onder meer de besluitvorming en de hervormingen op lokaal vlak.

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, ...

Kristof Steyvers
Kristof Steyvers 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 de politieke rekrutering van de Belgische burgemeesters. Zijn onderzoek situeert zich onder meer op het vlak van lokale politieke elites, de vergelijkende lokale politiek en de gemeenteraadsverkiezingen.

Tony Valcke
Tony Valcke is historicus, assistent aan de vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen van de Universiteit Gent, lid van het Centrum voor Lokale Politiek van de Universiteit Gent en van de Urban Policy Research Group van de Ghent University Association. Hij bereidt een doctoraat voor over de gouverneurs in Vlaanderen en de commissarissen van de Koningin in Nederland. Zijn onderzoek en publicaties situeren zich op het vlak van politieke elites, (provincieraads-) verkiezingen en de geschiedenis van de (provinciale) politieke instellingen.

    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).
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