Twintig jaar polls, of de teloorgang van een vorm van interne partijdemocratie

  • Lieven De Winter


The lists of candidates, proposed by the parties for the Belgian general elections, is quite determinative. Due to electoral code arrangements, and, notwithstanding the growing proportion of preference votes, only those
candidates who are placed within the «necessary sequence» of the lists (i.e. the number of seats a party gains in a defi.nite arrondissement) get actually elected. Consequently, the Belgian voter does not appoint
the mandataries, hut only the number of mandates due to the several parties.
The statutes of the three major Belgian parties (christian democrats, socialists and liberals) , provide large participative opportunities for their members, through the so-called general member polls. In this kind of
primary system, all party members are franchised to elect the candidates for their party-lists.
The elections of the past twenty years show a growing tendency to deviate from these statutary guaranteed participation. In 1958, 89 % of all representatives were placed on their party-lists by general member polls; in 1978, only 10 % . Thus, the conclusive phase of the composition of the partylists has become, since 1958, increasingly a matter where only the national or federal party executives and councils decide upon.

How to Cite:

De Winter, L., (1980) “Twintig jaar polls, of de teloorgang van een vorm van interne partijdemocratie”, Res Publica 22(4), 563-585. doi:

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Published on
30 Dec 1980
Peer Reviewed