Het lidmaatschap van sociale organisaties en trouw stemgedrag

  • Jaak Billiet orcid logo


The relationships between the political parties (Christian Democrats, Socialists and Liberals) and the social movements that emerged in the last part of the previous century has been described as a pillarized form of intermediation. The political parties were built on the major cleavages that divided the Belgium society and the links between each organisational network (pillar) and the political party were exclusive, stable, and formal (or structural) . In the so-called new social movements, the links with the political parties are specific, unstable, and informal. A vast and stable support for each network party by the majority of the members of the social organisations that belang to each network (or 'world') is one of the conditions for an adequate functioning of the model of pillarized intermediation. Is that condition still met in Flanders after the General Elections of
November 24, 1991 ?
This study, based on a sample of 2,691 Flemish voters, shows strong differences in 'faithful' and stable voting behaviour according to the generation and the kind of involvement in the social organisations (trade unions, health insurance organisations, and Christian Labour Movement).  Among the generations that were born after 1945, the proportion of electoral 'movers' is larger than the proportion ofvoters that remain faithful to their network party. In the generations born before 1945, stable and faithful voting behaviour is still dominant in the three traditional political families. The more involvement in the Christian Labour Movement, the higher the degree of stable voting behaviour in favour of the Christian Democratie Party. A logistic regression analysis with church involvement, age category, urban environment, and several organizational variabels shows that
membership of social organisations still has a substantial effect on stable voting behaviour. The future of the pillarized model of intermediation is discussed in view of these results.

How to Cite:

Billiet, J., (1995) “Het lidmaatschap van sociale organisaties en trouw stemgedrag”, Res Publica 37(1), 11-29. doi:

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Published on
30 Mar 1995
Peer Reviewed