Tomáš Kostelecký, Daniel Čermák a Jana Vobecká:
Second Elections to the Regional Councils – Continuity or Change?
This study seeks answers to three fundamental questions: Who were the members of the regional political elites elected in the first regional elections in the year 2000; has the structure of the regional political elites undergone significant change after the elections in 2004, and what are the reasons for the detected changes? For that purpose we analyzed the data from a broad empirical survey among the regional elites, along with the results of the regional elections in autumn 2004. Socio-demographic characteristics and political careers of the members of Regional Councils in the period 2000-2004 are described and analyzed, followed by study of the continuity of regional political elites in terms of the number of ascribed mandates for political parties, and personal continuity among the deputies in the Regional Councils. Finally, the influence of various factors on the personal composition of the Regional Councils is discussed.
Keywords: Czech Republic, regions, Regional Council, regional elections 2004, political careers, regional elites.
Dalibor Čaloud, Tomáš Foltýn:
The main aim of this paper is to describe the background of proposing, enacting and implementing a new electoral system in Italy, prepared by Berlusconi’s proponents to make his re-election into office easier. The article deals also with the possible classification of the system, where authors argue against describing it as a “proportional system with majority premium” and recommend instead the term “mixed conditional”.
Keywords: electoral system, Italy, Mattarellum, Proporzionellum, majority premium, mixed conditional system.
This paper discusses the position of the PDS (Partei des Demokratischen Sozialismus, the post-communist successor of the SED – Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands) in the German party system. The author describes the evolution of the PDS (or more precisely SED) during late 80s and early 90s when, against the background of the “Wende-events” (the breakup of the communist regime), the party began its search for a “new” identity. On the basis of the PDS’s regional election results, the author argues that PDS has a triple identity, which reflects the character of the different parts of Germany: While in the east (the former GDR states) the PDS plays the role of a strong “traditional” party and their program represents “post-Wende” eastern interests, in the west the PDS plays the role of “protest party”, and/or the role of an alternative to the SPD. On the national level the PDS must play all of these roles.
The “fuzzy” ideology/program of the PDS was one of the reasons for its downfall in the 2002 Bundestag-elections. For the 2005 Bundestag-elections the PDS-leaders decided to make a coalition with the “western” left-wing WASG (Arbeit & soziale Gerechtigkeit – Die Wahlalternative): Die Linke.PDS. The decision to form a coalition with a “western” partner was important for the electoral success (which was achieved partly due to former top SPD politician Oskar Lafontaine`s leadership of the Saarland-branch of Die Linke.PDS), and this seems to be the way to effectively address voters in the eastern, and even in the western German states, and to solidify a “universal” (“German-wide”) identity.
Keywords: PDS, elections, party identity, Ostalgiad.
The article deals with the election to the Stortinget held in September 2005. This electoral contest has brought new elements into Norwegian political system: a new form of government composition, and possibly new patterns of party competition as well (restructuring of competing party-blocs, reinforcement of left-wing political parties` cooperation).
Keywords: Norway, elections, party system, Norwegian Labour Party, bipolarization.
The article deals with the last Portuguese parliamentary elections held on 20 February 2005. The article describes the situation before elections and the electoral system, and analyses the election results. Attention is also paid to an analysis of the main political parties and their position in Portuguese party system.
Keywords: Portugal, parliamentary elections, political parties, PDS, PS, PP, PCP, BE.