chapter  4
POLITICAL PARTIES AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS IN FLANDERS
ByJaak B. Billiet
Pages 18

Recent empirical studies in the Flemish part of Belgium show the emergence of at least one ‘new’ cleavage (Swyngedouw 1993; Elchardus 1994) and several changes in the relationships between traditional political parties and social organizations (Billiet 1995b). Three phenomena have raised questions:

1 the ‘cleavage’ of a substantial portion of the voters on the basis of postmaterialist/materialist and ethnocentrist orientations (Billiet and de Witte 1995);

2 a substantial number of votes for a new libertarian ‘protest’ party together with a rather large number of blank or invalid votes;

3 the substantial shift of more than one-third of the voters from one political party to another.