chapter  5
20 Pages

Do Belgian Parties Undermine the Lieven De Winter Democratic Chain of Delegation? and Patrick Dumont

The main particularity of party government in Belgium, which like Italy is often labelled a partitocracy (De Winter, Della Porta and Deschouwer 1996), is the overwhelming role played by organised political parties. While political parties were already predominant in the 1970s, their role was enhanced by two processes. First, the dramatically increasing fragmentation of the party system (see De Winter et al. this volume) raised the question of cabinet instability. Second, the federalisation process created an entirely new chain of democratic delegation and accountability in the regions and communities, each of which has its own directly elected legislature, an executive headed by a prime minister, and a civil service.