Local Parties in Political and Organizational Perspective

By Martin Saiz; Hans Geser | Go to book overview

often seen as an agency of the central authority. Local authorities, coming as a rule from the population of the commune, had to take many informal actions and strive for the goodwill of the superior authorities in order to satisfy the needs of local communities.

Second, the party system in Polish communes is at the moment in the course of being built (in statu nescendi). I refer here to the organization and the numerical force of parties, both as an expression of the interests of various groups of the people and as they are perceived by the citizenry. The formation of the Polish party system generally has a significant influence on this fundamental stage of the communal party system. Fully justified is the thesis that the further narrowing of the central party arena has and will have positive effects on the shape and clarity of the local party system.

Third, a visible feature of the local party system is, as became evident in the last elections, the absence of differences between the programs of the particular parties and sometimes even the absence of local programs at all. The policy programs of the most significant parties are characterized on the local level by pragmatism, and on that score, they are similar to each other.

Fourth, it should be noted that the political participation in communes, arguably the most important democratic arena, is woefully lacking. This should be an important signal to the local elites that the people do not always perceive them as their representatives or that the change of elites does not automatically offer hope for an improvement in communal activity.

Last, although the local party system is developing slowly, based on the last elections, we can formulate an idea that parties have visibly become the centers for the stimulation of political activity and for the political education of inhabitants. The fact that the people, especially in cities, voted consistently more often for parties than for the ad hoc groups confirms the public's preference for party politics. It is quite possible that the party groupings now represented in Poland's communal councils will not only be the centers of public activity of parties but also the basis for the future development of the local party system.


References

Glowacki, Andrzej, Slawomir Mikolajczuk, Teodor Skotarczak, and Zbigniew Zychowicz . 1988. Procesy polityczne w lokalnych systemach politycznych Polski. Pólnocno-Zachodniej. Studium empiryczne Szczecin.

Jalowiecki, Bohdan. 1990. Miedzy nadzieja a rozczarowaniem. Uniwersytet Warszawski.

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Local Parties in Political and Organizational Perspective
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • Tables and Figures ix
  • Part One - Theoretical Orientation and Empirical Observations 1
  • 1 - The Local Party as an Object of Interdisciplinary Comparative Study 3
  • Notes 37
  • References 39
  • 2 - Local Political Parties in Comparative Perspective 44
  • Notes 70
  • References 71
  • Part Two - Local Political Parties in Local and National Context 75
  • Notes 98
  • References 98
  • 4 - Local Parties in England 101
  • Notes 121
  • 5 - Local Parties in the German Countryside 123
  • Notes 149
  • References 149
  • 6 - Local Parties and Electioneering in Germany 151
  • Notes 169
  • References 169
  • 7 - Do Political Parties Matter in U.S. Cities? 171
  • Notes 189
  • 8 - Forms of Patronage and Political Parties in the Italian City 191
  • Notes 210
  • References 211
  • 9 - Local Parties in Switzerland 213
  • Notes 239
  • 10 - Local Party Organizations in Denmark 242
  • Notes 269
  • References 270
  • 11 - The Local Party System in Poland 273
  • References 281
  • 12 from Communist Predominance to Multiparty System 283
  • Notes 306
  • Part Three - Conclusion 311
  • References 334
  • Appendix: - Synopsis of Hypotheses 335
  • Index 339
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