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Pedro Magalhães

Eleições europeias

Num número do Journal of Politics de 2007, está um artigo intitulado “Punishment or Protest? Understanding European Parliament Elections”, de Simon Hix e Michael Marsh. Algumas citações:

“First, starting with the old15 states, governing parties certainly lose. Nevertheless, the results from models 2 and 3 reveal that large governing parties lose more than small parties in government. Second, the results on the variables that capture the cubic effect of party size reveal that larger parties lose votes, while small parties gain votes and medium-sized parties remain stable, regardless of whether these parties are in government or opposition. Third, we find a relationship between the timing of a European election in a national electoral cycle and the extent of government losses. More precisely, there is a “honeymoon effect”, such that governing parties gain votes in European elections when these are held shortly after a national election, as was the case in Britain in 1979 and in Spain and Greece in 2004.”

” The first result to note is that adding party family, European policy positions, and left-right positions to the mix does not change the main results of the second-order elections model as it applies in the old15 member states. Basically, large governing parties lose votes in European elections (if the election is not held immediately after a national election), regardless of their party family, whether they are pro-European or anti-European, or whether they are on the left, the right or at the extremes. This result is robust across all specifications. In other words, big parties tend to lose regardless of their policy stances, a finding that supports the second order explanation over the Europe-matters explanation, with voters following their hearts rather than heads.”

” Nevertheless, differences in the performance of parties in European elections are not only explicable in terms of the second-order national elections framework. There is some evidence that a party’s position on the EU matters. In fact, extreme anti EU parties gain some almost 4 more percentage points more than those who are neutral (scoring -0.5 or +0.5 on the anti/pro scale), while those who are extremely positive gain almost a point more than those who are neutral.”

Small parties gain and large parties, particularly large government parties once an initial honeymoon is over, lose. This fairly mechanical formulation accounts for almost 40% of the apparent volatility we see in the performance of parties between national elections and European elections. We also found, nonetheless, that even when size and government status are held constant, anti-EU parties do much better than average. Green parties also perform relatively well, and socialist parties relatively poorly, although these differences are small. These outcomes do seem to be motivated by European concerns of voters. However, in substantive terms, these are minor effects. For example, anti-EU parties are relatively rare, and for the other party families, their European policy preferences hardly mark a difference. (…) Broadly speaking, then, our results point to “punishment against governments” rather than “protest against the EU” as a primary force making European elections different from national elections. The exceptions to this are perhaps just that, exceptions.”

“Turning to the bigger picture, there has been a dramatic increase in the power of the European Parliament in the last two decades and there is growing evidence that politics inside this assembly is highly competitive and partisan (e.g. Hix et al. 2006). However, after six rounds of direct-elections to this institution the ‘electoral connection’ between citizens and MEPs remains extremely weak. Citizens do not primarily use European Parliament elections to express their preferences on the policy issues on the EU agenda or to reward or punish the MEPs or the parties in the European Parliament for their performance in the EU. Put another way, European Parliament elections have failed to produce a democratic mandate for governance at the European level, and there are few signs that further increases in the powers of the European Parliament would be sufficient to change this situation.”

À atenção da rapaziada neste novo (e bem vindo) blogue.

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