elections

  • The Development of the Polish Party System: a Perspective of the Parliamentary Elections Results

    The author analyses the dynamics of the Polish party system in the light of the outcomes of the parliamentary elections in the Third Republic of Poland (since 1989). He exposes especially the last element of that evolution – the 2015 parliamentary election. It resulted in the victory of Law and Justice (PiS) party. For the first time in the history of democratic Poland, the victor was able to create a government without having to negotiate with coalition partners. The success of PiS seems to be a result of the combination of several factors. It would be mistaken to portray an emerging situation as a simple rightist win. PiS to some extent represents a social attitude, typical for the socialist (social-democratic) parties, with some part of the program including a populist message, but with the combination of a conservative approach to several issues and nationalistic stand on a perception of patriotic mood. The important meaning has a support of PiS by the Catholic Church, especially at the grass-roots level. The victory of PiS and forming of the majority government have an important meaning for the functioning of the political parties’ system in Poland. For the first time since 1989, there were not balancing of power situation which the coalition governments have brought about. The political parties, creating the opposition in parliament, must offer a new strategy of behaviour in such circumstances, especially dealing with challenging the PiS policy to compromise a democratic system based on the 1997 Constitution, e.g. division of power, position of the Constitutional Tribunal and functioning of the judiciary

  • Debating the Electoral Law in Poland

    The International Conference Challenges of Contemporary Electoral Law
    Toruń, (12 June, 2015), Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń. 

  • Is Electronic Voting a Panacea for Low Election Turnout? Examples of Estonian e–Elections and Swiss e–Referendums

    One of the most apparent signs of the crisis of the democratic system is a systematically decreasing turnout level in national and supranational elections and referenda. In reports and analyses concerning the level of political participation, experts more and more frequently notice a decreasing tendency of the citizen’s involvement in numerous types of elections. As Ola Pettersson points out, “according to the sources, less and less citizens appear at the ballot boxes”. Jacek Raciborski indicates that one of the most signifi cant consequences of the low citizen’s participation at the election procedures is the considerable legitimacy deficit. A number of countries attempt to prevent these phenomena from happening by undertaking various actions aimed at increasing the level of citizens’ involvement in political life (notably by increasing their participation in elections). That would infl uence the growth of the legitimacy level of the undertaken political decisions. It is worth noticing, that apart from the commonly used ways of increasing election attendance (such as correspondence voting, mobile ballot boxes), over the last few years politicians in many countries have had numerous discussions aimed at the implementation of electronic voting (e-voting). Its followers claim that thanks to e-voting, election and referenda turnout may be increased, as this method enables disabled people and people who are abroad to take part in elections. Furthermore, a considerable advantage of e voting, compared to traditional voting in polling stations is of greater convenience than the former. The aim of the following text is to attempt to provide an answer to the question whether electronic voting can be treated as a panacea for low election turnouts, whether this form of voting may be a warranty of a higher level of voter’s attendance than before. In the article, the author bases on the experience connected with e voting in two European countries – Estonia and Switzerland, which can be referred to as the pioneers in the use of e voting.

  • The Pomeranian Region: parties and the party structure of the voivodeship sejmik after 1998

    The elections are an important element of the political system; indicator of the proper functioning of a democratic state. It is also the method for selection of the persons who will hold certain positions, public ofices and will represent the interests of the electorate.

  • European Parliament Election: Why do Poles not Vote?

    A study of the Euro-barometer performed at the end of January and beginning of February 2009 showed that not even 34% of the surveyed in all the 27 countries of the European Union declares the desire to cast their vote in the approaching election to the Euro-community. 15% of the respondents answered that they would de! nitely not vote in the coming election. The participation in the European Parliament Elections has fallen from election to election. This tendency persists and no signs of improvement of the situation can be seen. In 1994, 56.8% of the entitled to vote participated in the elections in all the member countries. Ten years later, only 45.6% of voters cast their votes. New member countries with low level of interest in European matters have considerably contributed to the fall in the level of legitimisation of the European Parliament.

  • Proposal of the Law and Justice (PiS – Polish abbrev.) to Amend the Act about the Direct Choice of a Voit, Mayor and President of the City. Opinions about Possible Effects and Consequences

    In democratic legal systems there is a wide variety of instruments which profoundly affect the composition of future parliaments. They can cause significant changes in final results of both the parliamentary and municipal election. Due to them political parties can improve their position in emerging legislatures (gmina councils, poviat councils or sejmiks of the voivodeship), or even, I mean smaller formations in the first place, can guarantee any representatives in the chamber (council, sejmik). Politicians make use of these instruments most frequently in the face of the oncoming election. These mechanisms allow, on the grounds of binding law, to cause a result much worse than expected for the opposition or formations competing for power. In countries with deeply rooted democracy, it is most often a good political habit that makes any changes in the Electoral law take place long from the election. In our political reality, however, it is a rule that the election campaign is accompanied by auctions on legal grounds. Namely, changes in the borders of election districts take place, vote calculation methods are modernised so that they would be naturally beneficial for those who carry out such normative transformations.

  • Voter Absenteeism in the Local Government Elections in Poland in 2006

    Numerous public opinion polls conducted in Poland since the 1990s have tried to answer questions linked with the processes of installing, and later stabilizing the new democratic order. Theoretical considerations were conducted on the basis of political science, sociology, and communications studies dealing with the democratic system, tended to concentrate on procedural questions as well as in institutional frameworks dealing with the functioning of the democratic system. Analyses dealing with the social reception of the political transformations and their reflection in the state of social awareness most often were in reference to the situation concerning successive political elections. It would appear the linking of these research approaches, of the so-called theoretical studies of the democratic process in the political system as well as empirical findings, and also perceived social signals resulting from public opinion research, may lead to the creation of more valuable results, as well as the posing of new research questions.

  • The Senate 2007: Block Voting in Operation

    Elections to the Senate are rarely a topic of deep analysis by media or researchers. The Upper House of the Parliament is not a place where key political decisions are made. The Government, which is appointed by the majority of the Lower House, the Sejm, is the center of Polish political life. Experience show that the political situation in the Senate is much more stable than in the Sejm. From 1997, parties which won elections to the Sejm always had a majority in the Senate, although none of these parties had an independent majority in the Sejm. The 2007 elections crown this trend – only one mandate in the Senate was given to a candidate who did not come from the winning party or any main opposition parties. Every fifth mandate in the Lower House was given to smaller parties. The purpose of this analysis is to find an answer to the question on what leads to such results.

  • Zakonodatelstvo o vyborakh v Uzbekistane: novejjshie tendencii

    The article presents the latest trends in the electoral legislation of the Republic of Uzbekistan, which has passed successive evolutionary way of formation and development since independence. It is carried out a planned systematic work on improvement of electoral legislation in view of own national experience in conducting democratic elections and a referendum.

    The adoption of new norms of electoral laws will contribute to the full implementation of the principle freedom of choice, the further democratization of the electoral system of Uzbekistan, strengthening the principles of openness and transparency of the elections.

  • Teoria i praktyka funkcjonowania samorządności w Polsce po 1989 r.

    In the process of political transformation, initiated the events of the Round Table in 1989. Important place and importance is given to issues of self-government. Political science literature suggests in this regard to the fact that one of the pillars of political transformation in Poland was the transition from a monopoly of the central government to local government. Local government reform introduced by the Act of 1990 8. III. Introduced a new system of local government. Local government has become the authority of the local community and gave her the right to self-determination of its underlying decisions of political, economic and social. Breaking the monopoly of local government reform and the state Democratic Party has introduced local government model, derived from the local community and serving the public administrative functions under the permanent control of the representatives of the local community.

  • „Tulipanowa rewolucja” w Kirgistanie – wybrane aspekty

    The purpose of this article is to characterize the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan (2005). The author presents the causes of the revolution, among other things: the importance of the tribal structure of Kyrgyzstan, nepotism and corruption during the presidency of Askar Akayev. The article presents the course of developments Tulip Revolution. Finally, the author focuses on the presentation of the most important implications of this revolution, such as the a revolution in 2010 and the resignation of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

  • Wybory 2015 roku w Polsce – analiza z perspektywy ewolucji systemu partyjnego

    Celem artykułu jest określenie znaczenia wyborów prezydenckich i parlamentarnych 2015 r. dla procesu ewolucji polskiego systemu partyjnego. Autor weryfikuje trzy hipotezy – pierwszą, według której wybory nie przyniosły zmian w strukturze systemu partyjnego, drugą – wybory zapoczątkowały nowy etap w tym procesie – i trzecią, wskazującą, że wybory przyniosły nowe zjawiska w procesie ewolucji, które w przypadku potwierdzenia się i ugruntowania w przyszłości mogą wprowadzić system partyjny w nowy etap. Autor stwierdza, że trzecia hipoteza w prawidłowy sposób określa znaczenie elekcji 2015 r. Analiza bazuje na metodologii nauk o polityce i prowadzona jest zarówno w wymiarze ilościowym, jak i jakościowym.

  • Electoral strategies of the Union of Freedom and the Democratic Party demokraci.pl

    The aim of the article was to present the electoral strategy of the Freedom Union and The Democratic Party demokraci.pl. Strategies that were used during the parliamentary and the government elections were analyzed. In the first case a way of expressing major purposes that both the UW and the PD wanted to achieve by gaining parliamentary representation was discussed. In the second case the way of conducting self-government campaign, which was carried out usin slightly different electoral strategies was discussed. It involved the possibility of joining electoral coalition and gaining seats in local provinces, districts councils, municipal councils and offices of mayors and presidents of cities. The thing that was characteristic of the UW and the PD in the electoral strategies was inefficiency in terms of activities.

  • Election Petitions in Poland: The Efficiency Analysis of the Institution

    The article concerns the analysis of procedures connected with election petitions in Poland on the basis of the constituencies under the jurisdiction of the District Court in Toruń. It should be mentioned, however, that research is currently being conducted in other courts, which even at the preliminary stage appears to corroborate the results of the analysis presented in the article. The research focuses on the guarantees of the efficiency of the electoral petition in Poland. The election petition is the most important instrument which is available to verify the validity of elections. The Constitution does not regulate this matter, entrusting the legislator with this task. The possibility of submitting an election petition implements the principle of the external judicial review of the progress of an election or referendum, which can be initiated upon the request of a legal entity entitled to submit the petition. Considering the role of the petition proceedings as well as the values which remain protected within the procedure of settlement, the legislator should demonstrate the utmost care to increase their efficiency. However, the regulations concerning election petitions are scattered around the whole Electoral Code. Furthermore, for an election petition to be justified, there must be a cause-effect link between the law violation and the results of an election, with the burden of proof placed on the petitioner. The overall result is that in judicial practice only in few cases have grievances in election petitions been considered justified.

  • Electoral System of the Republic of Belarus after 25 Years of Independence

    This paper aims to present a case study analysis of the condition of the electoral system in the Republic of Belarus after more than a quarter of a century of independence. The main purpose of the paper is to explain the discrepancies between legislation and practice. The author intended to note a real situation that dominates the country’s political scene in comparison to theoretical establishments. A Constitution of the Republic (created in 1994, with minor changes in 1996 and 2004) is the legal ground of the electoral system, however, procedural details were drawn up in the Electoral Code. The principles of Belarusian electoral code consist of some statements known from democratic models, such as universal suffrage, direct suffrage, secret ballot and equality. There are different types of elections in Belarus but the most important ones are presidential and parliamentary elections. Despite the detailed legal rules for conducting these elections, in fact, the principles of democracy, as well as the internal rules in Belarus, are not respected. Both presidential and parliamentary elections have shown this in recent years. Independent observers for a long time have been alarming about worrying electoral practices in Belarus. It is also worth emphasizing that since 1994, one man has been in power uninterruptedly, and Parliament has in fact a symbolic function. In the source materials, the author used Belarusian legal acts, analyses and reports, press notes as well as scientific papers.

  • Cybertools of Political Competition and the 2016 American Presidential Campaign

    In the last decade, one can notice the huge interest of researchers in the field of cyberpolicy, which is primarily due to the widespread use of the Internet in the public space. This fact is also an impulse for conducting interdisciplinary research that combines knowledge from social sciences on the one hand, and uses content from technical sciences on the other. Compared to the form of conducting election campaigns in the 20th century in the U.S., during the 2016 election campaign there were significant changes in the conduct of political struggle. These changes consist above all in the use of cybernetic tools, which to a large extent, however difficult to determine, shaped electoral behavior. The contemporary political competition is more and more dependent on technology, which becomes the main element of the professionalization of election campaigns. Investigating the impact of cyberspace on electoral results is a big challenge, considering the fact that the area of cybertechnology is extremely complex. Cyberspace has now become a field for many political phenomena that are constantly evolving and in most cases their importance is immense for the functioning of the political system. The article is intended to deal with selected phenomena related to cybertechnology that were compared with other events from the U.S. election campaign in 2016. The article aims to investigate selected events resulting from the use of cybertechnology, which had an impact on electoral behavior.

  • Reflections on the Proposal to Introduce a Term Limit for Elected Officials Effects and Implications

    The problem of the lack of “generational replacement” in Poland is particularly evident on the local self-government level. For years, there has been an ongoing public debate on the adoption of legal solutions introducing term-limits for the office of commune head, mayor and president of the city. Politicians of Law and Justice returned to their idea from 2005 and, shortly before the local elections of 2018, decided to prepare new regulations in this respect. They argued that the adopted solutions create real prospects for implementing projects by young politicians and activists. However, the issue was hotly debated and the initiators’ motives were put into question. There is no doubt that a two-term limit in local selfgovernment units has always stirred up emotions. A lot of self-government officials perceive it as a regulation which violates the provisions of the Constitution of the RP. The aim of this paper is to present the public debate on the adopted solutions and discuss their assumptions.

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