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Local Government Institutionalization in Hungary

Gábor Soós

Why are local political organizations enduring in certain municipalities and ephemeral in others? This book explores the systematic factors that influence the level of Local Party Institutionalization (LPI). The analysis of LPI in Hungary, a new democracy, shows that LPI there mainly depends on the electoral system, the functional size, stability and average age of the population. The local chapters of national parties, especially those of parliamentary parties, appear to be more durable than the civic organizations acting as local parties.
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Chapter 5: Local Party Loyalty

Extract

This chapter concentrates on another indicator of local party institutionalization, the loyalty of candidates to their nominating organizations. While local party government, which the previous chapter focused on, mainly covers the dimension of external importance, local party loyalty captures the internal strength of local parties, both its value infusion dimension and, to a certain degree, its systemness aspect. The level of candidates’ continued faithfulness to their nominating political organizations evinces, on the one hand, the degree to which the party has been able to inculcate the party’s superiority to any alternatives and, on the other hand, the degree to which the party organization has the empowered techniques to discipline their most prominent members. In this chapter, I first present data on the average level of party loyalty on the local level in Hungary. This section gives the opportunity to test some hypotheses concerning organizational types. Then, the relationships of the independent variables to party loyalty are portrayed one by one. The next section analyzes the effect of all variables on local party loyalty. Finally, the level of association between two indicators of local party institutionalization, party government and party loyalty is measured.

The measurement of party loyalty is based on the tracking of candidates between two elections, in 1998 and 2002. This comparison process took place with certain difficulties, as it was presented in the methodology chapter.

Only one third of the candidates in 1998 were identified in 2002. As mentioned, there are many uncertainties in...

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