Hostname: page-component-797576ffbb-bqjwj Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-12-04T15:57:52.627Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "corePageComponentGetUserInfoFromSharedSession": true, "coreDisableEcommerce": false, "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

When voter loyalty fails: party performance and corruption in Bulgaria and Romania

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 April 2011

Mihail Chiru*
Affiliation:
Department of Political Science, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary
Sergiu Gherghina
Affiliation:
Department of Political Science, Leiden University, Wassenaarseweg, Leiden, The Netherlands

Abstract

This article identifies the determinants of party loyalty while making a distinction between government and opposition voters within an electoral cycle in the two most recent European Union members (Bulgaria and Romania). Both countries are characterized by the perception of widespread corruption and a general distrust of politicians that are likely to hinder the development of strong ties between citizens and parties. We test the explanatory potential of both traditional and revisionist theories of partisanship, suggesting that perceptions of corruption should be treated as equal to evaluations of actual performance. The statistical analysis of comparative study of electoral systems survey data emphasizes the salience of party performance evaluations for party loyalty. Corruption perceptions are significant predictors of loyalty in the Bulgarian case. Voters in both countries assess critically the performance of their preferred party whether it was part of the government or in opposition. A significant difference arises between government and opposition voters with regard to the predictive potential of identification conceptualized as closeness to a party.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © European Consortium for Political Research 2011

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Anderson, C.J.Tverdova, Y.V. (2003), ‘Corruption, political allegiances, and attitudes toward government in contemporary democracies’, American Journal of Political Science 47(1): 91109.Google Scholar
Andeweg, R.B.Thomassen, J. (2005), ‘Modes of political representation: toward a new typology’, Legislative Studies Quarterly 30(4): 507528.Google Scholar
Bartolini, S.Mair, P. (1990), Identity, Competition and Electoral Availability: The Stabilization of European Electorates 1885–1985, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Birch, S. (2001), ‘Electoral systems and party system stabilization in post-communist Europe’. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, San Francisco.Google Scholar
Birch, S. (2003), Electoral Systems and Political Transformation in Post-communist Europe, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
Brennan, G.Hamlin, A. (1998), ‘Expressive voting and electoral equilibrium’, Public Choice 95: 149175.Google Scholar
Campbell, A., Converse, P.E., Miller, W.E.Stokes, D.E. (1960), The American Voter, New York: John Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
Chang, E.C.C.Golden, M.A. (2006), ‘Electoral system, district magnitude and corruption’, British Journal of Political Science 37: 115137.Google Scholar
Chiru, M. (2010), ‘Doar mâna întinsă care spune o poveste prime?te… votul. O analiză a retoricilor electorale populiste din România 2004–2008’, în S. Gherghina and S. Miscoiu (eds), Partide si personalitati populiste in Romania postcomunista, Iasi: Editura Institutul European, pp. 157188.Google Scholar
Converse, P.Dupeux, G. (1962), ‘Politicization of the electorate in France and the United States’, Public Opinion Quarterly 26: 123.Google Scholar
Crampton, R. (1997), ‘The Bulgarian elections of 19 April 1997’, Electoral Studies 16(4): 560563.Google Scholar
Dalton, R.J.Weldon, S. (2007), ‘Partisanship and party system institutionalization’, Party Politics 13(2): 179196.Google Scholar
Davis, C.L., Camp, R.A.Coleman, K.M. (2004), ‘The influence of party systems on citizens’ perceptions of corruption and electoral response in Latin America’, Comparative Political Studies 37(6): 677703.Google Scholar
Downs, W.Miller, R. (2006), ‘The 2004 presidential and parliamentary elections in Romania’, Electoral Studies 25: 409415.Google Scholar
Easton, D.Dennis, J. (1969), Children in the Political System, New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
Enyedi, Z. (2006), ‘Party politics in post-communist transition’, in W. Crotty and R. Katz (eds), Handbook of Political Parties, London: Sage, pp. 228238.Google Scholar
Fackler, T.Lin, T.-M. (1995), ‘Political corruption and presidential elections, 1929–1992’, The Journal of Politics 57(4): 971993.Google Scholar
Fiorina, M.P. (1981), Retrospective Voting in American National Elections, New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Franklin, C.H. (1984), ‘Issue preferences, socialization and the evolution of party identification’, American Journal of Political Science 28: 459478.Google Scholar
Franklin, C.H.Jackson, J.E. (1983), ‘The dynamics of party identification’, The American Political Science Review 77(4): 957973.Google Scholar
Gherghina, S. (2008), ‘Downplaying the centre: party organization and electoral volatility in Central and Eastern Europe’. Paper presented at the ECPR Political Parties Summer School: ‘Political Parties and European Politics’, Florence.Google Scholar
Greenstein, F.I. (1965), Children and Politics, New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Grzymala-Busse, A. (2003), ‘Political competition and the politicization of the State in East Central Europe’, Comparative Political Studies 36(10): 11231147.Google Scholar
Harper, M. (2003), ‘The 2001 parliamentary and presidential elections in Bulgaria’, Electoral Studies 22(2): 335344.Google Scholar
Heller, W.B.Mershon, C. (eds) (2009), ‘Integrating theoretical and empirical models of party switching: party switching and representation’, in Political Parties and Legislative Party Switching, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 2954.Google Scholar
Hirschman, A. (1970), Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Innes, A. (2002), ‘Party competition in postcommunist Europe: the great electoral lottery’, Comparative Politics 35: 85104.Google Scholar
Janda, K. (2010), ‘Country governance, rule of law and party systems’. Retrieved 15 November 2010 from http://janda.org/bio/parties/articles/Janda,%202010.pdfGoogle Scholar
Key, V.O. Jr., (1966), The Responsible Electorate: Rationality in Presidential Voting 1936–1960, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Kim, Y.M. (2009), ‘Issue publics in the new information environment: selectivity, domain specificity and extremity’, Communication Research 36(2): 254284.Google Scholar
Kitschelt, H. (2001), ‘Divergent paths of postcommunist democracies’, in L. Diamond and R. Gunther, (eds), Political Parties and Democracy, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, pp. 299323.Google Scholar
Kitschelt, H. (2002), ‘Popular dissatisfaction with democracy: populism and party systems’, in Y. Meny and Y. Surel (eds), Democracies and the Populist Challenge, New York: Palgrave, pp. 179196.Google Scholar
Kitschelt, H., Mansfeldova, Z., Markowski, R.Toka, G. (1999), Post-communist Party Systems, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Knutsen, O. (1995), ‘Value orientations, political conflicts and left-right identification: a comparative study’, European Journal of Political Research 28: 6393.Google Scholar
Kunicova, J.Rose-Ackerman, S. (2005), ‘Electoral rules and constitutional structures as constraints on corruption’, British Journal of Political Science 35: 573606.Google Scholar
Lewis, P.G. (2000), Political Parties in Post-communist Eastern Europe, New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
Lipset, S.M.Rokkan, S. (1967), Party Systems and Voter Alignments: Cross-national Perspectives, Toronto: The Free Press.Google Scholar
Mainwaring, S.Zoco, E. (2007), ‘Political sequences and the stabilization of interparty competition: electoral volatility in old and new democracies’, Party Politics 13(2): 155178.Google Scholar
Mair, P. (1997), Party System Change. Approaches and Interpretations, Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
Manzetti, L.Wilson, C.J. (2007), ‘Why do corrupt governments maintain public support?’, Comparative Political Studies 40(8): 949970.Google Scholar
Millard, F. (2004), Elections, Parties, and Representation in Post-communist Europe 1990–2003, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
Miller, W.E.Shanks, J.M. (1996), The New American Voter, Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Niemi, R.G.Jennings, M.K. (1991), ‘Issues and inheritance in the formation of party identification’, American Journal of Political Science 35: 970988.Google Scholar
Pârvulescu, S. (2004), ‘2004 Romanian elections: test case for a true Romanian democracy’, The Romanian Journal of Political Science 4(2): 728.Google Scholar
Peters, J.G.Welch, S. (1980), ‘The effects of charges of corruption on voting behavior in congressional elections’, American Political Science Review 74: 697708.Google Scholar
Pop-Eleches, G. (2007), ‘Throwing out the bums: protest voting and anti-establishment parties after communism’. Paper delivered at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, August 30 to September 2, Chicago.Google Scholar
Popescu, M., Hannavy, M. (2001), ‘Project on political transformation and the electoral process in post-communist Europe’. Retrieved 15 March 2010 from http://www.essex.ac.uk/elections/Google Scholar
Przeworski, A., Stokes, S.C.Manin, B. (1999), Democracy, Accountability and Representation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Remington, T.F. (2008), ‘Democracy, governance, and inequality: evidence from the Russian Regions’. Paper prepared for the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, April 3–5, Chicago, IL.Google Scholar
Rose, R.Mishler, W. (1998), ‘Negative and positive party identification in post-communist countries’, Electoral Studies 17(2): 217234.Google Scholar
Rose, R., Munro, N.Mackie, T. (1998), Elections in Central and Eastern Europe since 1990’. Studies in Public Policy, Glasgow: University of Strathclyde.Google Scholar
Rosema, M. (2006), ‘Partisanship, candidate evaluations, and prospective voting’, Electoral Studies 25(3): 467488.Google Scholar
Roberts, A. (2009), The Quality of Democracy in Eastern Europe: Public Preferences and Policy Reforms, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Sandholtz, W.Taagepera, R. (2005), ‘Corruption, culture, and communism’, International Review of Sociology 15(1): 109131.Google Scholar
Sikk, A. (2005), ‘How unstable? Volatility and the genuinely new parties in Eastern Europe’, European Journal of Political Research 44(3): 391412.Google Scholar
Slomczynski, K., Shabad, G. (2009), ‘Perceptions of political party corruption and voting behavior in Poland’. Paper delivered at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Toronto.Google Scholar
Spirova, M. (2007), Political Parties in Post-communist Societies. Formation, Persistence, and Change, Houndmills: Palgrave MacMillan.Google Scholar
Stoker, G. (1998), ‘Governance as theory: five propositions’, International Social Science Journal 50(155): 1728.Google Scholar
Sum, P.E.Bădescu, G. (2004), ‘An evaluation of six forms of political participation’, in H.F. Carey (ed.), Romania: Politics, Economics and Society, Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, pp. 179194.Google Scholar
Tavits, M. (2007), ‘Principle vs. pragmatism: policy shifts and political competition’, American Journal of Political Science 51(1): 151165.Google Scholar
Tavits, M. (2008), ‘On the linkage between electoral volatility and party system instability in central and Eastern Europe’, European Journal of Political Research 47: 537555.Google Scholar
Tóka, G. (1998), ‘Party appeals and voter loyalty in new democracies’, Political Studies 46: 589610.Google Scholar
van Biezen, I. (2003), Political Parties in New Democracies. Party Organization in Southern and East–Central Europe, Houndmills: Palgrave MacMillan.Google Scholar
Welch, S.Hibbing, J.R. (1997), ‘The effects of charges of corruption on voting behavior in congressional elections, 1982–1990’, The Journal of Politics 59(1): 226239.Google Scholar
Candidate countries Eurobarometer, 2001–2003.Google Scholar
EU Commission Regular Report on Bulgaria's Progress towards Accession. 2004. Report available at: http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/archives/pdf/key_documents/2004/rr_bg_2004_en.pdf.Google Scholar
EU Commission Regular Report on Romania's Progress towards Accession. 2004. Report available at: http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/archives/pdf/key_documents/2004/rr_ro_2004_en.pdf.Google Scholar
EU Commission Report on Progress in Bulgaria under the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism. 2009. Report available at: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/secretariat_general/cvm/docs/sec_2009_1074_en.pdf.Google Scholar
EU Commission Report on Progress in Bulgaria under the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism. 2010. Report available at: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/secretariat_general/cvm/docs/com_2010_400_en.pdf.Google Scholar
EU Commission Report on Progress in Romania under the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism. 2009. Report available at: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/secretariat_general/cvm/docs/sec_2009_1073_en.pdf.Google Scholar
EU Commission Report on Progress in Romania under the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism. 2010. Report available at: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/secretariat_general/cvm/docs/com_2010_401_en.pdf.Google Scholar
Flash EuroBarometer 236. 2008. Report and analysis are available at: http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/flash/fl_236_sum_en%20.pdf.Google Scholar
Standard Eurobarometer 2004–2007.Google Scholar
Transparency International, The Global Corruption Perception Index 2000, available at: http://www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi/previous_cpi/2000.Google Scholar
Transparency International, The Global Corruption Perception Index 2004, available at: http://www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi/2004.Google Scholar
Transparency International, The Global Corruption Perception Index 2009, available at: http://www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi/2009/cpi_2009_table.Google Scholar
World Bank, 2010a. Country Data Report for Bulgaria 1996-2009 of the World Bank Governance Indicators, available at: http://info.worldbank.org/governance/wgi/pdf/c21.pdf.Google Scholar
World Bank, 2010b. Country Data Report for Romania 1996-2009 of the World Bank Governance Indicators, available at: http://info.worldbank.org/governance/wgi/pdf/c186.pdf.Google Scholar