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DEMISE OF POLITICAL PARTIES: AN ANALYSIS OF COALITION-BUILDING ON THE LOCAL LEVEL IN SLOVENIA

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Author(s): Miro HAČEK, Marjan BREZOVŠEK and Irena BAČLIJA

Journal: Journal of Comparative Politics
ISSN 1337-7477

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 44;
Date: 2010;
Original page

ABSTRACT
In parliamentarian democracies one can only rarely witness a single party winning a majority in a representative body; therefore, the processes of building a coalition and coalition government are especially important. We depart from the presupposition that, when formulating their priorities, political parties pursue three particular objectives: to gain power, to acquire a policy-making influence and to gain the greatest possible voter support at the next elections. We presume that political parties wish to have as few coalition partners as possible, they especially follow ideological proximity and the possibility of carrying out their political programme when choosing a coalition partner and they often choose a coalition partner in order to distribute the accountability for managing a municipality and to thus reduce the possibility of being punished by voters at the following elections due to mismanagement of the municipality. The article analyses the process of post-electoral coalition-building in Slovenian municipalities from the standpoint of the cohabitation of the executive and legislative branches of government within a municipality from 1998 until 2006. The main research question is whether various forms of ruling coalition can represent an obstacle to efficient government within a municipality. We ascertain that project-based co-operation is gradually becoming the prevailing form of co-operation within Slovenian municipalities, meaning that local councillors are being less and less led by party interests.
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