Political Representation and the Issues of Feedback in the new Democracies: the Experience of Post-Soviet Lithuania
// Politics and Society. – 2015. – є 4.
– P. 514-521.
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Abstract: The object of the research is the process of implementation by the political parties of their major functions under the conditions of the new democracies. Particular emphasis is made on the analysis of the functions of representation, selection, delegation and control. Cooperation between the electorate, political parties, lawmakers and the government is examined through the analytical framework of the principal-agent relations. The major role of political parties as principals in this relations is identified, which means they carry out representation, selection, delegation and control towards the candidates (agents) for the elective offices. An empirical example is the case of post-Soviet Lithuania, whose political development provides the material to analyse the degree of implementation of the major functions of the political parties, as well as to define the main issues of this process. In order to examine the implementation by the political parties of post-soviet Lithuania of the representative, selective, delegative and controlling functions, the theory of the principal-agent relations has been used, as well as methods of quantitative analysis of the electoral statistics. The data of six electoral results of elections to the Lithuanian Seimas from 1992 to 2012 has been used for analysis and comparison. The research has resulted in the conclusion that although the political parties of post-soviet Lithuania, in general, successfully deal with the function of delegation and act as the main actor in this process, they do not fully implement higher functions in the system of principal-agent relations. The political parties of modern Lithuania have problems regarding the control over selected lawmwkers, which is evidenced by the high level of inter-party and inter-faction mobility of the deputy corps. The high level of renewal of the party's cadres during every electoral cycle witnesses the attempts to solve this problem by the party apparatus. Uncertainty of the issues of control over the deputy corps on the part of the parties creates the situation of devalvation of trust towards the party institutions on the part of the electorate, which does not contribute to the process of implementation of the party system, and creates risks for the sustainable functioning of the political system.
Keywords: electorate, political delegation, political representation, political parties, Lithuania, the Baltic countries, democracy, elections, modernisation, policy
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