Martin Kuta on Party Politics Triumph over Substantive Scrutiny and Principled Policy: Examining Czech MPs’ Voting Behaviour in Regard to EU Affairs
This articles uncovers the interworking’s of voting behavior and the methodology behind why certain voting patterns emerge. The article dissects the role of domestic party interests in Czech political parties, and concludes that these interests undermine the formal oversight of EU politics by the Czech National Parliament. Therefore, there has been a systematic attempt to reduce the alleged democratic deficit of European Union’s governance through the involvement of national parliaments in the deliberation of European integration affairs; there is a call for greater oversight by national political parties.
The article begins by examining the deliberation of EU issues in the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic in the electoral period 2010−2013. The main focus of this article is to explore the voting behaviour of the Czech Parliamentary Group (PPG’s) in the Chamber of Deputies taking note of the influences that factors (such as programmes, positions, and public importance) have on the voting results.
The combination of different parties’ positions within the government and the given parliamentary procedure of EU affairs deliberation offers a unique opportunity to observe how the “European cleavage” is emerging at the level of the national parliament. As will be shown in the article, how parties characterize themselves in their respective manifestoes does not necessarily carry over to the floor during deliberations of EU issues. Especially in the case of TOP09, it is evident that a party traded off its sincere policy preferences for a place in the government. Therefore, it suggests that EU issues have significance as they divide right-wing political parties; however, the importance of EU issues declines with the current status of the party.
The finding of this article show that despite the assumption that there might be observable difference in the voting behaviour of the governmental and opposition parties, the main dividing line is still between the government and the opposition. Political parties primarily put emphasis on their status within the political system rather than on their preferred position on a rather unimportant policy sector.
- This is Martin Kuta’s summary of his article Party Politics Triumph over Substantive Scrutiny and Principled Policy: Examining Czech MPs’ Voting Behaviour in Regard to EU Affairs that has appeared in the latest issue of the New Perspectives