Although citizens see representative democracy today almost unanimously as the most desirable form of government, the institutions of advanced industrial democracies gain steadily more criticisms. In this chapter, we pay attention to an (often) neglected perspective, namely the criticalness of political elites toward representative democracy. Drawing on the Belgian Candidate Survey, the results of our analysis suggest that candidates’ attitudes depend on how integrated they are in the current representative democratic system. Especially outsiders to the political system are more critical and, at the same time, more supportive for direct democratic arrangements. These findings invite to reconsider the power relations between critical and noncritical candidates in a representative system that remains unchanged despite the criticisms of a considerable number of both citizens and candidates.
|Title of host publication||Candidates, Parties and Voters in the Belgian Partitocracy|
|Editors||Audrey Vandeleene, Lieven de Winter, Pierre Baudewyns|
|Place of Publication||Basingstoke|
|Number of pages||15|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|