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  Belgian Politics & Elections: Federal Election May 26, 2019 (search mode)
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Author Topic: Belgian Politics & Elections: Federal Election May 26, 2019  (Read 46882 times)
Zinneke
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« Reply #100 on: November 07, 2018, 07:27:16 am »

Ecolo also has said "no" to a progressive coalition in Molenbeek, saying that's it wasn't up to them to join a coalition. I think it was a good move from both PTB and Ecolo to not enter coalition. The Grand Coalition between MR and PS won't make them popular as they were each other's rivals in Molenbeek and campaigned with: "vote for us if you don't want the other one in office", and now they end up with both being in office.

It tells you a lot about PS if you know that the much weaker PVDA in Flanders is capable of governing in Zelzate and Borgerhout with s.pa (and in Borgerhout also Groen), but if coalitions with PS doesn't turn out to work in Wallonia. The PS is often so big that they actually don't need PTB and they use the PTB the same way N-VA uses the Vlaams Belang to prove that a vote for the extremes is a vote thrown away.



Very true. I still think the PS's strategy of ditching PTB for MR is more risky in places like Liège, Molenbeek, etc where the local PS branches are (culturally at least) hard left. That they do it in Wavre doesn't really matter. But if they actually go for the Purple coalition in the long run instead of the Progressive coalition...big mistake for both PS and MR.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #101 on: November 20, 2018, 07:35:57 am »

Looks like sp.a are continuing on their slow path to utter irrelevance by entering a potential coalition with N-VA in Antwerp.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #102 on: November 21, 2018, 03:02:12 am »
« Edited: November 21, 2018, 03:19:24 am by coloniac »

Looks like sp.a are continuing on their slow path to utter irrelevance by entering a potential coalition with N-VA in Antwerp.

I don't understand why they are doing this. They don't seem to get it. It won't be long before we don't even have a social democratic party anymore.

I mean, for the sake of the federal and regional, it is standard behaviour for the social democratic pillar to enter government for the reasons I outlined above when describing "patricien" parties. Its why spa joined the original Flemish  CD+V/N-VA government in 2010

But Antwerp is a low gains, high publicity level of power that sp.a doesn't need to get involved in with now. For all De Wever's rhetoric he has very little influence as mayor over the subjects that actually dominate in Antwerp's national political exposure.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #103 on: December 05, 2018, 04:11:59 am »

The party that comes off worse off than this, is of course, MR, who are basically being subject to the exact narrative that the opposition had concocted i.e that they are the stooges of the N-VA. They're heading for total obliteration in Brussels and potentially losing their majority in Wallonia (although they should still hold up well). N-VA chief "mistake" is humiliating the one relevant ally they had. It might be a calculated move to put regional decentralisation back on the agenda.

We are heading for a political blockage on a higher scale than 2010-2012 IMO. All three regions will vote differently or have different party configurations. Unless liberals+greens+christian democrats can form an interesting majority, it looks very bad...
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Zinneke
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« Reply #104 on: December 05, 2018, 09:32:17 am »

If the N-VA pull out of the coalition now, it seems to me that it would be really difficult to build a new coalition with MR, Open VLD and CD&V after the federal election - or is the coalition basically done anyway?

Just to answer this - the coalition has been "done" for a while now, in the sense that it was noted throughout the spring and summer that they had an inability agree on certain reforms that were expected (the local election did not help) and sure enough they did nothing on major decisions like energy etc. once they were back. Agreeing the budget was hard enough exercise as it is and it looks like the establishment parties are growing a backbone against the N-VA.

For a while it looked like the N-VA were contemplating a tactical collapse to time it right on the day of the local elections in order for them to try to gain in those levels of power where they still have trouble. But now it seems they are more intent on just doing anything to not get outflanked by VB on immigration.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #105 on: December 05, 2018, 11:26:14 am »

The party that comes off worse off than this, is of course, MR, who are basically being subject to the exact narrative that the opposition had concocted i.e that they are the stooges of the N-VA. They're heading for total obliteration in Brussels and potentially losing their majority in Wallonia (although they should still hold up well). N-VA chief "mistake" is humiliating the one relevant ally they had. It might be a calculated move to put regional decentralisation back on the agenda.

We are heading for a political blockage on a higher scale than 2010-2012 IMO. All three regions will vote differently or have different party configurations. Unless liberals+greens+christian democrats can form an interesting majority, it looks very bad...

The coalition in Antwerp and the opening PS left for a PS - N-VA hints towards a soc dem + liberal + nationalist coalition possibly. The possibility of a green + liberal + national coalition is now very unlikely, which some thought (incl. myself) was one of the most plausible scenario's, but after what happened in Antwerp and now in recent days, i think that option is off the table, especially because Ecolo is even more fiercely against N-VA than the Greens.

Very little chance the PS joins a federal coalition with N-VA after losing an election from bleeding voters to its left. What opening have PS left to N-VA since the failed 2010-2012 negotiation period?
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Zinneke
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« Reply #106 on: December 07, 2018, 02:58:39 am »

The party that comes off worse off than this, is of course, MR, who are basically being subject to the exact narrative that the opposition had concocted i.e that they are the stooges of the N-VA. They're heading for total obliteration in Brussels and potentially losing their majority in Wallonia (although they should still hold up well). N-VA chief "mistake" is humiliating the one relevant ally they had. It might be a calculated move to put regional decentralisation back on the agenda.

We are heading for a political blockage on a higher scale than 2010-2012 IMO. All three regions will vote differently or have different party configurations. Unless liberals+greens+christian democrats can form an interesting majority, it looks very bad...

The coalition in Antwerp and the opening PS left for a PS - N-VA hints towards a soc dem + liberal + nationalist coalition possibly. The possibility of a green + liberal + national coalition is now very unlikely, which some thought (incl. myself) was one of the most plausible scenario's, but after what happened in Antwerp and now in recent days, i think that option is off the table, especially because Ecolo is even more fiercely against N-VA than the Greens.

Very little chance the PS joins a federal coalition with N-VA after losing an election from bleeding voters to its left. What opening have PS left to N-VA since the failed 2010-2012 negotiation period?

Ironically, two days after I write that, the N-VA and PS are caught in a joint corruption scandal. Seems there are some dodgy links between an Antwerp construction company (remember what was said about there being an "immocratie" in that city) and a Liège-based pension fund.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #107 on: December 08, 2018, 02:04:37 pm »

Thats not Modrikamen, I think its Radim Fiala

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Zinneke
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« Reply #108 on: December 08, 2018, 05:28:48 pm »

Thats not Modrikamen, I think its Radim Fiala



Okay, you are right. I saw no information on the news websites, and i thought he looked similar to Modrikanen (and knew he had ties with Bannon over the newly formed European group: "The Movement").

Indeed, but while Modrikamen is a hick he's also smart enough to distance himself from VB.

Let's hope that the establishment parties don't form a government for the sake of making it to May. It would be pitting the nationalists against the rest as a cleavage in any upcoming election.


Then again the whole point of this stunt is to have an election solely on the issue of immigration.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #109 on: December 10, 2018, 03:05:17 am »
« Edited: December 10, 2018, 03:09:45 am by coloniac »

Looking at the current composition of the Belgian parliament now that N-VA has left, could PS and CdH support the current government so it gets a majority again? Or they have no incentive to do so? (particularly PS)

cDH probably yes or more, but they won't be part of the government, but will support most measures i think (correct me if i'm wrong)

Difficult to say because they have still been critical of the federal government, but at the same time entertain good relations with MR. I think their main objection was the N-VA though so it would not surprise me.

Is a Luxembourg/Verhofstadt I coalition possible?

To pass softer migration policy, yes. Any other policy this close to an election? Basic game theory dictates both the Greens and the PS have a much bigger incentives to not enter such a coalition as a "No True Scotsman" argument going into the election.

And I think VLD have learnt their lesson with Verhofstadt I. Given it took an almighty crisis to get Di Rupo I form and VLD still sat that one out and only supported the state reform, I don't think they would accept another major grand coalition.

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No chance Di Rupo returns as PM and very little chance PS get the premiership if VLD stay.  
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Zinneke
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« Reply #110 on: December 18, 2018, 02:56:52 pm »

They don't act as a spoiler because they have their own electoral college and fixed seats guaranteed for them and they are required to form a majority in the Brussels government. (with an exception being made should the far right achieve a majority in the Flemish college, which has happened before with francophone votes and looks like it will happen again).

Some francophone parties sometimes instruct their voters to vote on Flemish lists (mainly the Catholics and greens).

It's to protect the Dutch speaking minority in Brussels. It's a shame though that some parties just use it as a vehicle for their careers and Flemish interests. But i think the Vlaamse Gewest does a good job in Brussels culturally so I am not complaining
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Zinneke
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« Reply #111 on: December 18, 2018, 04:00:34 pm »

And to link the Brussels absurdism with what is going on now, I think De Wever's plan actually rests on the N-VA gaining traction in Brussels on an anti-immigration platform with his whopping 6% and hoping the Flemish Right join him in holding the capital for ransom in exchange for confederalism, whatever that even is. Otherwise the francophones would be in a position of strength going into the inevitable deadlock.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #112 on: December 19, 2018, 05:10:24 am »

Apparently, during his last speech, Michel tried to do some concessions to the left, with doing a lot of ambitious leftist proposals that stunned political analists in order to save his government. But it didn't help because the government falls. Snap elections aren't likely though, because the experts said that this is a government in current affairs, which is maybe a good thing, as elections in january (three elections in one year) would have a bit too much, and wouldn't have offered anything as it is very unlikely a government would have formed between january and may (as they would want to wait what the results would have been for regional elections).

The Flemish liberal chairwoman did sent a tweet where she explained (in different words) that she wasn't very happy with the concessions the prime minister offered to the left, so this once again proves that the Flemish liberals are more right-wing on economic issues than the MR.

So the government will just continue as a caretaker government until the next election?

"A government in current affairs" is an odd phrase, but I assume it just means a caretaker government.

Yes, it woud be a caretaker government. But the parties still do their best to converge on things like foreign policy that are actually pretty straightforward for a country like Belgium (we went to war with a caretaker government). So it hardly paralyses even the federal institutions and its capacity to act as "Belgium" on the European/international stage.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #113 on: December 21, 2018, 09:09:12 am »

N-VA, sp.a, VLD coalition sealed in Antwerp.

Clever move to do this in the midst of the political crisis.

Bad news for non-car owners in Antwerp though.

EDIT : And the King officially accept Michel's resignation.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #114 on: January 11, 2019, 10:27:55 am »
« Edited: January 11, 2019, 10:39:49 am by coloniac »

I think it's the consequence of the "cordon sanitaire" type of thinking that is prevalent in Flanders, according to which the shunning of supposedly radical right-wing political actors isn't just something that can be left to politicians but is also a task of the media, who are obviously naturally inclined to side with centrist and center-left parties in the first place; on the other hand, in the Netherlands we have more of a tradition in which such viewpoints are approached in a less "activist" way (which critics think normalizes these viewpoints). While I think the Dutch public broadcaster has a left-wing bias too, they would never approach someone like Thierry Baudet similarly to what happened yesterday.

Sorry but that´s utter bollocks. Vlaams Belang have been consistently treated as same as a mainstream party in the Flemish media - who are routinely criticised by their RTBF housemates because of it - or else Filip DeWinter (who is way more extremist and overtly white nationalist than the S&V daddy's boy with a top uni education... see here  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVdL3fTf58M) would not have the countless platforms and invited to debates on VRT with serious questioning - just look at his debate with Francken. Or how about the VRT running a documentary on Marie-Rose Morel's political struggle in sympathetic light equating it in tandem with her battle with cancer.


Yes, the VRT interview with VDL was confrontational, but its more a part of the growing editorial line of the public broadcasters across Europe to try and compete on youtube. People watch 2 minutes clips of "Jordan Peterson CRUSHES feminazi lizard person", not whole 40min interviews anymore. So both VDL and VRT enter a silent pact to make the interview confrontational, meaning the VRT interviewer inevitably adopts a left-wing editorial line. Its all about views.

For people who claim their culture to be superior that other cultures, the far right sure do like to cultivate an inferiority complex...

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Zinneke
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« Reply #115 on: January 11, 2019, 12:49:10 pm »
« Edited: January 11, 2019, 12:52:37 pm by coloniac »

Yes, the VRT interview with VDL was confrontational, but its more a part of the growing editorial line of the public broadcasters across Europe to try and compete on youtube. People watch 2 minutes clips of "Jordan Peterson CRUSHES feminazi lizard person", not whole 40min interviews anymore. So both VDL and VRT enter a silent pact to make the interview confrontational, meaning the VRT interviewer inevitably adopts a left-wing editorial line. Its all about views.

I don't believe in conspiracy theories.

Nor am I claiming there is one. Both parties dislike each other, but have much more to gain from a confrontational interview than a sensible one. Hence their behaviour is predictable.

Saying the media treat VB sympathisers unfairly because they are under the heelboot of left-wing ideology and cordon sanitaire mentality is conspiracy theory that can be debunked quite easily though
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Zinneke
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« Reply #116 on: January 15, 2019, 08:26:16 am »

N-VA announced that De Wever will be candidate for Regional president, ex-Interior Minister Jambon will head their Federal list (unlikely that he will be PM) and current Minister-President Geert Bourgeois will head the European list. There was speculation that Theo Francken would head the European list because N-VA needed to compete there and he wanted to beat the vote preference record Leo Tindemans previously held (something like 980.000 votes). Not sure what Bourgeois offers other than prehaps a campaign focuses on "Europe of Regions" bluster and a nice retirement.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #117 on: January 16, 2019, 10:53:46 am »

Usually, not so popular politicians head the European list or go to Europe for a mandate because they aren't suspectible to the opinion of voters as much.

Is Bourgeois really "not so popular"? CLearly not as good a communicator as Francken, De Wever and Jambon but I always put that down to him focussing more on Flemish nationalism than immigration.

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Yes, I'm wondering how De Wever's decision to potentially ditch his Antwerp mandate will go down, but given he has a cult personality status in his ranks they'll probably find an excuse for him.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #118 on: February 05, 2019, 04:45:41 pm »
« Edited: February 05, 2019, 04:51:54 pm by coloniac »

She will lead the CDV list in the "flandre orientale" province. So she will be elected and will probably be in the next government, probably not in charge of environment.

In terms of ministerial potential her career is as dead as a dodo man. The international press are going to pick up on the fact that she believed in chem trails and electromagnetic pollution, and make us the laughing stock of European small country politics one again. She was just a stooge for the Christian pillar lobbies that matter anyway, so agriculture and environment was her only realistic portfolio. The CD&V elders and the lobbies behind them will just pick another "Tim, nice but dim"-style figure like Schauvliege and move on. Hopefully less of a wackjob this time.  

This would all be much simpler if we had 1 single Federal environment and agricultural ministry btw. Absolutely no reason to decentralise it.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #119 on: February 27, 2019, 06:15:57 am »

Alain Destexhe has finally quit MR to form a new far right party. Surprised this is getting a lot of traction but then again things are relatively quiet despite having a sit in government.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #120 on: March 08, 2019, 09:43:40 am »

Alain Destexhe has finally quit MR to form a new far right party. Surprised this is getting a lot of traction but then again things are relatively quiet despite having a sit in government.

An alliance with PP would give a good result (5-7%, maybe more) but it seems unlikely.

He has already picked up endorsements and defections from La Droite and several dissident bottom list MR types. PP seems to be a stretch though. Destexhe's message of copying the N-VA isnt just a plot to pick off their growing number of francophone voters in BXL, its also a nod to engaging in a politics that walks the tightrope of the cordon sanitaire, which is what the N-VA have done so effectively. PP are pretty extreme now compared to when they were first formed.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #121 on: March 12, 2019, 02:49:30 pm »

Has anyone noticed the nationalist demagoguery coming out of certain CD&V politicians? Like I read in La Libre the other day that this one guy wants to go on strike and refuse to speak French in Brussels one day per week.

it's  been like that for ages. The N-VA splitting from them just made them go into an outbidding process of who can antagonize francophones the most.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #122 on: March 14, 2019, 10:51:05 am »

Has anyone noticed the nationalist demagoguery coming out of certain CD&V politicians? Like I read in La Libre the other day that this one guy wants to go on strike and refuse to speak French in Brussels one day per week.

it's  been like that for ages. The N-VA splitting from them just made them go into an outbidding process of who can antagonize francophones the most.

Who's more francophobic, the CD&V or the Open VLD? Not even asking about the N-VA because that's basically their platform...

CDV but "francophobic" is exagerated.

I mean CD&V is a very broad church too. The ACV wing for example don't really care, nor do the Farmers Union. But remember a lot of the decision making in CD&V ranks is about how to stay in power above all else. After they finally got ousted from government after a pretty huge amount of time in the late 90s, Leterme and other grandees realised in the early 2000s there was an electoral market in Flanders for a modern conservative centre-right party that advocated Flemish interests first and antagonised francophones. He could get VB voters (at one point the second largest party in Flanders in the early 2000s) and he could get disgruntled, culturally right VLD voters who did not like Verhofstadt's blue sky liberalism and alliance with the Greens especially (nevermind the socialists). So he invites a certain Geert Bourgeois and the right-wing of the Volksunie, now called N-VA, to form a cartel and add some legitmacy in traditional flamingant circles to his new movement.

Does Yves Leterme, a Standard Liege supporter with a french sounding name, actually support these views? Do any of the "Tsjeven'' actually have any views? Or are they all just destined to make Jesuit reasoning out of any political opportunity that arises like the one above. Im not questioning their credentials or their role in Belgian decentralisation, and its pretty obvious a lot of the lower and middle clergy played substantial roles in the Vlaamse Beweging in the post-WW2 era. But I think they tend to make token statements like "Minder Frans, Meer Nederlands" and the suggested boycott because its cheap and they don't necessarily have to deliver. Whatever the answer, their swing rightward backfired as people preferred the original to the PR machine.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #123 on: March 18, 2019, 10:30:19 am »

The Destexhe movement is gaining momentum on the MR right causing the defection of a regional deputy, effectively meaning that MR-cdH have no majority left (not that this matters so soon before the election,but still). They are also not required to have the 100 signatures to stand in Wallonia, so they are forming up their lists there too. They should do fairly well in Brabant Wallon but I can't see them doing well elsewhere unless they start absorbing larger swathes of local MR political entrepreneurs.

In Brussels, Claude Moniquet, a French-born ex-DGSE agent known for being wheeled out at every terrorist event as an expert on the matter by RTL, only to talk total sh**te, will stand as head of the regional list for Destexhe. C'est tout dire.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #124 on: April 03, 2019, 05:50:04 am »

Bumping this thread to observe a few trends in the campaign, that has just about started to kick into gear:

 - Charles Michel, sitting PM, being reconducted as the head of the MR and therefore of its campaign appears to have been a poor move. Not only is he tarnished with the "N-VA collaborator" brush, but their campaign appears to be in total dissaray as ministers "go their own way" and low level party figures like Georges-Louis Bouchez, known for his sympathies towards Theo Francken, are catapulted to the frontline of every media. Basically MR is running a campaign with several messages, due to some wanting to fight ECOLO on their own patch while others want to counter Destexhe´s list. The Climate Law that was proposed in response to the CLimate protests is a good example of that. Some insisted on cross-party backing, others on following the N-VA's line of "business first, trolling the ecologists second" as good policy in light of the coming election.

- cdH are in worse shape. One of their key party figures is in the midst of a vote rigging scandal, ex-leader Joelle Milquet and party grandee Francis Delperée have quit the campaign and party respectively for pastures new. And their leader and Walloon MP Maxime Prévot was caught on a skiing holiday while the Walloon government effectively lost its majority by one vote.

- Main thing in francophonia seems to be the rise of "celeb" candidates taking the heads of list. Mainly famous journalists but sometimes also sportsmen or singers. It seems that the parties have recognised having a face can get you extra votes, as the partiocracy is deeply unpopular so people tend to vote increasingly for individuals.

I haven't really followed Flanders closely enough and will leave that to Lakagigar. If I had to make a prediction it would still be a Green-Blue-Orange federal government.  

You can also take the electoral test courtesy of our public broadcasters :

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/kies19/stemtest/#/

https://www.rtbf.be/info/election/test-electoral/#/
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