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Author Topic: Belgian Politics & Elections: Federal Election in May 2019  (Read 23357 times)
DavidB.
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« Reply #125 on: September 21, 2018, 12:06:16 pm »

Welcome, Lakigigar, and thank you for your contributions! Always eager to learn more about the neighbors' politics.

Can you (and/or Rogier) help me understand MR better? Are they generally to the right of Open VLD? Is it just generally middle-class people who vote for them? To what extent do Walloon and Flemish socialists, Christian Democrats and liberals coordinate their actions?
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« Reply #126 on: September 22, 2018, 06:16:05 am »

Welcome, Lakigigar, and thank you for your contributions! Always eager to learn more about the neighbors' politics.

Can you (and/or Rogier) help me understand MR better? Are they generally to the right of Open VLD? Is it just generally middle-class people who vote for them? To what extent do Walloon and Flemish socialists, Christian Democrats and liberals coordinate their actions?

On this subject (although this dates from a few months ago, but still after my post on them)

http://www.lalibre.be/actu/politique-belge/willy-borsus-pas-de-place-en-belgique-pour-ceux-qui-combattent-nos-valeurs-5ad03df7cd709bfa6b55ee09

(Walloon Premier Willy Borsus, basically saying no place for people in Belgium for people who don't share our values)

https://www.rtbf.be/info/belgique/detail_chastel-mon-liberalisme-n-a-pas-besoin-du-mot-social?id=9335382

(MR president Chastel dropping the social liberal line from the 2000s)

This is a pretty clear indication that the MR is slowly starting to swing to the right with the immigration debate in full force in Belgium (I talked about how they opened their lists to certain hard right figures, but this was rarely adopted at leadership level until now). But they cannot be described as right-wing compared to the the Flemish right-wing parties in media rhetoric, etc.

The DNA of that party, given that FDF is gone and MCC is a one man clown act, is a successor party of the PRL that defended the Liberal pillar, and all its associated civil society and economic actors for a good part of a century. Note that the Liberal pillar (like many liberal parties/actors in central/nordic Europe) was not based on a classical liberal ideology but a defence of bourgeois and independent classes and a commitment to secularisation of the state.

As a certain political scientist Paul Magnette wrote, there is a key difference in modus operandi between parties that are the patriciens parties (derived from the pillars) who use a quasi-clientelist arrangement with their different constituencies, largely based on syndicalised professional classes, and on the other hand you have tribunitiens parties like Défi/FDF and ECOLO that have no solid base outside where they have popular mayors but rely on a plural group of civil society actors to counter specific issues such as Flemish nationalism, corruption, ecology, etc. (and you also have testimonial parties like PTB-PVDA or Vlaams Belang/PP who try to influence the general federal debate by veering it one way or another). Power is essential to the patricien parties in order to protect the privileges of their class and civil society actors at the social dialogue level from the threat, more so than ideological consistency or even debates such as the levels of migration.

While MR are not as bad as the Christian pillar in litteraly defending the interests of their pillar above all ideology/principle, (as demonstrated by the Arco scandal), as a light patricien party they are still fundamentally reliant on their lifelong voters from civil society actors based on class/profession, and then only in a second measure on culturally right-wing voters interested in politics who might be tempted by anti-immigration or whatever. For them, thus, having some measure of power in the social dialogue to defend their class's priviledges is all they need, not an engagement in existential debates about European identity or immigration that could prove costly*.

Because of the nature of Flemish society, Flemish political and economic modernisation in the 1990s and the VB then N-VA rising, Open VLD had to compete on some areas there, as did all the other parties. Nevertheless, your affiliated healthcare mutual and union is still the key predictor of how you vote in Flanders (see KUL stemgedrag). Its just the nature of Flemish society has more "independents", or white collar workers not affiliated to trade unions, and thus less of a class/profession divide in political debate. Nevertheless, Wallonia is also slowly moving towards the political revolution Flanders saw at the turn of the millenium.  

Brussels politics and the Brussels MR, is sui generis, like most Brussels-related things.


*The PS are, of course, no better despite significant grandstanding. Magnette understands this having written about it, and he and is trying to turn them into something of a more modern party, but encounters resistance from the old guard.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2018, 06:21:56 am by coloniac »Logged
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« Reply #127 on: September 22, 2018, 06:45:08 am »

I feel I've learned more about Belgian politics & pillarisation than ever before. Thanks.
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« Reply #128 on: September 24, 2018, 12:37:26 pm »

To what extent do Walloon and Flemish socialists, Christian Democrats and liberals coordinate their actions?

On this particular point, there was a nice article on this (in french), based on a journal article that can be found in English

https://absp.be/Blog/2018/07/13/y-a-t-il-encore-des-partis-freres-en-belgique/

Short summary and translation, the first part details how, organisationally, they are now completely seperate parties (for the reason I explained on the first page of this thread). They used to share think tanks, etc but now everything is seperate. Informal organisational links are also gone : parties are not bound to go into coalition with their "brother" party anymore. They do however sit in the same European groupings, although that could change this year.

The second part talks about their denominations, but that is irrelevant (in my view). The name changes at the turn of the millenia were superficial ways of trying to renew or modernise the ideological bile that is needed to service the socio-economic interests of the pillar parties in the wake of the "White March", the rise of ecologists and VB - and in cdH's case it was a rather blatant attempt at building an islamo-democratic constituency.

The third part is the most interesting one, given its a survey of the legislators of the party families on who they colloborate more with : their own linguistic group or their brother party. They asked them who they worked with the most : other legislators from the "brother" party, other legislators from the same linguistic group, or neither. Both the Christian Democrats and the Socialists clearly work with elected members from their own linguistic group more that their "brother" party, so far are the differences in interests. VLD and MR tend to work more together.

The fourth part is the observation that despite these differences, both their electorates and their elected officials largely have the same sociological characteristics and ideological views respectively. You see that through percentage of catholics, level of education, and then positions on intervention of the state and the role of the federal government. So the authors conclude that they still somewhat exist as brothers (also because everybody still talks about them as such).
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DavidB.
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« Reply #129 on: September 24, 2018, 12:40:02 pm »

Many thanks for your insightful responses. Will look at the articles: my French should be good enough.
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« Reply #130 on: September 28, 2018, 07:00:58 pm »

Lots of pollings in Belgian cities, i'll make multiple posts to make my life a bit easier, focusing on lots of Flemish cities. This is the polling in Ghent



s.pa - green (social democrat / green cartel) - 37,2% (-8,2%)
Open VLD (liberals) - 23,4% (+6,9%)
N-VA (nationalists) - 13,4% (-3,7%)
PVDA (far-left) - 7,9% (+5,0%)
Flemish Interest (far-right) - 7,4% (+0,9%)
CD&V (christian democratic) - 5,1% (-4,0%)
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Lakigigar
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« Reply #131 on: September 28, 2018, 07:10:00 pm »

Polling for Antwerp:



N-VA (nationalists) - 29,9% (-7,8%)
Greens (greens) - 19,2% (+11,3%)
s.pa (social democrats) - 16,0% (-12,6% - though were in cartel with CD&V in 2012)
Flemish Interest (far-right) - 11,6% (+1,4%)
PVDA (far-left) - 8,3% (+0,3%)
CD&V (christian democratic) - 7,1% (-21,5% - though were in cartel with CD&V in 2012)
Open VLD (liberals) - 5,8% (+0,3%)

Coallition talks will be hard. N-VA, Open VLD and CD&V have stated they don't want to enter coallition with either PVDA or Flemish Interest. The Greens however have said they will never enter a coallition with N-VA. It is possible, it could take months or even a year to create a coallition that would work for Antwerp, especially because federal and regional elections also take place next year, and what happens in Antwerp, will have consequences for those elections.
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« Reply #132 on: September 28, 2018, 07:55:54 pm »

Leuven



s.pa (social democrats) - 24,9% (-6,5%)
Green (greens) - 23,6% (+8,1%)
N-VA (nationalists) - 21,4% (+2,1%)
CD&V (christian democrats) - 10,8% (-7,7%)
PVDA (far-left) - 6,0% (+3,2%)
Flemish Interest (far-right) - 5,8% (+2,1%)
Open VLD (liberals) - 5,7% (-2,1%)
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« Reply #133 on: September 29, 2018, 02:04:05 am »

I'm surprised PVDA are standing still in Antwerp but seemingly gaining everywhere else.
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« Reply #134 on: September 29, 2018, 06:02:36 am »

I'm surprised PVDA are standing still in Antwerp but seemingly gaining everywhere else.

Probably because the left-wing is in opposition in Antwerp, and because 6 years ago, a vote for PVDA would be seen more as a protest vote to s.pa-cd&v (the list of the incumbent mayor of then - who lost to the nationalist). The result six years ago was surprising and really a good one, and it might be hard to improve that, because they've done a great job six years ago. It might in some way be the cap. People who dislike the incumbent mayor might prefer voting for the Greens because they have a real chance to dethrone the incumbent mayor. The s.pa (socialists) have been involved in some scandals in Antwerp and are losing. They changed their candidate, and initially had a cartel with the Greens but the Greens didn't trust the s.pa anymore and the cartel was done.

In other cities, PVDA is making that breakthrough while in Antwerp, they've already done it.

(also, it's a polling, i suspect they will do better).
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« Reply #135 on: September 29, 2018, 06:33:25 am »

What Lakigigar said + mobility being a seemingly genuine issue in the political debate in Antwerp, that probably cost N-VA more than their corruption scandal did. Greens seem to perform strongly on that issue for obvious reasons. If this election debate had federal undertones maybe PVDA would be doing better in Antwerp.

Antwerp and Leuven look like very interesting fights. Ghent on the other hand...does the Open VLD poster boy still have a shot? Also 7.4% for VB, in a local election in Ghent?
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« Reply #136 on: September 30, 2018, 01:38:10 pm »

The far-left and far-right have a few opportunities to serve their first mayors. The far-right has a shot in Ninove (a middle-sized city), while the far-left has a shot in the industrial city of Zelzate. In Wallonia the far-left is expected to do well in both Hainaut and the Liège agglomeration, and they have a shot to become the biggest in Seraing, which opinion pollings suggest, and are 2nd in the cities of Liège and Charleroi. Paul Magnette (PS Mayor) hasn't ruled out forming a coallition with the PTB in Charleroi.

A few more pollings:

Brugge



Mechelen



VLD+Groen+M+ = progressive cartel of greens and liberals

Hasselt



Ostend

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« Reply #137 on: September 30, 2018, 02:01:21 pm »

More pollings of Flemish cities:

Sint-Niklaas



N-VA - 25,7% (-2,8%)
Vlaams Belang - 17,7% (+6,0%)
Green - 14,4% (had 25,7% in cartel with greens)
CD&V - 13,5% (-2,1%)
s.pa - 13,1% (had 25,7% in cartel with greens)
Open VLD - 9,9% (+2,7%)
PVDA - 4,2% (+2,4%)

Kortrijk



CD&V - 22,7% (-10,3%)
Open VLD - 20,6% (-0,7%)
N-VA - 16% (-0,3%)
s.pa - 10,9% (-3,4%)
Green - 10,3% (+2,9%)
Vlaams Belang - 9,6% (+3,5%)
Other parties - 5,5% (including PVDA which had 1,2% last time)

Aalst



N-VA - 27,2% (-3,9%)
Open VLD - 15,8% (-1,5%)
Vlaams Belang - 14,6% (+3,8%)
CD&V - 12,7% (-4,6%)
Green - 11,2% (+5,3%)
Lijst A (s.pa dissidents) - 7,8%
s.pa - 5,4% (-11,0%)
PVDA - 3,1% (+1,9%)


Roeselare



CD&V - 30% (+2%)
N-VA - 20,6% (-8,6%)
Vlaams Belang - 15% (+5,9%)
Groen - 13,1% (+4,6%)
Open VLD - 9,2% (+0,8%)
s.pa - 8,9% (-5,3%)

Turnhout



Vlaams Belang - 17,6% (+7,5%)
N-VA - 15,6% (-10%)
TIM (local party with incumbent mayor) - 12,6% (-3,7%)
Green - 12,2% (+1,5%)
CD&V - 11,6% (-3,5%)
Open VLD - 9,8% (+4,5%)
s.pa - 9,3% (-2,1%)
PVDA - 6,7% (+4,7%)

Genk



N-VA - 29,8% (+11,6%)
CD&V - 27% (-14%)
s.pa - 11,5% (had 16,8% cartel with Greens)
Vlaams Belang - 11,5% (+2,2%)
PVDA - 6,6% (-2,2%)
Groen - 6,1% (had 16,8% in cartel with s.pa)
Open VLD - 5,3% (+0,9%)
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« Reply #138 on: September 30, 2018, 02:37:13 pm »

Looking at those potential results...I know this comes up every local election but given the current European context and the N-VA's dead end with the other parties, its time to start questioning the cordon sanitaire's resilience again.
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« Reply #139 on: September 30, 2018, 06:29:36 pm »

There is now controversy on what the Antwerp candidate for the socialist party has said in a newspaper, when she had a double interview together with Antwerp candidate for the far-right party, in which she minimalised what he was (i won't call him a racist), while he is widely seen as one of the hardliners of the far-right party, and as a real fascist. Of course, this created a backslash on social media and alienated some social democrats, not something you can use two weeks before the election.



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« Reply #140 on: September 30, 2018, 07:42:37 pm »

Wait, I thought Vlaams Belang was the real far right party while N-VA was just anti-inmigration but not really far right?
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« Reply #141 on: September 30, 2018, 09:58:42 pm »

Wait, I thought Vlaams Belang was the real far right party while N-VA was just anti-inmigration but not really far right?

Filip De Winter is part of Vlaams Belang and a hardliner, one who was part of it's even more radical right-wing past during the 1990's and early 2000's.

N-VA however is indeed right-wing and conservative-liberal but anti-immigration, but among some of their members it has far-right tendencies which was recently revealed in a PANO documentary (the Schild & Vrienden scandal).

N-VA has also more & more becoming a traditional party, and some of their disappointed members are returning to where they originally originate from: the Vlaams Belang, which is seen in opinion polls. N-VA however seems to be recruiting from the two other governing parties: the liberals and the christian democrats. The Christian Democrats and Social Democrats are losing votes to the Greens. PVDA claims most of it's new members used to be N-VA voting members, and probably also recruits people disappointed with social democrat rule. I also believe a small part of their new influx used to be a Green. Someone active in our local branch was previously active for the Greens, and i've shifted more to the left as well, where i used to favour Green and even have voted for CD&V and Open VLD in respectively regional and federal elections. The environment & climate are my most important issues, and i've realized that we won't make any progression on that, as long we don't overthrow the capitalist system and the system of multinational monopolies all over the world. The PVDA also has a much more ambitious climate program, and some of it's members are ecosocialist (similar to what Naomi Klein advocates). The Greens have indicated once in an interview that their visions align more with the liberal Open VLD than with us, and because the actions of VLD when it comes to energy & environment are really disappointing (in fact they serve the minister of Energy & Environment), have alienated me.

Belgium is right now not decreasing it's environmental output, in fact it even has increased, and it's rate of increase has increased compared to the previous government, while in fact we are part of the Paris agreement, all parties but Vlaams Belang claim to be pro-environmental action, and that we all believe climate change is an important issue of our time. But not enough action has been taken. I mean, what's the difference with the Trump cabinet in the US. The communication is very different, but in reality we aren't that different (especially since local governments inside the US seems to take environmental action to the same degree we do). Ironically, more authoritarian nations seem to be able to have a bigger environmental effort, like China and some Latin American nations. Liberals will only enact environmental measures that won't hurt the economy (which is basically never), and they'll always prefer building new industrial zones over maintaining / creating new green zones (even while claiming to be pro-environmentalist). This partly made me realize i can not longer support the Green party, and made me shift left.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-09-26/belgium-faces-winter-blackouts-as-aging-nuclear-plants-falter

Our minister of energy has done a terrible job on other things as well. This was all over the news last week. Belgium could face blackouts this winter, especially in november, and the region i live in, is most likely going to be one of the first regions that won't be provided with power if we don't have enough power, which is increasingly becoming likely. To be fair, it's the result of multiple decades of terrible rule, since this is something we could see coming for years, and nothing has been done on it.

In my belief, energy should be re-nationalized again, and we should prioritize on building green infrastructure (which would create jobs, lose our dependency on other countries for gas, electricity & energy, be good for climate & environment, and it will have to be done sooner or later, so you better do it soon).
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« Reply #142 on: October 02, 2018, 07:51:04 pm »

Some interesting news:
1) Yesterday a polling among the youth leaked out, and it said the youth didn't trust politics in general, have a negative association with politics, didn't knew basic answers like who governs or who's the mayor of their city. 24% of the 18 to 23 year olds also said they prefer an authoritarian leader over a democracy. Among lower-college educated people, this rises to over 50%.

2) https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/en/2018/10/02/candidates-with-nazi-sympathies-exposed/ 15 people of the 3000 candidates for Flemish Interest were accused of nazi sympathies, based on their behaviour on social media. Some of them had sympathies for a terrorist group that aimed for the creation of a white Flanders state, and to achieve that they wanted to trigger a civil war. One of the acts planned was to kill the far-right icon Filip De Winter for tactical reasons.

3) Yesterday, a social housing crisis in Ghent in which the bad state got indicted in a tv show based on the upcoming elections, the local city government (social democrat, green and liberals) had to admit that they knew off this situation and that nothing was done yet. Political experts have stated that this might abruptly change the local results, similarly to what happened in 1999 after the dioxin crisis. Social housing might instantly become the main theme / issue of the elections in Ghent, where it used to be mobility and transport. I estimate this might cause people to swing to the opposition (N-VA), especially people who were centrist and thinking of voting liberals. But a lot of people (and i mean a lot - esp. green and social democrat voters) might actually swing to the far-left, especially because it's a leftist theme (and the left is criticized for it), and the news report was shocking.
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« Reply #143 on: October 04, 2018, 05:30:03 am »



Title: "how mold might help the PVDA-PTB to win the elections in Ghent."

Here is an article that suggests the housing crisis in Ghent will affect the local elections here. My english isn't good enough to summarize it well enough, so excuse me for that, but in short it says that the social democrats and greens responded very badly on it, and that 10 days before the election, this is something that will hamper their electoral performances. The liberals - who are in the coallition as well - couldn't profit from it to take the "momentum", and it's doubtful the nationalists that suffer from credibility issues in Ghent, will win from this situation. The article concludes that the far-left party that made from housing it's main focus on the election and campaigned on it (on the streets and locally, but aren't invited to talkshows and debates on television). The left-wing coallition felt the heat of the far-left. The breakthrough of the far-left was something we've expected, but now it is a certainty.

(couldn't find an english article that exactly said what it's all about)
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« Reply #144 on: October 04, 2018, 09:15:33 am »

How about this new Muslim party? Are they going to run anywhere?
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« Reply #145 on: October 05, 2018, 09:57:02 am »

How about this new Muslim party? Are they going to run anywhere?

There are more parties, because there are lots of divisions in the immigrant vote. We have like two Turkish parties (because they couldn't agree to form a party together, similar to DENK in Netherlands, which have in common that they are left-wing but pro-Erdogan) and the more radical ISLAM party. I haven't heard about the latter one, but I heard the Turkish party had troubles with even getting enough good signatures and finding enough candidates to even get on the ballot in some major cities, like they had trouble in Antwerp and also in Beringen (a city with a huge population of Turkish immigrants), one of those parties failed to submit a list.

What i've heard so far, it seems like the elections will be very disappointing for the immigrant parties. What differs in Belgium from the Netherlands is that there is no united immigrant party and that we have a electoral threshold of 5% which is rather rough, and makes it hard for new parties to arise on the political field, so i can almost certainly say they'll not have a breakthrough in Flanders.
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« Reply #146 on: October 05, 2018, 12:21:20 pm »

Antwerp poll

NVA 32
Groen: 20
SPA: 13
VB: 12
PVDA: 8
CDV: 7
VLD: 5

It's not a bad poll for De Wever because VB is strong and so NVA is unavoidable.

Considering the polls, VB seems to to a come back at the expense of the NVA.

Flanders level

NVA 25
CDV 17
Groen 14
VLD 13
SPA 12
VB 11
PVDA 4

Brussels

MR 19
Defi 16
PS 15
Ecolo 13
PTB 9
CDH 6
PP 2
ISLAM 2

and for flemish parties:

NVA 6
Groen 2,2
VB 2

Wallonie

PS 23
MR 20
PTB 13
ECOLO 11
CDH 10
Defi 7
PP 7

VB 2



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Quote from: Umengus on July 25, 2011, 03:19:09 pm

against Aubry, Sarkozy will win. Aubry is a very bad candidate for prime time : no charisma, no sympathy, muslim connection, stupid ideas,... and sarkozy is a good candidate...

but against hollande, sarkozy will lose."

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« Reply #147 on: October 05, 2018, 02:00:45 pm »

A bit surprised s.pa and CD&V still have such high scores... I definitely don't believe it in the case of CD&V after they've done a terrible campaign and were very inauthentic... Candidate of the CD&V suggested multiple times he wanted to become mayor (with only 7% in the polls). Both Greens and N-VA have said that they would never let him become mayor. He moved to Antwerp specially for the elections to become a mayor, and made a gaffe during spring when a Jewish candidate was chosen to be on the list and declared that he refused to shake hands with women (he left the list and was replaced with a different representative of the Jewish community).

s.pa after it's scandals still seem to be around 15% while PVDA only has 8. Worth mentioning though that the PVDA polled at 3,2% a week before the elections in 2012, and eventually had 8%, so i'm still hoping for 10%. Would be disappointed with less.

Antwerp City government seems like it will be a N-VA / VLD / Green or N-VA / CD&V and Green coallition. I think the N-VA & Green coallition seems inevitable especially since the incumbent stated at least twice that their program on mobility is almost exactly the same except for one thing, and he is remarkably mild for the Greens (while he used to be harder for them before).

I've checked which coallitions would be possible...
N-VA / VB coallition isn't enough. They need CD&V. This will never happen.
CD&V / VLD / Green / s.pa need PVDA. I doubt it will happen, because even Green weren't enthuasiastic about such a coallition. VLD won't let this happen. CD&V might, but only if Peeters would become mayor, which won't happen either. Coallitions with 4 or 5 parties tend to be unstable and not preferrable.

N-VA / Green do have enough, but who would become mayor. Greens won't join a city government in which De Wever (as biggest) will stay mayor, unless De Wever makes major concessions, but even than forming a coallition will be hard, because there are elections next year, and what happens in Antwerp often does have consequences for 2019. Green might get reckoned off if they get into a coallition with N-VA because they're basically the anti-N-VA vote. I would be glad if such a coallition would happen (honestly), because it would probably mean that the PVDA in particular will do even better next year (Greens will almost certainly lose lots of votes in this scenario).

An alternative might be a N-VA / s.pa / CD&V and Open VLD city government though, but that will be unworkable and unpreferrable as well, and both N-VA and s.pa might get reckoned off for such a coalition. I believe greens and the far-right would profit from such a coalition. One additional reason of why this might be an unlikely coalition is because in this scenario, all the four parties will have lost votes, and all the "losers" of the election will join a coalition to govern. It will only happen if they're quite hopeless about forming a city government and the politial parties feel like they've to take respnsability, but i don't think this scenario is something any of those parties would like.

It's possible that if this polling will eventually be the end result on sunday 14 oct that negotiations in Antwerp will take at least 6 months, because i can't see something working out. There is no clear winner in that case, both the left and the right are quite even. It might be similar to the political crisisses Spain experienced lately, but than to a local level here. Though in Belgium - just like in Spain - it was always quite hard to form a government, partly because of the linguistic/cultural divide between north and south.

*i would also suggest not to take those polls to literally because 1) a lot can happen in one week / two weeks in politics (as we've seen in Ghent -> that poll is probably outdated), 2) they're still polls (and even local polls, and just like state polls in USA they're less reliable than nationwide polls 3) still lots of undecided voters 4) margin of error with 3-4% leaves room for error and can mean a huge difference for certain political parties.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2018, 02:37:26 pm by Lakigigar »Logged

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« Reply #148 on: October 07, 2018, 05:48:07 am »

How about this new Muslim party? Are they going to run anywhere?

There are more parties, because there are lots of divisions in the immigrant vote. We have like two Turkish parties (because they couldn't agree to form a party together, similar to DENK in Netherlands, which have in common that they are left-wing but pro-Erdogan) and the more radical ISLAM party. I haven't heard about the latter one, but I heard the Turkish party had troubles with even getting enough good signatures and finding enough candidates to even get on the ballot in some major cities, like they had trouble in Antwerp and also in Beringen (a city with a huge population of Turkish immigrants), one of those parties failed to submit a list.

What i've heard so far, it seems like the elections will be very disappointing for the immigrant parties. What differs in Belgium from the Netherlands is that there is no united immigrant party and that we have a electoral threshold of 5% which is rather rough, and makes it hard for new parties to arise on the political field, so i can almost certainly say they'll not have a breakthrough in Flanders.

For the case of Brussels, where the party would inevitably be more successful due to the demographic makeup and the way the debate over Islam has been salient in the city since the Abdelsalam attacks and Brussels bombings, you can see by Umengus's poll that they are improving slightly enough to potentially get 2 seats at regional level. Their campaign has honestly been very low key, I have only just seen their posters this week, and clearly they know which districts to target. They may still be benefiting from the hype that Theo Francken and others in the N-VA created around their case, but how they carry inevitable momentum and how the media covers them will be vital.  

I think a more threatening case is when mainstream parties seem to present crypto-Erdoganists (ECOLO members making Grey Wolves salutes in Saint-Josse for example) or other members of certain immigrant communities who have no interest other than to import their struggle back home onto the Belgian political debate. Demir - who is Antwerp based - going to Genk being a fantastic example of how to stoke the flames of an already hot fire. Sure, she's managed to piss off Erdogan in the right way. But should Genk local elections really be a referendum on what you think of Turkish integration in Flemish society? Most of the Limburg-based Turks were Bulgarian and had little interest in diaspora politics until the political entrepreuners, both foreign and domestic, wheeled in with their identity complexes. Belgian identity complexes for Belgian people, god damn it!
« Last Edit: October 07, 2018, 05:53:17 am by coloniac »Logged
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« Reply #149 on: October 10, 2018, 10:30:19 am »

In Ghent, there are apparently three Turkish minor parties that apparently fight for the Turkish vote. They all have one thing in common: they are very pro-Erdogan and criticize Turkish immigrants that are on the lists of Belgian political parties for not being pro-Erdogan enough. Apparently, the campaign is very dirty and nasty i've seen in an article. There are basically three parties, two are basically split-off from social democrats (and similar to DENK in Netherlands), but there is also a right-wing socially conservative Turkish immigrant party and the party is very populist / extremist (with many Grey Wolves on their list). In my belief, this isn't a good evolution. I would prefer my political party to never work together with those fringe political parties, and i would rather support the Flemish right-wing than immigrant parties, and i would also encourage immigrants to work throughout our own political parties. We don't have any need for an immigrant party that would split the vote even more and would have the opposite effect they actually want (bringing the right in power). We already have a social democrat, democratic socialist and a green party. I think that's enough. There is maybe room for a left liberal (similar to D66) or a left-wing nationalist party (similar to SNP or M5S), but that's about it.

I don't have sympathy for parties / people that bring Turkish issues into our own local elections, and make this election all about: pro-Erdogan, anti-Gulen, anti-Kurds and go on and on... People like this don't belong in our society.
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