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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 48186 times)
Zinneke
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« Reply #150 on: May 26, 2019, 09:09:51 am »
« edited: May 26, 2019, 09:48:53 am by coloniac »

First exit polls for Francophone Belgium

https://m.rtl.be/info/1127524


Disgusted.

I guess the key questions now are whether PTB make threshold in Bxl and Défi in Wallonia, and if PS and Écolo can hold a majority.

Écolo appear to have bombed in Wallonia.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #151 on: May 26, 2019, 09:57:30 am »

First exit polls for Francophone Belgium

https://m.rtl.be/info/1127524


Disgusted.

I guess the key questions now are whether PTB make threshold in Bxl and Défi in Wallonia, and if PS and Écolo can hold a majority.

Écolo appear to have bombed in Wallonia.

This is a pretty strong result for the PS, correct? And a relative disappointment for Ecolo?

Yes.
Écolo had a very bad to the end of the campaign.
PS are still on the decline but they just have too much power through their union and clientelist links to be shaken.
In the end Écolo were counting on environment dominating the campaign and mainly MR voters flocking their way. When Écolo got caught with that electoral tract I think people realised they are just an amateuresque version of PS.

I really think cdH and MR missed a trick not allowing the PS to see out their term in Wallonia rather than governing for 2 measly years and then entering these as the incumbent.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #152 on: May 26, 2019, 10:01:23 am »

And the Flemish exit poll has N-VA and VB 1rst and second...both with a combined majority I think. This country is fcuked.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #153 on: May 26, 2019, 10:15:51 am »

Looks like ECOLO are recovering from early exit poll underperformance thanks to a very strong showing in Liège.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #154 on: May 26, 2019, 10:18:03 am »
« Edited: May 26, 2019, 10:21:23 am by coloniac »

Seems as if the N-VA is holding up better in the Antwerp metro than in places like Western Flanders, where VB's gains are through the roof.

And they are also holding up better in Vlaams Brabant. So DVL didn't have a net positive effect. And VB's vote is for "forgotten Flanders", NVA for successful Flanders.

Im off to election party.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #155 on: May 26, 2019, 10:43:53 am »

So if the majority of the Flemish parliament are separatists rather than confederalists, will we see any moves to actually split up the state?

I think the N-VA will have to advocate at the very least confederalism.

If the francophone parties have any marbles they will call the Flemish electorates bluff and offer them a referendum in exchange for a corridor between Brussels and Wallonia
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Zinneke
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« Reply #156 on: May 26, 2019, 04:44:18 pm »
« Edited: May 26, 2019, 04:59:20 pm by coloniac »

I see people already making scenarios as to what would happen if there was a split etc.
Neither N-VA and VB ran on that program.
Just like the other right-wing populists in the EU, they moderated any revolutionary rhetoric of seperatism and split from the EU (N-VA have always been very much against sudden independence). They focused on immigration and stopping being governed by the Walloon Left. And a whole bunch of other issues like preserving company cars (which is so important to the Flemish citizen that isn't a city dweller).

Now they could use their newfound position to try and force, at most, confederalism. But none of the francophone parties will follow them through.

Like I said, if the Francophones have balls they can call the Flemish electorates bluff and stop Flemish nationalism as a devolutionary movement dead in its tracks by asking them for two referendums : independence of Flanders in exchange for referendum on status of the Brussels Rand. Essentially trading one go at Flemish independence for the return of the linguistic censii to determine what is and is not Flanders. Both of those things (the independence campaign and the return of linguistic census) could be terminal for the Flemish movement. N-VA would lose all credibility of being a strong and stable government party campaigning for Yes, VB would be basically carving out their proto fascist state losing a huge crown jewel that is Brussels and EU trade.

But the Francophone political class, just like its voters, its economy, its effing mentality ( I speak as a francophone, sorry if it offends) are sedentary. They're actually perfectly happy to play the long game and rinse themselves silly with mandates here and there, EU funds and projects, etc. With the possible exception of Maingain, none of them have the faintest idea what to do about Flemish nationalism, nor do I imagine many of the PS-types care, since their party has been essentially regionalist under a cape of "bisounours Belgicism" since the 1970s. And as it looks like the Brussels institutions are safe from N-VA control (Groen have beaten them in the electoral college), I predict the francophone political class will just rest on their constitutionally afforded laurels and we will have the same deadlock as in 2007 and 2010-2012. And like in both occasions eventually VB voters will flock back to the moderate nationalists (N-VA) to try to form a right-wing federal government. Rinse and repeat.  

so tldr : the scission of Belgium will not be on the agenda this legislative cycle

The question is at what point do francophone electorates get tired of the northern neighbours.


Anyway some other key questions that needed answering :


So what kind of coalition seems likely at this point?

The same one that negotiated the accord in 2012. So Tripartite + Greens, although VLD might pass again and rejoin in a minority government. Honestly its not a disaster if we stay in a "current affairs" government in the mean time. It means more power to parliament and that also mean the children inside have to compromise or face further disgruntlement with the political class.  

The key coalitions are at regional level. One they are formed we will see what can be done.

Will N-VA break the cordon sanitaire?

They say they will but they won't. Why? Because the VB score and the threat of VB+N-VA is their trump card in negotiations. They can't afford to lose that. But they can't ally with VB and ever be taken seriously by the francophones either.

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Zinneke
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« Reply #157 on: May 26, 2019, 05:01:54 pm »

Looks like a great day in Belgium for extremist parties on both ends.  Biggest gains by Vlaams Belang on far right and Workers Party on far left.  Any chance either might be included or will a cordon sanitaire keep both out.  Also living here in Canada, sort of reminds me of last year's New Brunswick election; English speaking parts swung rightwards while French speaking parts leftwards and it seems here French speaking areas swinging to the left, Dutch speaking areas swinging to the right.

My understanding though is if separation occurs, Flanders would join the Netherlands as opposed to become its own country.  As for Brussels being an island inside Flemish territory, that would be a non-issue as long both areas remain part of the EU as there are no internal border controls due Scheghen Agreement and EU law states people have the right to live and work in any member state.  Only issue might be on taxes, what happens to someone who lives in Flemish territory but works in Brussels, which country would they pay their taxes to or would they split it.  I am assuming if like North America it would be where they reside not work.

If Flanders joined Netherlands, any chance Wallonia then might join France?  Another thing I've noticed when travelling to Belgium is in Flemish areas most know how to speak French but don't like using it while I think in Wallonia most don't speak Dutch.  Certainly with English, I found practically everyone in Flanders speaks English as a second language (sort of like Netherlands), but in Wallonia, I would say more don't know how to speak English than do (sort of like France).

Flanders would not join the NL.
Wallonia would not join France, even less chance than the above.
Brussels would not be happy as an enclave of the Netherlands, or an indepedent Flanders. Its legal status is already incredibly tetchy.

These ideas are all interesting on paper to some but fail to take into account historical realities. Let's focus on the concrete results as they come in instead.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #158 on: May 26, 2019, 05:14:12 pm »
« Edited: May 27, 2019, 02:46:01 am by coloniac »

DierAnimal have their first seat in the Brussels parliament courtesy of the Flemish Francophone lists.

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Zinneke
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« Reply #159 on: May 26, 2019, 05:52:10 pm »
« Edited: May 26, 2019, 05:55:53 pm by coloniac »

Projected seat distribution for the Federal level

N-VA 25 (-8)
PS 19 (-4)
Vlaams Belang 18 (+15)
MR 15 (-5)
Ecolo 13 (+7)
CD&V 12 (-6)
Open Vld 12 (-2)
PTB*PVDA 12 (+12) -
SP.A 9 (-4)
Groen 8 (+2)
cdH 5 (-4)
Défi 2 (nc)
PP 0 (-1)

Based on these results, the Flemish leaders Combrez, Beke, Rutte and to a lesser extent De Wever have a lot of self-reflecting to do. PM Michel is toast. Bizarrely, none of the other Francophone leaders will really be at risk. Di Rupo will probably step aside permanently. Prévot can't be blamed.

I'll do region by region tomorrow. Wallonia and Brussels should be straightforward. Flanders ironically has the biggest headache for coalition making.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #160 on: May 27, 2019, 02:07:06 am »

Walloon Parliament 2019 :

PS 23 (-7)
MR 20 (-5)
Ecolo 12 (+8)
cdH 10 (-3)
PTB 10 (+8)
PP 0 (-1)

Likely Walloon majority : PS-ECOLO-cdH

Flemish Parliament 2019 :

N-VA 35 (-8)
VB 23 (+17)
CD&V 19 (-8)
Open Vld 16 (-3)
Groen 14 (+4)
sp.a 13 (-5)
PVDA+ 4 (+4)
UF 0 (-1)

Likely Flemish majority : N-VA-VLD-CDV-sp.a

Brussels Parliament 2019 :

FR
PS 17 (-4)
ECOLO 15 (+7)
MR 13 (-5)
Défi 10 (-2)
PTB 10 (+6)
cdH 6 (-3)
DierAnimal 1

Looks like DierAnimal actually got in on the francophone side! Even more humiliating for Destexhe then who couldn't get in.

NL
Groen 4
spa-One.Brussels 3
Open VLD 3
N-VA 3
PVDA 1
CD&V 1
Vlaams Belang 1
Agora* 1

*Agora are a citizens party that advocate a system whereby people are chosen at random and selected in a council to decide on public affairs. Very clever of them to stand on NL lists as they are popular with francophones but knew the threshold was difficult. There program is in English here : https://www.agora.brussels/?lang=en

Likely Brussels majority : FR --> PS-Défi-ECOLO NL --> Open Vld-Groen-sp.a


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Zinneke
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« Reply #161 on: May 27, 2019, 02:19:04 am »
« Edited: May 27, 2019, 02:24:59 am by coloniac »

For the moment the two federal coalitions most likely are the previous "Swedish" coalition + ECOLO/groen, and the old "Rainbow"/Purple coalition (Green-Red-Blue) + Défi.  

We're in for a long protracted negotiation period.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #162 on: May 27, 2019, 02:40:37 am »
« Edited: May 27, 2019, 02:53:32 am by coloniac »

Flemish parties in Brussels reached record shares and numbers of voters. Some 16.500 more compared to 2014. Mainly new parties like Agora and possibly ECOLO voters switching to Groen after their controversy and several Francophone political scientists calling for people to vote on Flemish lists. Decisive factor in blocking the N-VA in the Belgian capital.

Preference vote contest (means quite little in grand scheme of things these days but still interesting) :

1. Jambon (N-VA, Antwerp) 187,826 votes
2. Di Rupo (PS ,Hainaut) 123,809 votes (down a lot compared to 2014)
3. Theo Francken (N-VA ,Vlaams Brabant) 122,738 votes (excellent result given his constituency)
4. Tom Van Grieken (VB, Antwerp) 122,232 votes
5. Alexander de Croo (VLD, East Flanders) 80,283 votes



Also Georges-Louis Bouchez, the MR campaign spokesperson and all round fireband, failed to get a seat in Hainaut despite a strong preference vote score. His twitter is something to behold btw. Probably a big campaign mistake for MR to deploy this guy, not necessarily because of his ideas but his inexperience.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #163 on: May 27, 2019, 04:47:07 am »

You are right, they will likely reconduct the previous majority.

EDIT : like in 2010 (and 2014 with VLD) though they may take in one party as a "bridge" for the federal coalition but De Wever says he won't govern with the left.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #164 on: May 27, 2019, 04:56:34 am »

7sur7 have a very simple interactive electoral map :

https://www.7sur7.be/home/elections-consultez-la-carte-des-resultats-ici~a94d232b/



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Zinneke
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« Reply #165 on: May 27, 2019, 05:17:33 am »

Given that PS-Ecolo-PTB have a majority in Wallonia, why not go with a full left wing government coalition?

Its unlikely PS-ECOLO use that majority because it will alienate the Flemish parties they might be forced to work with at the federal level. Last time out PS-cdH and N-VA-CD&V (later VLD) immediately formed regional majorities and people predicted a massive block until MR ceded at the federal level. This time there is more of a likelihood that regional and federal coalition formations are thought out in tandem. Brussels will be the easiest one.

If they do use that majority though, I still woulnd't expect to see PTB ministers. They lack a lot of personnel. They're still growing as a party.  
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Zinneke
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« Reply #166 on: May 27, 2019, 07:08:05 am »
« Edited: May 27, 2019, 07:18:56 am by coloniac »

Why does Open VLD do so well in the southwest of Eastern Flanders? I expected them to do better in Flemish Brabant and worse there.

I said that nobody really deployed big hitters in East Flanders, but the fact that Alex de Croo (who is well like with rich and yuppies alike) was leading their federal list while Verhofdstadt was head of list for Europe probably helped their campaign here a lot. Also East Flanders is well off compared to West, and less traditionally nationalist compared to Antwerp. N-VA in East Flanders are a bit of a joke (Bracke and his conflicts of interest, Gent internal divisions).

Those southwestern communes are reasonably rich communes. The kind of people whose parents voted VLD.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #167 on: May 27, 2019, 07:17:28 am »

Why does Open VLD do so well in the southwest of Eastern Flanders? I expected them to do better in Flemish Brabant and worse there.

Flemish Brabant has Maggie De Block effect of 2014 that is worn out.

He's right that those are suburbs that usually did very well for VLD in the past though. I think Francken helped get them on board with N-VA in Flemish Brabant.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #168 on: May 27, 2019, 07:34:37 am »

The King is to meet Bart De Wever and Elio Di Rupo this afternoon (3PM and 4PM respectively I believe).

whatyearisit.jpeg
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Zinneke
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« Reply #169 on: May 27, 2019, 12:18:30 pm »

From the ever present Pascal Delwit :

Wallonia electoral trends since 1946 (puts PS "win" into perspective) :




Flanders since 1995 :

 
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Zinneke
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« Reply #170 on: May 30, 2019, 03:39:43 pm »
« Edited: May 30, 2019, 04:31:45 pm by coloniac »

Vandelanotte extremely unlikely to impossible
Reynders...maybe although there will either be a procession of these kind of informateurs, explorateurs, formateurs etc or we will head for new elections.

It's all but done now that VLD has said they will not enter a federal coalition without a Flemish majority. That means N-VA involvement ( because VB and PVDA won't enter any federal coalition). N-VA rules out PS, ECOLO. So no federal majority possible.

We'll be heading for new federal elections.

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Zinneke
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« Reply #171 on: May 31, 2019, 06:33:56 am »

Vandelanotte extremely unlikely to impossible
Reynders...maybe although there will either be a procession of these kind of informateurs, explorateurs, formateurs etc or we will head for new elections.

It's all but done now that VLD has said they will not enter a federal coalition without a Flemish majority. That means N-VA involvement ( because VB and PVDA won't enter any federal coalition). N-VA rules out PS, ECOLO. So no federal majority possible.

We'll be heading for new federal elections.



Why is VLD rejecting a non Flemish majority coalition? I thought NVA and VB were the only ones that would care about that stuff?

The issue of not having a majority on both sides of the community divide is a big one for any party. Last time out there was no majority for the francophone side (De Weber Saïd he was uncomfortable with this, and I believe him because he genuinely believes the two democracy theory) but it was justified by the fact that PS-cdH tied themselves to each other.

In this case though VLD need to appear nationalist. Any party on the Flemish Right does. No True Scotsman taken to an entire political spectrum does that. You're now not a "Good Genuine Fleming" if you cater to the federal interest over narrow regional economic nationalism.

Quote
Further reason to merge the equivalent parties IMO (PS/spa; CDV/CDH, etc)

Unlikely, but if we do adopt confederalism I think we'll also adopt a federal-wide constituency, and the parties will start running together again (while still having a separate structure).

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Zinneke
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« Reply #172 on: May 31, 2019, 07:22:26 am »
« Edited: May 31, 2019, 04:46:47 pm by coloniac »

Vandelanotte extremely unlikely to impossible
Reynders...maybe although there will either be a procession of these kind of informateurs, explorateurs, formateurs etc or we will head for new elections.

It's all but done now that VLD has said they will not enter a federal coalition without a Flemish majority. That means N-VA involvement ( because VB and PVDA won't enter any federal coalition). N-VA rules out PS, ECOLO. So no federal majority possible.

We'll be heading for new federal elections.



Why is VLD rejecting a non Flemish majority coalition? I thought NVA and VB were the only ones that would care about that stuff?

Further reason to merge the equivalent parties IMO (PS/spa; CDV/CDH, etc)

Yeah, splitting the parties on linguistic lines was a disaster imo, and I think it very heavily contributed to the situation we have today.

It's really not. The split federal constituencies made that a problem in the first place. But even if (just for the sake of counterfactual which is dodgy anyway) we theorise that the parties would have stuck together, the long run the CVP-PSC would have been heavily "Flemish dominated" and the PSB-BSP a "Walloon dominated", or at least perceived as such. And it would not stop parties like Rassemblement Wallon and Volksunie who are the parties that pressured the split along linguistic lines. Quite the contrary, they disappeared because the mainstream parties adopted their stances. Had the latter not done that then we'd have much bigger stints without government.


The real nail in the coffin was BHV being scinded rather than treated as a place where federal interests converged. Parties would have to find compromise if such an important part of the country had to be fought on a platform of reconciliation. And BHV is essentially future metropolitan Brussels and needs a common governance structure if we're going to run our greatest asset in our country (the EU NATO institutions) in a non-third world sh**thole manner. Instead we went for narrow linguistic nationalism.

Edit : I say we,  but the Flemish have to take the major part of the blame there. But VB was higher than it was now when that episode went down.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #173 on: May 31, 2019, 08:02:42 am »

...

But the Francophone political class, just like its voters, its economy, its effing mentality ( I speak as a francophone, sorry if it offends) are sedentary. ...



Edit : I say we, the Flemish have to take the major part of the blame there. But VB was higher than it was now when that episode went down.

Now I am confused...

In my OP I said "we" as Belgians went for narrow linguistic nationalism. But it was mainly Flemish political class driven movement. FDF also had extreme views on this but they don't have the electoral scores to back this up.

As a francophone Brusseleir I don't take any blame for BHV or wanting to enlarge Brussels, which is fundamentally not stripping any rights to Flemish speakers and instead giving a larger say in the capital's affairs.

You can be Flemish and francophone btw. They were the main target of original Flemish nationalism before Walloons (who some Flemish nationalists consider to be victims of francophone elites), as decedents of the old French administrative class.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #174 on: May 31, 2019, 11:51:14 pm »
« Edited: May 31, 2019, 11:57:12 pm by coloniac »

Vandelanotte extremely unlikely to impossible
Reynders...maybe although there will either be a procession of these kind of informateurs, explorateurs, formateurs etc or we will head for new elections.

It's all but done now that VLD has said they will not enter a federal coalition without a Flemish majority. That means N-VA involvement ( because VB and PVDA won't enter any federal coalition). N-VA rules out PS, ECOLO. So no federal majority possible.

We'll be heading for new federal elections.



Why is VLD rejecting a non Flemish majority coalition? I thought NVA and VB were the only ones that would care about that stuff?

Further reason to merge the equivalent parties IMO (PS/spa; CDV/CDH, etc)

Yeah, splitting the parties on linguistic lines was a disaster imo, and I think it very heavily contributed to the situation we have today.

It's really not. The split federal constituencies made that a problem in the first place. But even if (just for the sake of counterfactual which is dodgy anyway) we theorise that the parties would have stuck together, the long run the CVP-PSC would have been heavily "Flemish dominated" and the PSB-BSP a "Walloon dominated", or at least perceived as such. And it would not stop parties like Rassemblement Wallon and Volksunie who are the parties that pressured the split along linguistic lines. Quite the contrary, they disappeared be side the mainstream parties adopted their stances. Had the latter not done that then we'd have much bigger stints without government.


The real nail in the coffin was BHV being scinded rather than treated as a place where federal interests converged. Parties would have to find compromise if such an important part of the country had to be fought on a platform of reconciliation. And BHV is essentially future metropolitan Brussels and needs a common governance structure if we're going to run our greatest asset as a country in a non-third world sh**thole manner. Instead we went for narrow linguistic nationalism.

Edit : I say we,  but the Flemish have to take the major part of the blame there. But VB was higher than it was now when that episode went down.

I agree, federalization was a mistake. Why did Belgium become federal and create split constituencies in the first place? Couldn't the government have forseen that it would have just made problems worse?

(This is more "individual politics" but whatever Tongue )

Federalism was not a mistake in the sense that the Flemish movement as a cultural struggle and the Walloon industrial belt both had very legitimate claims for feeling disenfranchised in a Belgian unitary state. Flemish was marginalised as a language and the lifeblood of the Walloon economy was suddenly closed for reinvestment in new industries up north. The convergence was clear and I think we could have found a decent compromise between cultural and economic devolution, while still maintaining a strong effective Belgian state.

The issue of the constituencies is another matter. I think it harms directly the ability of federal debate to happen, and also it reinforces the traditional parties and harms smaller parties. Instead narrow interests are courted at provincial level and we don't have a proper federal debate on foreign policy, criminal justice, our reason to exist, etc. keep the constituencies a t regional level.*

*Wallonia has a different constituency make up for its regionals though.
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