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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 49277 times)
Zinneke
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« Reply #175 on: June 01, 2019, 06:29:06 am »

Very interesting articles in the press about tensions between the CD&V and it's associated pillar organisations due to the shocking performance last week. Potentially a cdH style implosion because of the various Catholic orgs no longer relaying to the party.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #176 on: June 01, 2019, 04:06:45 pm »
« Edited: June 01, 2019, 04:50:10 pm by coloniac »

Very interesting articles in the press about tensions between the CD&V and it's associated pillar organisations due to the shocking performance last week. Potentially a cdH style implosion because of the various Catholic orgs no longer relaying to the party.



Which articles?

En Flandre, la famille chrétienne au bord de l'éclatement https://www.lecho.be/r/t/1/id/10132314
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Zinneke
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« Reply #177 on: June 04, 2019, 02:45:43 am »
« Edited: June 04, 2019, 08:46:37 am by coloniac »

Just an update on all the regional and community government formation talks (which should be quicker than the federal, although the federal talks will be taken more into account.

In Flanders the N-VA, with De Wever as formateur and essentially regional president in waiting, have received every party and already ruled out PVDA but say they are open to talks with the others. Although its somewhat more logical that they leave the door open to VB, as it allows them to threaten the other parties of attempting an alliance with VB if they don't conform to their demands, this has obviously been derided by the centre-left as evidence that the N-VA's claim they don't deal with extremes is only as good as their word.

In Wallonia, Di Rupo (PS) is the formateur with Paul Magnette and has received every party. The main headlines in Wallonia are about whether the PTB are allowed into the government majority. Hedebouw came to the Elysette with strong words saying that he hopes the PS would "respond to the electorates demands by taking a leftwards turn" and that it would be "nice to see if ECOLO are actually a left or right wing party". Thierry Bodson, the leader of the largest (socialist pillar) union, FGTB, re-itterated his desire for a PS-ECOLO-PTB coalition.

In Brussels, things have gotten a bit more complicated because of the possibility of MR replacing PS in the potential majority with ECOLO and Défi on the francophone side. And although traditionally the two majorities on both sides of the linguistic colleges are formed seperately, Open VLD's FLemish branch have instructed their Brussels branch toput on hold any coalition in a bid to blackmail ECOLO and Groen into accepting MR into the office. This is Reynders' ambition again taking center stage. His relations with VLD already soured because of the previous majority not including him and them ing him in the federal negotiations (he wanted a Commission portfolio, it went to CD&V instead). Now he's also banking on putting the foot down with his Flemish counterpart, and his close ties with Bernard Clerfayt of Défi too, so that he can fulfill his ambition of becoming Minister-President of Brussels.

In OstBelgien/German speaking community there is already a majority formed. ProDG had already taken first spot from the CSP in the elections so they were expected to reconduct a majority with Olivier Paasch. It gives them a nice mandate for the eventuality of any state reform to realise their dream of obtaining a region seperate from Wallonia. You can see a run down of their results here : https://www.rtbf.be/info/election/circonscription/detail_les-resultats-des-elections-communautaires-germanophones-2019?id=10216047

In the Francophone Community, people tend to wait for the regions to form and then act accordingly, but the big question is whether cdH's poor results can be seen as a vote of no confidence in Marie Martine-Schyns "pact of excellence" educational reform as a bid to catch up with Flanders (seen as having much higher standard of secondary education). cdH might actually end up in opposition at all levels for the first time in a while as Prévot eyes the long game and banking on a personalist campaign from opposition in 4 years time.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #178 on: June 04, 2019, 05:15:41 am »

What do the linguistic community parliaments actually do? I always assumed they were joke chambers.

The Flemish one is more of a committee than a parliament in itself. And at the same time it was the Flemish regional competences that were transfered to the Community parliament so its wierd...basically an excuse to have Brussels as their "capital".

Anyway I laid out the community competences (to you Tongue ) here :

What exactly do the linguistic parliaments do?

Amai. Do you have time to read the Belgian constitution? Cheesy

The simple memory technique we learnt at school was that everything not on the federal level that has to do with material goods and the allocation of resources is devolved to the regional parliaments. This is how the PS(!) demanded Belgian federalism should be shaped in order to stop the CVP from favouring Flemish industry over the declining Walloon one.
Here are the competences : https://www.belgium.be/en/about_belgium/government/regions/competence


The linguistic parliament (or communities) deals with non-material issues. Education is the main one, then healthcare, culture, science, tourism, etc. The Flemish demanded this as they saw it as the next logical step towards the creation of Flemish nationhood (same curriculum, and so on).
https://www.belgium.be/en/about_belgium/government/communities/competence


The typically Belgian compromise was having both. Brussels-Region and the German speaking community (Ostbelgien) politicians tended to lobby for regional structures only, with education and economic policy back in their respective hands.

However, a legal scholar would be able to give you more insight into the exact competences, the particularity of Flanders' government merging the two parliaments and essentially making the linguistic one a committee, etc.

tl,dr its a mess.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #179 on: June 06, 2019, 02:15:29 am »

Big development in francophone politics : cdH actually *choosing* to be in opposition..at all levels.

This gives a massive headache to PS, as they are know forced to either back a hard left coalition with ECOLO and PTB and risk alienating the Flemish Right for good or a Purple coalition with MR (remember they already have this configuration in certain key communes) that would pave the way for the same coalition at federal level + the Greens.

For cdH opposition is going to be a time of self-reflection. There's basically 3 movements in the party now : one that is the traditional movement that wants the party to remain a patrician party that serves narrow catholic pillar interests and thus should remain in government, one younger that thinks it should modernise in opposition and become a sort of Macronist movement essentially centrist but not too liberal, an another that wants to merge with the MR. I think its inevitable that the latter happens.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #180 on: June 06, 2019, 10:31:09 am »
« Edited: June 06, 2019, 10:42:40 am by coloniac »

I saw in Le Soir that Maxime Prévot is considering changing the CdH's name as part of rebuilding the party (although no decision has yet been made).

Do you have any idea what the new name could be, or which type of image Prévot wants to give the party?

No but expect something very...French *hint*

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At anyrate CdH probably does have to rebrand at this point, I think the CdH brand is too damaged at this point, the question would be to what and to attract which type of electorate.


How do you think Maxime Prévot compares two his two predecessors, Benoît Lutgen and Joelle Milquet?

The party itself might be centred around Prévot. He's seen as the "gendre idéal" type. The good son-in-law, clean cut, well spoken. He's also definitely more to the Right and more liberal in the economic sense than Lutgen who was from the farmers interest Luxemburgish wing and especially Milquet who was definitely on the left of the party.  

Weirdly I don't think Prévot is perceived as part of the old establishment parties and glued to the PS (remains to be seen with MR) the same way Milquet and to a lesser extent Lutgen were. Thus he can still remodel the party on a personalist line of "vote for me the squeeky clean guy", a sort of Belgian Macron but with obviously much less slime as we are less self-congratulatory as a people, and also less power over his party, because he didn't found it.

So the type of electorate a new cdH could attract in Wallonia are the people who realise tough decisions need to be made both in terms of economy, immigration and justice but still want a minimum of dignity for them to be done in. Prévot provides a pretty good profile for that. I really don't think there's a big constituency for that though, especially as MR must by now have realised putting firebands in communication roles like Georges-Louis Bouchez did not help them.

Brussels electorate is a wierd mix, mainly "establishment" people, people whose kids go to expensive catholic schools and muslim democrats. I don't think they can look beyond that as a party here.


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And when you say that a merger with MR is inevitable, how long do you think it will be until that happens?

I'd give it one maybe two more elections. Including the potential for fresh federal elections. It'll probably be like what the MCC did*, so initially a cartel so that cdH can make the threshold in the constituencies they do poorly in, then a gradual party merger.  

*and don't discount the MCC vetoing a cdH entry into the MR bubble, they have personal grudges since the split too, but Deprez is getting old and he even appears to have made up with Maingain.


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At anyrate it does seem like there isn't much room for the CdH left on the political scene (my understanding is it's basically thanks to Prévot the party did as well as they did in the first place).

I don't think Prévot could do much, but I don't think he is the reason they did "better than expected" (yet still disastrously bad) either.

 They still always overperform because the pollsters always underestimate family voting in Wallonia (so people who litterally dont give a sh**t about politics but vote because mum and dad vote that way, or vote for their pillar).

Nevertheless, their core electorate is dying or in depopulating regions, their pillar organisations are defecting to ECOLO, they have no clear message, just policy, they are in the EPP (despite their efforts to kick him out at the last, the whole Orban controversy did not help them),  the youth wing and the party itself are at odds because they sold themselves as "radical centrists" and that attracts Macronista types to what is fundementally still a christian democratic party.  and they have the most split party in terms of geography (the Brussels branch humiliated Lutgen by not collapsing the Brussels gov)...I could go on.

Basically Prévot strategy of turning it into a personalist machine that tries to "moralise" politics from the centre ground is the best one...but he's no Emmanuel Macron, and France doesn't have to deal with the cesspit of communitarian politics, which Prévot does not have a stance on because, as I said before, most of the francophone political class don't actually think about things like what happens in Flanders. So he will get found out eventually, or merge with MR with some going to ECOLO.

What I predict will happen in the first case is that then a series of celebrity political entrepreneurs will try their hand in cdH with a soppy unionist message as the country delves further into institutional crisis, the prime candidate being one Vincent Kompany as I don't think its a coincidence his dad is a cdH mayor. And then when that fails they will merge with MR with some going to ECOLO.


EDIT : sorry for the long post Tongue bored at work.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #181 on: June 07, 2019, 03:13:05 am »
« Edited: September 12, 2019, 05:33:22 pm by coloniac »

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I heard that some communal branches of CdH changed their name to Mouvement Démocrate (like how in France the rump that stuck with Bayrou in the UDF after 2/3rds of the party including VGE jumped ship to join the UMP in 2002 rebranded to the Mouvement Démocrate in 2007) whille others to Challenge Humaniste +. Would either of those be possible at national level, and if so which would be more plausible? I take it Mouvement Démocrate would appeal more to the type of electorate that Prévot represents, who are also the type of electorate that to a large degree have jumped ship to MR in the last 10, 15, 20 years, while Challenge Humaniste + kind of signals that the party is digging its heels in, something that doesn't sound like would fit a Prévot type party. Any opinion on that?

I wouldn't read too much into name changes at communal level. I made a post about that time about how Walloons treat their communal politics very different to Flemings and Brusseleirs. Its much more local-focused and the big parties, although previously using their communal links to clientelise certain regions to much greater effect, have realised they are better served sometimes re-branding. There's also very strange cross-party alliances at communal level that mean you get some re-branding names.

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That makes sense. Do you think that would be a good thing for non-"leftwing" bourgeois parties?

To unite? I'm not so sure what you mean?

I don't thinks its a good thing personally because I still think a lot of people in MR value a semblance of secularism in their ranks, even though they now discretely support catholic education. cdH joining in exchange for catholic pillar defence? If I were MR and actually valued my liberal identity, no thanks. Thankfully there is Défi that is now actively promoting laïcisme, but without them it would mean no more voice for those of us who want to see a strict seperation of church and state and an end to our stupid "neutrality" stance and massive overfunding of religious ASBLs and education. I still think its important to have that voice in the democratic debate even if its a non-issue these days IMO.    

Electorally it would be insignificant. Remember MR is also a merger that was supposed to overturn PS hegemony by uniting the Right. It has electorally, in the long term, been an abject failure. cdH are better served re-attracted social christians back to their wing when ECOLO inevitably displays incompetence due to lack of personnel than allying with a broad right. But cdH are facing an existential crisis.


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(...), but I think the former all ran to MR because CdH was trying to become a PS light, which I don't think appealed to bourgeois catholics.

Its this but the real cause of this is the 2000-2010s (especially late 2000s after Purple) being heavily polarised between right and left in Wallonia. The class cleavage is especially strong so as a cross-class party cdH struggles. I honestly think cdH could have become "MR-light" instead of "PS-lite" and still struggled because there just wasn't a clear centrist message to be had.


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And why don't francophones seem to care about what happens in Flanders, whether it be the political class or the voters? It seems to me it has a very clear effect on Wallonia, even if albeit indirectly.

(again this is my personal perspective)

Same reason why the region itself is stagnant : complacency, kakomomics, and in fairness a sense of helplessness. Francophones are, institutionally at least, in a position of strength relative to their population too. And because there is zero federal constituency left, and thus zero electoral debate at the federal level, voters in Wallonia themselves vote according the regional issue salience and don't actually think how their northern neighbours will vote. These past two election some in Flanders do because you have a clear, albeit small, pattern of people who vote CD&V and VLD regionally but N-VA federally or have switched to NVA because they know N-VA will veto the PS. I don't think the Walloons vote PS do it to keep the N-VA out. I think they are just not too bothered about it as much.

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Zinneke
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« Reply #182 on: June 10, 2019, 10:49:33 am »
« Edited: June 10, 2019, 01:14:29 pm by coloniac »

Any updates on coalition-building here?

Mostly regional coalition are being formed with only an eye on the Federal. THere are a lot of headaches at regional level compared to last time, mainly because of the rise of the extremes and the weakening of the christian democrat parties (who usually are good value for a majority). THere's a big debate in Flanders and internally in the N-VA as to whether they should let VB govern to expose them as rank amateurs. Francken and his wing are obviously in favour while the moderate Bracke in his retirement interview (he is leaving N-VA and politics for good) says the divergences between VB and the majority of N-VAers are too big.

The King appointed Didier Reynders and Johan Vande Lanotte as "informateurs" to investigate possible federal configuration. They submitted a report ruling out VB and PTB-PVDA. They also stressed a protracted breaking of our no government record is not feasible given the incumbent government does not have a majority, so its entirely possible we head to new elections sooner rather than later and the debate is centered on the institutional make up of the country.

The problem is that regional legislatures are fixed term parliaments and if there are new federal elections on the horizon its going to be difficult to maintain majorities until those are done. And yet at the same time to negotiate on federal you're better off mirroring regional.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #183 on: June 11, 2019, 02:11:06 pm »

Talks between PS and PTB break down at Walloon level.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #184 on: June 15, 2019, 03:45:35 pm »

npdata.be has some great maps about the evolution of the vote from 2014-2019 :


http://www.npdata.be/BuG/426-Uitslagen/
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Zinneke
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« Reply #185 on: June 21, 2019, 01:49:20 am »
« Edited: June 21, 2019, 01:54:03 am by coloniac »

Talks between PS and PTB break down at Walloon level.

From what I understood, PTB is still PS's preferred coalition partner, even though talks had previously broken down, is that correct?

It's a very complicated relationship and situation in general. A lot of insiders are saying they both just put on a show but the relative speed at which the talks broke down showed that both PS and PTB have absolutely no intention of governing together, and the PS-ECOLO partnership that thought they had a majority in the bag with a pre-electoral pact are now just showing voters that they started negotiating from the Left, and tried everything after, including ECOLO's weird idea of a "civil society" government instead of MR, supported by cdH.

FOr the PS there are undoubtedly a lot of militants who would much rather prefer PTB to MR but the party top brass (which, again, I must stress is quite heterogeneous in views, and geographical interests) dislike PTB and Hedebouw a lot.

PTB are a resolutely testimonial party and have proved that once again. They will not enter power even if its to lead Portuguese-style social democratic/eurocommunist program. They are, in many ways, one of the last authentic Marxist-Leninist parties in Western Europe still performing, mainly because most of their own members don't even know this. Their main strength and attraction though is that their party activities are by no means restricted to electoral politics.


Don't hold your breath that's for sure. Already the regional coalitions might take longer than it took to form the federal one last time round. But at the same time there is probably going to be what PS leader Magnette called a stop-gap government at federal level to find a budget and then the calling of new elections in about a year or so that will be fought on institutional devolvement of powers. The problem is no one on the Flemish right will want to blink first and yet at the same time they don't want to be held responsible for the country's credit rating falling like last time out.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #186 on: June 28, 2019, 11:32:05 am »

Just an update on this process :

In Wallonia, ECOLO and PS are trying to steamroll forward with a ridiculous "poppy" coalition : Red, Green and Black, not for black shirts but for civil society. Basically they are attempting a minority government because they don't want to negotiate MR (which they will have to do on the federal level anyway). Its likely to fail but they need to signal to their electorates that they "had no choice" when they accepted the liberals.

In Brussels, Open VLD have put the breaks on talks about renewing the previous coalition + Greens and minus the Christian Democrats? Why? Party orders from Mother Flanders who want MR in the coalition, but also really want to signal to their electorate they are a right-wing party.

In Flanders, N-VA and VB are still talking, because apparently prospective governments without majorities are definitely a new fad in this country. they are probably negotiating the eventuality of achieving a majority one day and how to push through confederalism/independence with that mandate. N-VA will most likely renew with CD&V and VLD though eventually.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #187 on: July 02, 2019, 01:31:46 pm »

Michel leaving for Council President at EU

Taking a leaf out of the Leterme/Van Rompuy book and getting out while he still can,
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Zinneke
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« Reply #188 on: July 18, 2019, 09:38:50 am »

Some updates :

In Wallonia, PS-ECOLO tried a minority government with civil society actors called the "Poppy" coalition, hoping to court the small cdH delegation who only ruled out taking ministries, not supporting a government. Maxime Prevot rejected it as undemocratic and was subsequently harshly criticized by the ECOLO leadership desperate to court his remaining votes. Now that means PS and ECOLO can only look towards MR, and they both sent out almost apologetic emails to their electors blaming PTB and cdH for unreasonable stances forcing them into MR hands.

In Brussels the expected government of PS-ECOLO-DEFI-Groen-sp.a-VLD has been announced but not without controversy. With the Walloon MR coming back into play down south, their secretariat tried to force their hand into the Brussels government formation talks, and working with the Flemish Open VLD, tried to put a stop to the latter's Brussels branch from forming a government. Only problem? The two doyens of Brussels VLD, Vanhengel and Gatz, know that they are in a position of weakness and also have little time for VLD president Gwendoline Rutten. So they went ahead with the deal anyway, which has cause a pretty severe split in the party and between Flemish gov and their BXL representation (Gatz will not be named as Flemish Minister and sit on the Flemish cabinet meetings which is tradition for Flemish Brussels ministers. In ECOLO too Khattabi has resigned her presidency because the candidates she proposed to their portfolios were rejected by ECOLO's Brussels GA. New Presidency stakes at ECOLO are expected for end of August. Khattabi and Nollet have been widely criticized internally for their leadership, but the latter wishes to stay on and needs to find a female Brusselite. Rudi Vervoort will stay on as Minister-President.

No real change in Flanders. Pieter De Crem (CD&V) came out and said his party should abandon the Catholic pillar in favour of the "People's party'' approach of VVD or CDA before them in the North. He is running for their leadership after Beke resigned. That would really be the end of their party though.

At the Federal level there are discussions to see who is PM. It will either be from Christian Democrat family or Liberal family, although Jambon put his name forward as he seems to think VB might vote him in. After 2 Walloons it will almost certainly be a Fleming now, and Reynders (who got done 3 times by Michel in his career no less) will settle for a Commission portfolio. We have not had a Brusseleir PM for years though. hmmm....
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Zinneke
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« Reply #189 on: July 22, 2019, 10:17:00 am »

It seems like every single party leader bar cdH, PTB and VB will step down at some point.


sp.a : Combrez is touted to at least re-run but he'll be up again "Red Lion" (a Flemish social nationalist) and Vilvoorde mayor Hans Bonte at the very least. 
PS : Di Rupo is facing challenge on his left from Magnette, who insists on not negotiating with NVA.
NVA : De Wever is under a lot of pressure from the Right of his party.
VLD : Rutten is not even in control of all of her party and will likely lose out to Van Quickenborne or De Croo jr. (hopefully the latter even if I hate nepotism in Belgian politics)
CD&V : see David´s post about De Crem. Beke has already stepped down and will likely be replaced by someone on the right of the party.
MR : with Michel gone, one would say the road is clear for Reynders but I think both are ok with a new challenger.
Défi : Maingain is stepping down. Someone from the Clerfayt camp will likely take over.
ECOLO : Khattabi has stepped down.
Groen : A lot of criticism aimed at their duo (Almaci-Calvo) for their polarising campaign too. One will likely take a step back. 


Looks like the traditional parties want to radicalise while the Greens want a more professional approach. Interesting...
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Zinneke
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« Reply #190 on: July 30, 2019, 02:21:35 am »

ECOLO refused to attend a round table of all the "non-extreme" parties with more than a couple of seats, organised by the informateurs because of their refusal to associate themselves with the N-VA. Even PS went despite still commiting to no government with N-VA. ECOLO are getting a lot of flak as a result. Their leadership has honestly been shocking considering how issue salience fell right into their lap with the climate protests.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #191 on: August 13, 2019, 02:16:41 am »
« Edited: August 13, 2019, 02:22:54 am by coloniac »

N-VA, CD&V and Open VLD have re-formed a centre-right government in Flanders Region. Policy-wise its same as last  term (similar to Brussels, a bit of a re-hash). But the big surprise is Jan Jambon, who wanted to be PM, will be Minister-President and not De Wever, who stood at the regional level for the purpose, and declared it his dream.  
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Zinneke
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« Reply #192 on: August 17, 2019, 06:55:15 pm »
« Edited: August 17, 2019, 07:00:58 pm by coloniac »

Seriously, it's just because of the black claws that they call it a collaboration flag? That's just ridiculous. I thought it would be a black flag with a yellow lion on it or so.

Anyway, this is what happens when festival organizers live in a cosmopolitan bubble and think inviting someone like Anuna is completely uncontroversial because "the youth are all Greens", whereas a festival like Pukkelpop is a microcosm of Belgium in terms of political adherance and most people just don't want politics to be shoved into their faces when enjoying a concert.

Perfectly timed "fophefje" for the N-VA, considering that they received a ton of criticism for sidelining VB and forming a coalition with Open VLD and CD&V.

Pukkelpop is a private festival. Their house, their rules. Go form your own Nazi-apologist festival, some already exist even where I would not be allowed to fly antifa flags, but I'm sure an LGBT jew would be welcome there too and not harrassed like Anuna...  

The "squared" VB Flemish flag has always been associated with...VB and Collaboration. The Strijdvlag is another matter. Sure there's not much difference but VB know exactly what they are doing trying to normalise their own flag and equate it with the Flemish Movements one.
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« Reply #193 on: August 18, 2019, 12:34:35 am »


Pukkelpop is a private festival. Their house, their rules.
Where do I argue they shouldn't be allowed to ban people from waving these flags? That's right - nowhere. It's their right. However, that doesn't make it morally justified to ban them. Especially not if they didn't announce this policy beforehand (and I think this is where legal issues would enter the picture too, since I doubt banning Flemish flags is part of the "small letters...").

What are you going to do? Write a book about your woeful injustice at not being able to fly a provocative flag that for many people (including many jewish community members) is associated with collaboration...all because it didnt say so in the fine print? Get real. Them banning the flags makes perfect sense, just like they would probably ban antifa flags at this stage. Its a question of public order, not indulging types like you in their massive inferiority complex about being a neo-neo-fascist.

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As for the legal/moral question, here's your state press:

Using Henrik Vuye (ex-NVA but left because they were't flamingant enough) as an objective source? With his sh**tty whataboutism? You realise Belgium and its state had a government in exile that opposed occupation, while most of the Flemish Movement openly collaborated? The Flamingant narrative that anything Flanders did bad, the Belgian state did worst is just sh**tty nationalist-driven propganda, with no basis in history. Its like the people who say FDF is the equivalent of VB in Francophonia, just because they need to justify VB's existence and insane scores for an openly neo-fascist party. Flanders is always innocent right?


But sure man, if you want to advocate the right of Flamingants to celebrate SS collaborators openly, I'm sorry to say there is no injustice, we've been letting them do it for years. But don't say that they can't assume the social consequences of their actions either. And that includes private entities like Pukkelpop banning them for whatever reason they want. That's the moral and legal aspect here. Nobody is banning them from right of assembly or expression, just from causing sh**tstorms at festivals and assaulting women.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #194 on: August 19, 2019, 01:07:08 am »
« Edited: August 19, 2019, 01:10:15 am by coloniac »

I'm talking specifically about S&V's act of distributing that flag. Its not the national flag, its a political one. There is a constitutional flag and then there are flags that are deemed not so. Its the equivalent of handing out Spanish flag from the Franco era.
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« Reply #195 on: August 25, 2019, 07:46:10 am »

The government has designated Didier Reynders (MR) as candidate for Commissioner, despite the government not commanding a majority in parliament. This has created a storm especially in the Walloon Left, as they all say that its ridiculous that Michel and Reynders are both given top jobs when MR "lost" the elections, and that the nomination is unconstitutional anyway. They are trying to call back federal parliament to block his nomination. He has N-VA support but if VB vote against him with the Walloon Left (lol) he's toast.

Reynders can't catch a break.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #196 on: September 09, 2019, 02:26:50 pm »

Di Rupo announced an agreement on a Walloon government of MR, PS, and Ecolo.

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Zinneke
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« Reply #197 on: September 09, 2019, 04:03:56 pm »
« Edited: September 09, 2019, 04:20:31 pm by coloniac »

Di Rupo announced an agreement on a Walloon government of MR, PS, and Ecolo.



Does this mean that a similar coalition can be formed on the federal level?

Short answer is yes, although they still fall one or two seats short but Défi and maybe CD&V would back them in, the latter needing a big portfolio.

Long answer is that it would require Open VLD to backtrack on their commitment to upholding a Flemish majority on the Federal level. They are in the midst of internal strife so no one in Open VLD has an incentive of backing any federal agreement.

There is still the idea touted of having to replicate Antwerp's coalition (Yellow-Red-Blue) if only to pass a budget and/or re-voting.

I think its a given that this one is going to be formed after long long drama and negotiations.
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« Reply #198 on: September 18, 2019, 06:00:05 pm »
« Edited: September 19, 2019, 01:32:54 am by coloniac »

ECOLO have reconducted Jean-Marc Nollet as their co-president alongside newcomer from Molenbeek Rajae Maouane, who replaces Zakia Khattabi. Not much of a contest. Plus ça change...

MR also have a presidency vacancy after Michel and Reynders left for Europe. Reynders has parliament support but is facing a corruption allegation from a secret service officer in his hearing. He likely has enough political capital to get away with it though. Anyway, the party itself is set for radical change now that these two are gone. The new Walloon ministers have pledged not to stand so that takes out outgoing Walloon Minister-President Willy Borsus. For the moment it looks like it will be between Sophie Wilmès, who is very technocratic and on the more left side of the party, and Denis Ducarme who is quite a hard right figure by MR's standards. They have kind of soiled themselves tying their mast to PS, their old frenemy, and ECOLO, who they spent the entire campaign criticising, to lead a hard right campaign again though. Interesting time for the Walloon Right for sure.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #199 on: September 24, 2019, 12:16:07 pm »
« Edited: September 25, 2019, 03:15:54 am by coloniac »

I actually have a somewhat random question, because Spotify in it's wisdom, decided to play me the club song of KAS Eupen the other day - I realised that there are actually some German speaking people in Belgium.

Meaning, what generally is their relation with the rest of Wallonia/Belgium? Do they feel like they are part of Wallonia, or like an ignored minority? Is there any irredentist sentiment with Germany hanging around?

You are teaching me something - that KASE have vocal supporters amongst their hardcore and not the usual hools imported from Aachen/Parkstad Limburg.

To add to urutzizu's excellent reply, they are mainly concerned about :

1/ preserving their MEP, which as far as I can tell is the one who needs the least votes to get elected outside of Malta
2/ preserve their influence in the RhineMaas EuroRegion, which acts as a massive economic boon for them as a way to link Flemish, Walloon and NRW business.
3/ in the long term, becoming a region on their own known as OstBelgien inside a Belgian (con)federal model. ProDG, the largest party, mainly asks this. They ask for regional powers because they think they can do a Luxemburg and become a tax haven if that happens, but also because they do not feel Walloon, as evidenced by the row they had with cdH leader Maxime Prévot when he did call them Walloons - although the Walloon perspective is that their regionalism is opportunistic rather than a sense of non-kinship.

The francophones there feel more Liègeois, and the Germanophones can vary a lot (inc. far right German nationalists, who frequent KASE with Roda JC and Alemannia far right hools as alluded above) but in general just don't identify with Wallonia.

The northern German speakers are essentially Limburgers whose original dialect is very similar to Parkstad/Aachen but got caught out by the linguistic border and the southern ones are associated with Luxemburgers because their dialect is more franconian. Like Belgium itself really the Germanophone identity take pride in that they are a bit of a historical anomaly and are some of the more patriotic ones (i.e against the split of Belgium) while paradoxically not liking the idea of reduced autonomy and encouraging "neo-sovereignty" through mechanisms like the EuroRegion.  

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