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  Belgian Politics & Elections: Federal Election May 26, 2019
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Feel The Bern
Lakigigar
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« Reply #225 on: October 17, 2018, 09:18:56 am »

I think there is a lot of difference between "nationalists" in general and S&V. I also disagree with the "whataboutism" of the right-wing. What S&V did is wrong. I'm quite sure they didn't plan terrorist attacks, but the core of that group was at least radicalized, DVL is a dangerous demagogue who isn't the person as he project to the outside world he is. I don't think we should minimize (or even legitimate) the danger of people who like to be as edgy as it could get. They said theirselves they wanted to do meta-politics, infriltrating in key organizations or moderate right-wing movements in order to shift the public opinion to the right and create an environment where populist demagogues like DVL would thrive in. It's been said black-on-white on those private chat groups by them. But they got caught, and it unveiled a danger that is still present today (or even more now than before), because there has been a clear rise by populist movements (like Trump), identitarian groups. Of course, partly because the establishment have failed to provide the people what they need, and are ignorant to some problems we face right now.
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« Reply #226 on: October 20, 2018, 10:35:18 am »

Patrick Dupriez has resigned as ECOLO co-president despite their good results. Looks like the way is opening for new Ixelles mayor Doulkeridis. Although him not being from Wallonia might be a setback, and ECOLO will want to push forward a charismatic figure there to rival Hedebouw and Magnette in debates for the next election.
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« Reply #227 on: October 23, 2018, 05:45:49 am »
« Edited: October 24, 2018, 05:10:32 am by coloniac »

I'd thought I'd do a little tour of Brussels and the results here. Sources are mostly the excellent coverage at Bruzz and some academic docs from CAIRN. The general trend of the region was a significant swing to the left parties, mostly because of MR's inability to disassociate themselves with the Federal coalition and the N-VA at the doorstep, leading to their rout (only Uccle and Etterbeek have MR mayors, and Uccle they need support from the Greens). And MR also are associated with the pro-car policy. ECOLO were the big "winners", followed by PTB. Défi stopped dead in its tracks. N-VA underperformed compared to their polls, being only really present in more Flemish districts. In general, it was a bad night for the Flemish parties (outside of Groen)

Brussels-City



In Brussels-City, the incumbent PS figure Philippe Close is set to remain mayor, seemingly surviving the SamuSocial scandal by conducting a low profile (especially compared to his predecessor Yvan Mayeur) campaign. He will form a majority with big winners ECOLO, change.brussels (an sp.a "open" list that was dissident against the PS led by an ex-councillor who resigned in protest at SamuSocial) The real loser was MR and Alain Courtois, whose management of the national stadium supposed to be built at the Parking C of Heizel led to national embarrassement. PS and Ecolo have since invited Défi into their protracted majority in what could be a test drive of the next Brussels regional government.    

Schaerbeek



In Schaerbeek, Defi Mayor Bernard Clerfayt and his "Mayor's List" had already announced he would renew a coalition with ECOLO-groen (they had a pre-electoral accord) and ditch cdH from his majority. ECOLO-groen followed up the promise by winning an extra 10% off their main rivals in Schaebeek, the PS. The latter had totally lost its way following the resignation of Brussels (and Lasne) strongwoman Laurette Onkelinkx and led a miserable campaign. Brussels' second largest (and often forgotten) commune was first under the leadership of far right FDF then FN populist Roger Nols until he resigned (after he reportedly didn't want his wife to succeed him having found her engaged in a threesome with two police officers, while in presence of the chief commissioner and two aldermen). Thanks to demographics (Schaerbeek has a sizeable Balkan and Turk diaspora) the PS conquered Schaerbeek back, but when they lost their majority in 2006 ECOLO and cdH ditched them for Clerfayt, who rebuilt the image of the FDF in the commune as a party capable of intercultural dialogue coupled with serious policies. But its mainly Clerfayt's personal popularity with the middle class suburbs heading towards Evere that also plays a major role here.

Anderlecht



In Anderlecht, there was a strange pre-electoral "agreement" that wasn't between the PS and the MR going into the election, with the real fight being who becomes mayor, PS's Eric Thomas or MR's Gaeten van Goidsenhoven. The latter won the more preference votes, but the former will remain mayor after Ecolo-Groen agreed with the PS-spa to oust MR from the majority. Along with cdh (who are part of the PS list here) and Défi (who ran a half-serious campaign with the landlady of Anderlecht’s supporters club), Thomas has enough political capital to do withoiut the liberals. N-VA lost their second seat here, a major blow when you consider the reputation of some far right parts of Anderlecht and their football team.

Molenbeek



The results in Molenbeek saw the return of the Moureaux family and the PS as potential leaders of the commune, at the expense of the MR and Francoise Schepmans. Schepmans had won a shock result in 2012 due to the sheer negligence exposed of Phillippe Moureaux in his clientelism with certain islamist “ASBL” (NGOs) and severely indebting the commune. Moureaux used to be anti-immigration in the 1980s, intially seizing power through a strong connection with working class white factory workers from the Osseghem districts, with Molenbeek being dubbed “little Manchester”. As demographics evolved and terrassed housing shot up in value, causing white flight with it, Moureaux centred on providing social housing the ASBL and setting up clientlist networks accross the inner city part of the commune with newcomers, becoming a figure of the hard left of the PS at the regional level. Schepmans overturned his grip in large part thanks to the Western part of Molenbeek (which is high income) and ECOLO breaking down. Now Moureaux’s daughter, Catherine, has reconquered what should be bread and butter for the PS. Indeed, pictures of her being hoisted up by the local Morroccan community with a rose leaders led to N-VA’s Theo Francken wondering “where the women were”.

Ixelles

Ixelles had the biggest “shock” of the night with Dominique Dufourny losing her Mayor’s Scarf to ECOLO’s Doulderikis. I say shock, Ixelles is 50-50 Belgian/Immigrant commune with a bizarre mix of the Congolese district Matongé (although Dufourny is quite popular with the small business owning diaspora there), the European yuppies and low level fonctionnaires, hipster central Flagey, parts near Avenue Louise (which is a chique district, but the street Avenue Louise itself is in Brussels-city, standard Brussels surrealism) and a residential enclave west with Molière street full of hot shot lawyers and embassies. The emphasis on small enterprise as the lifeblood of the Ixelles economy meant that MR were actually slightly favoured here, but Dufourny’s management of the car circulation plans (especially around Porte de namur) and her strict rules of noise pollution at night in Flagey (to name but two issues)  made her unpopular with an increasingly young demographic and ECOLO controlled these agendas perfectly.

  
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« Reply #228 on: October 23, 2018, 08:16:40 am »

I'd thought I'd do a little tour of Brussels and the results here. Sources are mostly the excellent coverage at Bruzz and some academic docs from CAIRN. The general trend of the region was a significant swing to the left parties, mostly because of MR's inability to disassociate themselves with the Federal coalition and the N-VA at the doorstep, leading to their rout (only Uccle and Etterbeek have MR mayors, and Uccle they need support from the Greens). And MR also are associated with the pro-car policy. ECOLO were the big "winners", followed by PTB. Défi stopped dead in its tracks. N-VA underperformed compared to their polls, being only really present in more Flemish districts. In general, it was a bad night for the Flemish parties (outside of Groen)

Brussels-City



In Brussels-City, the incumbent PS figure Philippe Close is set to remain mayor, seemingly surviving the SamuSocial scandal by conducting a low profile (especially compared to his predecessor Yvan Mayeur) campaign. He will form a majority with big winners ECOLO, change.brussels (an sp.a "open" list that was dissident against the PS led by an ex-councillor who resigned in protest at SamuSocial) The real loser was MR and Alain Courtois, whose management of the national stadium supposed to be built at the Parking C of Heizel led to national embarrassement. PS and Ecolo have since invited Défi into their protracted majority in what could be a test drive of the next Brussels regional government.    

Schaerbeek



In Schaerbeek, Defi Mayor Bernard Clerfayt and his "Mayor's List" had already announced he would renew a coalition with ECOLO-groen (they had a pre-electoral accord) and ditch cdH from his majority. ECOLO-groen followed up the promise by winning an extra 10% off their main rivals in Schaebeek, the PS. The latter had totally lost its way following the resignation of Brussels (and Lasne) strongwoman Laurette Onkelinkx and led a miserable campaign. Brussels' second largest (and often forgotten) commune was first under the leadership of far right FDF then FN populist Roger Nols until he resigned (after he reportedly didn't want his wife to succeed him having found her engaged in a threesome with two police officers, while in presence of the chief commissioner and two aldermen). Thanks to demographics (Schaerbeek has a sizeable Balkan and Turk diaspora) the PS conquered Schaerbeek back, but when they lost their majority in 2006 ECOLO and cdH ditched them for Clerfayt, who rebuilt the image of the FDF in the commune as a party capable of intercultural dialogue coupled with serious policies. But its mainly Clerfayt's personal popularity with the middle class suburbs heading towards Evere that also plays a major role here.

Anderlecht



In Anderlecht, there was a strange pre-electoral "agreement" that wasn't between the PS and the MR going into the election, with the real fight being who becomes mayor, PS's Eric Thomas or MR's Gaeten van Goidsenhoven. The latter won the more preference votes, but the former will remain mayor after Ecolo-Groen agreed with the PS-spa to oust MR from the majority. Along with cdh (who are part of the PS list here) and Défi (who ran a half-serious campaign with the landlady of Anderlecht’s supporters club), Thomas has enough political capital to do withoiut the liberals. N-VA lost their second seat here, a major blow when you consider the reputation of some far right parts of Anderlecht and their football team.

Molenbeek



The results in Molenbeek saw the return of the Moureaux family and the PS as potential leaders of the commune, at the expense of the MR and Francoise Schepmans. Schepmans had won a shock result in 2012 due to the sheer negligence exposed of Phillippe Moureaux in his clientelism with certain islamist “ASBL” (NGOs) and severely indebting the commune. Moureaux used to be anti-immigration in the 1980s, intially seizing power through a strong connection with working class white factory workers from the Osseghem districts, with Molenbeek being dubbed “little Manchester”. As demographics evolved and terrassed housing shot up in value, causing white flight with it, Moureaux centred on providing social housing the ASBL and setting up clientlist networks accross the inner city part of the commune with newcomers, becoming a figure of the hard left of the PS at the regional level. Schepmans overturned his grip in large part thanks to the Western part of Molenbeek (which is high income) and ECOLO breaking down. Now Moureaux’s daughter, Catherine, has reconquered what should be bread and butter for the PS. Indeed, pictures of her being hoisted up by the local Morroccan community with a rose leaders led to N-VA’s Theo Francken wondering “where the women were”.

Ixelles

Ixelles had the biggest “shock” of the night with Dominique Dufourny losing her Mayor’s Scarf to ECOLO’s Doulderikis. I say shock, Ixelles is 50-50 Belgian/Immigrant commune with a bizarre mix of the Congolese district Matongé (although Dufourny is quite popular with the Congolese diaspora there), the European yuppies and low level fonctionnaires, hipster central Flagey, parts near Avenue Louise (which is a chique district, but the street Avenue Louise itself is in Brussels-city, standard Brussels surrealism) and a residential enclave west with Molière street full of hot shot lawyers and embassies. The emphasis on small enterprise as the lifeblood of the Ixelles economy meant that MR were actually slightly favoured here, but Dufourny’s management of the car circulation plans (especially around Porte de namur) and her strict rules of noise pollution at night in Flagey (to name but two issues)  made her unpopular with an increasingly young demographic and ECOLO controlled these agendas perfectly.

  


Wait wait wait...

So the ruling party got 3% in the local elections?

That's very interesting.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #229 on: October 23, 2018, 08:37:55 am »
« Edited: October 23, 2018, 08:41:15 am by coloniac »

This is Brussels. Flemish parties barely hit 5%. In local elections they do even worse because they don't have the college vote effect that makes a vote for them worth more than for a francophone party at regional level.  
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Zinneke
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« Reply #230 on: October 23, 2018, 09:07:00 am »

Uccle



Uccle saw the MR majority it had held for years flounder for the first time. Boris Dilles will keep the mayor’s scarf but only thanks to cdH and ECOLO help. Uccle is most famous in Brussels for being a French expat haven, that is almost a village inside the city due to its total isolation from most means of public transport. Its reputation as a superrich district is only partly true though : district nearer to Ixelles and especially Forest are home to terraced housing and even council housing in the latter case. MR lost due to the previous mayor’s Armand Dedecker Kazakhgate scandal  also due to a dissident liberal list called Uccle en Avant, and has generally suffered from factionalism in the past. PS also lost big time.

Forest



In Forest, ECOLO also stunned the local PS in a commune known as being an extension of Saint-Gilles and their mayor Charles Picqué’s sphere of influence. He owned the local football team (Union Saint-Gilles...yeah) and the place is home to sizeable Hispanic diasporas with cultural left-wing ties, and an increasing young Eurocrat type demographic. It still also has Forest-Est as one of the most “troubled” Brussels districts, which is bread and butter for PS and PTB. Note the presence of the Audi factory, which is actually a point of contention by many in the commune itself as something like 95% of the employees there live outside of the commune

Woluwe-St-Lambert



Woluwe-Saint-Lambert was a procession for Défi’s lider maximo Olivier Maingain. He’s been running this commune for years effectively, draws a lot of his support here by lobbying for their interests at all levels of power and he will renew his "charity" coalition with a weakened cdH-CD&V list.


Saint-Gilles



Saint-Gilles was slighlty less of a procession for former PS heavyweight and Minister-President Charles Picqué. being the alternative left-liberal district par exellence, ECOLO and especially PTB made gains against Picqué’s PS-MR mayor’s list. He can choose now between renewing the PS-MR coalition or opting for ECOLO-groen, and looks set to do the latter. Given MR are the biggest losers it makes sense.

Jette



Jette is a small commune in the upper north of Brussels where nothing much happens. Their relationship with the Ring and its congestion, economy, etc. tends to dominate the debate there, but Hervé Doyen has built a successful career representing their interests at a Brussels regional level and as a result is reconducted with a 9% increase in his vote. PS are the big losers with -8%.

Etterbeek



Etterbeek saw Vincent de Wolf, long time “strong”man of Brussels MR and ally (stooge) of Charles Michel, maintain his mayorality due to the sizeable high income professionals (including European district) that tend to back MR, as well as a certain savinness De Wolf has in matters of ecology and urban planning. Ecolo made progress highly linked to Co-President Khattabi’s personal popularity in the Germoir/Trone and student districts of Etterbeek. But this result strengthens De Wolf against his internal rival Didier Reynders who neglected the Brussels-wide campaign.
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« Reply #231 on: October 24, 2018, 05:08:22 am »

Woluwe-Saint-Pierre



Woluwe-St-Pierre is the domain of Brussels baron Benoit Cerexhe, who just so happens to be cdH. This is the only reason they do remotely well here. He lost his majority last election but managed to hang on thanks ECOLO and Défi support. This time though he held off the MR assault thanks to their shocking performance. Woluwe-St-Pierre is in between European inner city and American style suburb, sort of what Londoners call a village. Professional class workers and some embassies scattered  around here.

Evere



Evere is another strange commune that doesn’t quite pass off as a suburb in its centre, but still resembles a London-style village in some parts, but much poorer than the neighbouring Woluwes. Its also home to a host of Multinational headquarters in its industrial park, and PS Minister-President Rudi Vervoort. No chance then this time round of his electorate abandoning his potential influence as the Minister-President of the Region, but Evere could become the “new Schaerbeek” as Brussels expands, causing potential problems for his hold here.

Auderghem



Auderghem is the entry point into Southern Brussels via the E411, and its massive viaduc Hermann-Debroux is an eyesore that the people want rid of in what would otherwise be considered a nice commune. Here Didier Gosuin of Défi is the King, having conquered an absolute majority on several occasions (seeing off multiple high profile challengers over the years). Cracks are starting to show in the Gosuin empire though : his list lost 11% and this was one of the few communes MR progressed in. Nevertheless, like his counterparts Clerfayt and Maingain, he’s still the undisputed Baron of the commune due to their ability to work the regional structures for their communes, balance budgets, reduce communal taxes and “get” urban issues (unlike MR) He will reconduct an alliance with ECOLO-groen despite not even needing them. Worth also noting that the N-VA’s decision to run here cost the only Flemish alderman - who worked closely with Gosuin of all people - to lose their seat,. As the most Francophone commune of the Brussels, this is a self-inflicted blow for the Flemish movement.

Saint-Josse



Saint-Josse is, unlike Auderghem, as inner city as it gets, with the smallest area of the communes, and lodged outside the old city walls. Its known as a Turkish/Balkan district, its  and its cramped housing and prostitution industry. The Turkish community has ensured that Emir Kir has stayed in power, a man known by some fellow PS officials as “the extreme-right socialist”. His refusal to honour the Armenian Genocide commemoration in the Federal parliament earned him a Turkish nationalist reputation. With allegations of Grey Wolves in both his and ECOLO’s (lower) ranks, this commune’s election quickly turned into a referendum on Emir Kir’s inferiority identity complex. ECOLO-groen’s support comes from Flemish yuppies (very near Flemish parliament, and Groen do well here in Federals), European young workers and actually every right to left-wing person who wants Kir gone.

Watermael-Boitsfort




Watermael-Boitsfort was the subject of much drama last election. The Payfa family had dominated here for years, and the latest incarnation, Martine, thought she was a dead cert for mayor after then ECOLO president Olivier Deleuze failed to beat her preference vote. But he managed to end her 18 year reign via a sensational electoral night alliance with cdH and MR. This year was a much more laid back affair, with Deleuze confident of re-election and touting an alliance with his old Defi foe anyway. It turned into a sour night for the retiring Payfa, who saw Deleuze climb 11% in one of Brussels richest communes (bar a couple of council estates).

Berchem-Sainte-Agathe




Berchem-Sainte--Agathe in another North-western suburb where the Christian pillar traditionally does well due to their traditional implantation there. Joel Riguelles should hold on to his mayorality despite significant loss switching from VLD+MR to PS-sp.a and Ecolo-Groen. THis may also be the only commune where both PS and MR actually beat their previous scores.

Ganshoren



Ganshoren, saw a bizzarre election where the two main contenders had already a pre-elecotral accord, and it was just a case of seeing who got the Mayor’s scarf. It turned out to be Pierre Kompany, the father of footballer Vincent Kompany, becoming the first Black African mayor of Belgium. He led a cdH-CD&V list that usually ensures decent results at all levels (high density of catholic educated in this corner of Brussels).

Koekelberg



Koekelberg is Brussels smallest district, essentially comprising of the namesake Catherdral (now turned into a cabaret and potentially a gym) and its surroundings but it was witnessed a minor revolution in a loss for long time MR mayor Phillippe Pivin, paving the way for Ahmed Laaouej to take the mayorship and consolidate his position as designated head of the Brussels PS after Onkelinkx’s departure.
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« Reply #232 on: October 30, 2018, 04:20:09 pm »

It seems the PS are really trying to use the post-local election negotiations in major communes to attack PTB...First in Charleroi where Magnette opened discussions but is now reluctant saying PTB need to remember who the largest party is. And now surprisingly in Molenbeek, where Catherine Moureaux, whose father was renowned as being on the left of the left of the PS, has decided to end negotiations with them and opt for a coalition with old rival Francoise Schepmans, opting for a stable coalition rather than a protracted 4 party one. Its unclear what capacity Schepmans will take, but it will be an unpopular move in both party headquarters.

The more broad implication is that the PS and PTB are not as compatible as previously thought. And PS are trying to emphasise that PTB are incapable of government, while PTB claim PS is a party machinery with pre-electoral schemes. 
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Feel The Bern
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« Reply #233 on: October 31, 2018, 10:37:54 am »

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

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

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« Reply #234 on: November 07, 2018, 07:27:16 am »

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

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



Very true. I still think the PS's strategy of ditching PTB for MR is more risky in places like Liège, Molenbeek, etc where the local PS branches are (culturally at least) hard left. That they do it in Wavre doesn't really matter. But if they actually go for the Purple coalition in the long run instead of the Progressive coalition...big mistake for both PS and MR.
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Feel The Bern
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« Reply #235 on: November 10, 2018, 09:45:43 am »

The far-left get into power in the Flemish commune of Zelzate.
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« Reply #236 on: November 20, 2018, 07:35:57 am »

Looks like sp.a are continuing on their slow path to utter irrelevance by entering a potential coalition with N-VA in Antwerp.
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Feel The Bern
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« Reply #237 on: November 20, 2018, 07:52:07 am »

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

I don't understand why they are doing this. They don't seem to get it. It won't be long before we don't even have a social democratic party anymore.
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« Reply #238 on: November 21, 2018, 03:02:12 am »
« Edited: November 21, 2018, 03:19:24 am by coloniac »

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

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

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

But Antwerp is a low gains, high publicity level of power that sp.a doesn't need to get involved in with now. For all De Wever's rhetoric he has very little influence as mayor over the subjects that actually dominate in Antwerp's national political exposure.
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« Reply #239 on: December 03, 2018, 09:33:58 pm »

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/en/2018/12/03/compact-on-migration-stormy-weather-for-belgian-cabinet/

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It's possible that the government might fall over this topic, and call snap elections (we have elections in may however already).

Other news:
65,000 take part in Belgium’s biggest ever climate demonstration

"Hi-Viz" protesters pelt police with fire bombs, many Walloon fuel depots remain closed

82 people detained after Friday’s rioting during the Brussels Hi-Viz demonstration

There is a saying that goes as following: When it thunders in Paris, it rains in Brussels, and this is what we see that the French protests have spread towards French-speaking Belgium and Brussels regions, with smaller protests in the North. There have been riots in Brussels and Charleroi as well last week.

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« Reply #240 on: December 04, 2018, 01:28:46 pm »

Could the UN Migration Pact cause the Belgian Government to fall?

Tension has continued to mount between the parties that form Belgium’s Federal Government. The bone of contention is the UN Migration Pact that is due to be signed in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh next Monday. The Flemish nationalists are vigorously opposed to the pact, while the three other parties that make up the federal coalition (the Flemish and Francophone liberals and the Flemish Christian democrats) are in favour of Belgian signing up to the pact.

The tension has been ignited still further as the Flemish nationalists launched a campaign against the migration pact on social media (see below).



Experts nominated by parties from both the coalition and the opposition gave their interpretation of what signing up to the Migration Pact would mean before a special meeting of the Federal Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Select Committee on Tuesday. The diplomat Jean-Luc Bodson (photo below) who had represented Belgium at the negotiations for the UN Migration Pact also addressed the Select Committee. Mr Bodson said that “everything that Belgium had asked for had been included in the Pact”.     


However, some legal experts fear that “activists” among their colleagues could use the Migration Pact as a weapon to initiate long-drawn out legal proceedings to obtain leave to remain in Belgium for people that under the present rules would be denied it. This view is backed by the largest party in the federal coalition, the Flemish nationalist. The party launched a campaign against the pact on social media. The campaign was criticised by both the opposition and the nationalists’ partners in the Federal Government.     

The party fears that if Belgium signs up to the Migration pact illegal immigration would no longer be able to be sanctioned and that every immigrant would be given automatic access to social security and other provision from day 1.  Furthermore, the party believes that passages in the Pact that state that migrants should be allowed to retain their own culture would undermine efforts to integrate them into Flemish/Belgian society. The nationalists also refuse to accept country-specific side notes being added to allay some of their fears as they believe than in practice they wouldn’t be worth the paper they’re written on.


Opinion is also divided on whether or not the Migration Pact would be legally binding.  The Flemish Christian democrats slammed the nationalists‘ social media campaign saying that you can’t on the one hand sit at the negotiating while at the same time be campaigning against the very thing you are negotiating about.  The Flemish greens called on the nationalists to end their campaign of hate.

At around 4pm the nationalists withdrew their campaign advertisements from social media.

Meanwhile, the Flemish liberals have suggested that the Federal Parliament could approve the Migration Pact with an alternative majority made up of MPs from parties from the coalition (but without the Flemish nationalists) and the opposition.

However, the question on everyone’s lips is whether a compromise can still be found between the four coalition parties. A cabinet meeting has already been postponed to allow the Prime Minister Charles Michel time to continue bilateral talks with the coalition parties.
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DavidB.
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« Reply #241 on: December 04, 2018, 02:06:31 pm »

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

Regardless, a really difficult situation for the N-VA. Not sure it was smart for them to go high profile with this and to oppose the agreement if there was no chance Belgium would actually pull out: Belgium signing it anyway would seem like the N-VA caving in. It would be the perfect proof for VB to claim that the N-VA don't get anything done and are spineless (can see that "de verandering werkt" or "de kracht van verandering" coming back like a boomerang). On the other hand, the N-VA might be able to minimize the damage if they get to oppose the Compact in a parliamentary vote, which will presumably lead to a clear majority for Marrakesh either way.
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« Reply #242 on: December 04, 2018, 03:59:45 pm »

At this hour, it seems that there will not be an agreement in the government. So the NVA should quit the government.

wow ! I'm surprised. "Abstention" by Belgium seemed to me a good agreement to preserve the NVA in the majority but NVA is in full campaign mod. I'm curious to see if there will be consequences for Antwerp (and ninove). 
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Umengus
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« Reply #243 on: December 04, 2018, 04:01:22 pm »

At this hour, it seems that there will not be an agreement in the government. So the NVA should quit the government.

wow ! I'm surprised. "Abstention" by Belgium seemed to me a good agreement to preserve the NVA in the majority but NVA is in full campaign mod. I'm curious to see if there will be consequences for Antwerp (and ninove). 

"Ce n'est qu'en octobre, lorsque le chancelier autrichien Sebastian Kurz annoncera le retrait de son pays, que la N-VA a exprimé ses réticences."

lol
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« Reply #244 on: December 04, 2018, 04:49:31 pm »

I think they've made a gaffe, because it seems like the pact is going to be signed anyway. They've brought the topic in the spotlights, but the far-right was able to campaign hard on it, and it was a succesful campaign, and i think the N-VA felt the need to defend their right-wing flank, but now they have two problems. The backlash might've pushed some voters back to OVLD en CD&V, while the right flank might not be satisfied at all, because the prime minister is travelling to Marrakesh and most likely the liberal and christian democratic parties in the government will have the additional support of the left-wing opposition parties.
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« Reply #245 on: December 05, 2018, 04:11:59 am »

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

We are heading for a political blockage on a higher scale than 2010-2012 IMO. All three regions will vote differently or have different party configurations. Unless liberals+greens+christian democrats can form an interesting majority, it looks very bad...
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« Reply #246 on: December 05, 2018, 08:41:01 am »

lets hope that this regime that use water cannons and tear gas against own citizens will fall as soon as possible
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« Reply #247 on: December 05, 2018, 09:32:17 am »

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

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

For a while it looked like the N-VA were contemplating a tactical collapse to time it right on the day of the local elections in order for them to try to gain in those levels of power where they still have trouble. But now it seems they are more intent on just doing anything to not get outflanked by VB on immigration.
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« Reply #248 on: December 05, 2018, 10:58:47 am »

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

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

The coalition in Antwerp and the opening PS left for a PS - N-VA hints towards a soc dem + liberal + nationalist coalition possibly. The possibility of a green + liberal + national coalition is now very unlikely, which some thought (incl. myself) was one of the most plausible scenario's, but after what happened in Antwerp and now in recent days, i think that option is off the table, especially because Ecolo is even more fiercely against N-VA than the Greens.
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« Reply #249 on: December 05, 2018, 11:26:14 am »

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

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

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

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