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  Belgian Politics & Elections: Federal Election May 26, 2019
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Author Topic: Belgian Politics & Elections: Federal Election May 26, 2019  (Read 49062 times)
mgop
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« Reply #325 on: May 03, 2019, 06:37:21 am »


There was the 1st of May proceedings, which are an important day for the left but now also for the liberals to present their incentives to workers. During an election year it becomes particularly animated, in this case FGTB (largest Socialist union in Belgium) President Thierry Bodson seemed to have a dig at ECOLO by saying that any party that favoured climate policy over the urgent requirement for socio-economic reforms in favour of workers would not receive the FGTB's support. It comes also as the Liège branch of the FGTB became the first to break with the PS and start to court PTB. If that pressure increases both PS and ECOLO might be tempted to include PTB into their eventual Walloon coalition.

On the Flemish side N-VA President De Wever is really pushing the idea that if things stay the same the Flemish white collared middle class will get a "tsunami" of tax measures on their incomes by the protracted new Green-orientated government. He's now gambling on the 2014 strategy of saying "vote for us if you do not want the Francophone Left to govern" rather than focussing on immigration, which seems a better strategy to regain ground with swing VB-NVA voters. VB can always "outbid" N-VA on immigration but N-VA can always point to their record of actually beating the Francophone Left in return.

In Brussels there is a scandal in Schaerbeek over cdH and PS councillors pushing their "communities" to revolt against the authorities because a 4 year old girl was allegedly raped in her school. It turns out that she had an infection, now recognised as such by the parents themselves, but thanks to social media baiting including from the two councillor and a dense congregation of very dense people there was a "gathering" outside the school and some threw rocks at staff members, prompting the Défi Mayor to have to intervene with police. Trust in institutions is very low in Belgium as you can imagine, but this was still a nasty episode and the PS and cdH councillors are being (rightfully) villified for their role in it.

Anyway going back to the RTBF article and the possible permutations for a federal government given this seat composition :



National Union, 102 seats : Christian Democrats, Liberals, Socialists, Greens. Not sure why this is even considered as its electoral suicide for the Flemish Liberals and Christian Democrats and the Greens in general. Its N-VA's wet dream although unlike 2012-2014 it still would mean a Flemish majority is present in the federal government so not as undemocratic.

Variations of the National Union : Same as above but taking away parties such as sp.a or cdH because they lost seats, or even as the article states taking away the PS because the Flemish Right needs a scalp. Not going to happen easily either way though.

The Olive Tree : Christian Democrats, Socialists, Greens. This is a clear centre-left government that is associated with the somewhat disastrous Walloon government of the same name, so I cannot see CD&V entering this formula. But don't underestimate the ability of the Christian pillar to put their bargaining arrangements above ideological tenets or consistency with their previous actions, so its still a possibility.  

The "Rainbow/Purple+" : Basically the same as Verhofstadt I so Greens, Liberals, and Socialists. This may seem like electoral hara-kiri for the Liberals given how the first Verhofstadt government has worked out but in both parties cases it actually makes more sense than in 1999. For VLD they have already lost their hard right faction to the N-VA and if they present themselves as the internal opposition to "inevitable" Green tax rises it might get them some credit in upper Flemish middle class circles. They have also governed with Groen in places like Mechelen very successfully. For MR it has become clear that actually a lot of their electorate find their rightwards turn incoherent and the actions of a vocal minority. A lot of party grandees are saying that the decision to have the face of the campaign be Georges-Louis Bouchez, a member of the hard right in MR, has been disastrous and that the party needs to regain credibility with its traditional base.

Overall I think the last option is the most likely as things stand, but even more likely is a longer negotiation process that last time out.

Note that the N-VA doesn't appear to be in any scenario, and that's pretty much to be expected because of the MR collapse and their relatively poor result. N-VA have said they will nto govern with ECOLO because they are crypto-communists and won't govern with "Di Rupo-led PS" hinting that perhaps a PS-NVA accord is possible if Di Rupo steps aside.

"the olive tree" sounds the best of these, glad to see mr/vld in ruins.
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The Saint
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« Reply #326 on: May 06, 2019, 06:37:31 am »

I noticed that in the most recent seat projection on Wikipedia the Socialists (PS + sp.a), Greens (Ecolo + Green), and the Workers’ Party (PTB/PVDA) are 5 seats short of a majority.

Is any party open to working with PTB/PVDA?
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Zinneke
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« Reply #327 on: May 06, 2019, 09:48:35 am »

I noticed that in the most recent seat projection on Wikipedia the Socialists (PS + sp.a), Greens (Ecolo + Green), and the Workers’ Party (PTB/PVDA) are 5 seats short of a majority.

Is any party open to working with PTB/PVDA?

The FGTB (the main Socialist trade union) say their preferred coalition is PS, PTB, ECOLO at Walloon level, so by default the PS are somewhat open to a coalition with them at that level, while at the same time a lot of their energy goes into attacking the PTB for being too simplist and "populist" (PTB are very "workerist"  in a lot of communes in Wallonia, sometimes even on issues like immigration).

ECOLO are non-plussed about PTB and their rise. They clearly prefer them as a coalition partner to say N-VA but although ECOLO are full of amateurs they are smart enough to know where some of their gains have come from in places like Brabant Wallon and Luxemburg Province i.e not culturally left voters. They don't know really how to react to them.

sp.a have broken the effective cordon sanitaire at the local level in Zelzate but I don't think they will enter any government with PVDA.

All the other parties, especially on the Flemish side, consider that there should be a cordon sanitaire around PTB/PVDA.

Honestly the chances of them being in federal government are like less than 1% and the chances of them entering the Walloon government are maybe 10%. If ECOLO and PS fail to make a majority PTB could support it from outside, but they remain a testimonial party that is not looking to enter government (they don't have the manpower to do so yet). 

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Lechasseur
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« Reply #328 on: May 13, 2019, 04:59:00 pm »

This is kind of anecdotal, but I think the explanation for the leftwing surge in Wallonia isn't so much due to the people really moving left economically, I really have the impression it's out of anger towards NVA and any party that could enter government with them.

Like a huge amount of the comments I saw on political articles on La Libre and Le Soir's Facebook pages pretty much expressed this idea "get lost Charles Michel, you led a FLEMISH government with very little Francophone representation and you allied with extremist NVA separatists who want to destroy OUR BELGIUM with confederalism.", for the most part it seemed like it was only some middle aged women who were really expressing leftwing views.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #329 on: May 14, 2019, 10:26:42 am »
« Edited: May 14, 2019, 04:21:36 pm by coloniac »

This is kind of anecdotal, but I think the explanation for the leftwing surge in Wallonia isn't so much due to the people really moving left economically, I really have the impression it's out of anger towards NVA and any party that could enter government with them.

Like a huge amount of the comments I saw on political articles on La Libre and Le Soir's Facebook pages pretty much expressed this idea "get lost Charles Michel, you led a FLEMISH government with very little Francophone representation and you allied with extremist NVA separatists who want to destroy OUR BELGIUM with confederalism.", for the most part it seemed like it was only some middle aged women who were really expressing leftwing views.

The MR-NVA argument works pretty well on the doorstep yeah, but now even Magnette isn't ruling out 100% a PS-NVA. Let's also take into account that issue salience is important and a lot of MR --> ECOLO transfers (and previously, cdH --> ECOLO) is due to environment and mobility dominating the campaign, more than migration. These voters aren't actually left-wing, they think they're blue sky eco-friendly liberals every other 5 years but they aren't once ECOLO forms the inevitable left-wing government, and more importantly, demonstrate that they simply don't have the fresh human resources to effectively govern (proof : their co-presidents, Jean-Marc Nollet and Zakhia Khattabi, are veterans of their political scene, and they've risen to their levels of incompetence in the past), the result is an ECOLO collapse.

Speaking of issue salience however there's been the tragic murder of an Antwerp 20 something woman which has put the Belgian Justice system under pressure after it emerged the perpatrator was given a light sentence for rape and should have been re-arrested for breaking probation. Justice Minister Geens (CD&V) is the big loser from this, having previously seen as one of their key figures.
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Lechasseur
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« Reply #330 on: May 14, 2019, 04:40:17 pm »

This is kind of anecdotal, but I think the explanation for the leftwing surge in Wallonia isn't so much due to the people really moving left economically, I really have the impression it's out of anger towards NVA and any party that could enter government with them.

Like a huge amount of the comments I saw on political articles on La Libre and Le Soir's Facebook pages pretty much expressed this idea "get lost Charles Michel, you led a FLEMISH government with very little Francophone representation and you allied with extremist NVA separatists who want to destroy OUR BELGIUM with confederalism.", for the most part it seemed like it was only some middle aged women who were really expressing leftwing views.

The MR-NVA argument works pretty well on the doorstep yeah, but now even Magnette isn't ruling out 100% a PS-NVA. Let's also take into account that issue salience is important and a lot of MR --> ECOLO transfers (and previously, cdH --> ECOLO) is due to environment and mobility dominating the campaign, more than migration. These voters aren't actually left-wing, they think they're blue sky eco-friendly liberals every other 5 years but they aren't once ECOLO forms the inevitable left-wing government, and more importantly, demonstrate that they simply don't have the fresh human resources to effectively govern (proof : their co-presidents, Jean-Marc Nollet and Zakhia Khattabi, are veterans of their political scene, and they've risen to their levels of incompetence in the past), the result is an ECOLO collapse.

Speaking of issue salience however there's been the tragic murder of an Antwerp 20 something woman which has put the Belgian Justice system under pressure after it emerged the perpatrator was given a light sentence for rape and should have been re-arrested for breaking probation. Justice Minister Geens (CD&V) is the big loser from this, having previously seen as one of their key figures.

I noticed the environment stuff has been a huge issue in smaller countries like Finland and Belgium,  they seem to care more about it than voters in larger countries, where most people would not have that as the main thing they were voting on.

And that seems to be a huge thing, what's wrong with the Belgian justice system? How does this type of thing happen so often? That type of thing seems to happen alot. I mean the Marc Dutroux affair was one of the things that caused the downfall of the Christian Democrats in 1999 and spellt the end of the political careers of Justice ministers like Melchior Wathelet, and even 10-15 years later when I was living there Marc Dutroux was still a household name, even middle school kids who were babies when he was committing his crimes all knew who he was.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #331 on: May 14, 2019, 05:40:26 pm »
« Edited: May 14, 2019, 05:45:55 pm by coloniac »

Quote
I noticed the environment stuff has been a huge issue in smaller countries like Finland and Belgium,  they seem to care more about it than voters in larger countries, where most people would not have that as the main thing they were voting on.

I'm not acquainted enough with other political cultures to understand this. If I had to hypothesise I would say small countries, particularly those in the eurozone, by now know that the economic and foreign policy agenda will be dictated by other powers anyway, and thus grandiose debates on these subjects are somewhat put aside for other issues.

Quote
And that seems to be a huge thing, what's wrong with the Belgian justice system?

One could write an entire thesis on this, and I imagine many people have, but to sum up in some bullet points :

  • Belgium is a hard place to reform legislation because of the political system, and thus with new social norms, its still difficult for legislators to "catch up" in terms of what is regarded as more serious crimes now. With this case for example, which has brought up the issue of violence against women. Essentially Belgium has light rape charges because politicians cannot reach consensus without sirens on both sides sounding off
  • There is an overload in cases and in the prisons, which means the judges are persuaded to let people off for petty crimes if they can and everything is orientated towards hasty rehabiliation. Now the latter is scientifically proven to work compared to potential radicalisation, but some people want all criminals locked up indefinitely, which is a very popular measure populists like to pounce on. Clearly there is an issue with repeat offenders that needs examining though.
  • There is a highly provincialised Justice system, roughly around the lines of the electoral constituencies, and that means funding in justice "cironscriptions" is very selfishly protected by political actors, rather than funding going to the most places in need...namely Brussels. The Palais de Justice is a symbol of this...its where Brussels justice circonscription is based, and its of course most famous for having scaffolding from the 1980s...that when going to rust, the people decided to scaffold the scaffolding. This is because you can bet neither Flanders, not Wallonia (if the latter could) would bother to spend a penny on funding Brussels Justice system.  
  • Regardless of the last point, there is still a general underfunding of justice, nationwide...
  • ...and of course nobody who studies law, which is a degree worshipped to  in Belgium, wants to go into criminal law, they all want to make megabucks in divorce law, trade law, "my neighbour ran over my pet dog" law, become a notaire (fcuk notaires, fcuck them all, I'll be so glad when some robot puts all those twats out of a job), or worse a politician.

Quote
How does this type of thing happen so often? That type of thing seems to happen alot.

Do you mean sexual violence and rape? It doesn't happen as often as you think, its just that because of the above points its so mismanaged that it becomes a scandal.

Quote
I mean the Marc Dutroux affair was one of the things that caused the downfall of the Christian Democrats in 1999 and spellt the end of the political careers of Justice ministers like Melchior Wathelet, and even 10-15 years later when I was living there Marc Dutroux was still a household name, even middle school kids who were babies when he was committing his crimes all knew who he was.

The Dutroux case, apart for being horrific, sort of topped off a general fear and almost total lack of trust in Belgian's state establishment and institutions, including the political class, the 2 police forces at the time, the judges, the low level mafiosos who would openly boast in Brussels cafés about providing minors for sex to high powered people while molesting the international journalist asking them about it (yes this is a true story). I mean the public enemy number 1 of the country managed to escape, and had also been a serial offender before he turned out to be the monster.  Remember it started also right after the Brabant Killings and the overall climate meant a massive wave of conspiracy theories and overall anti-establishment sentiment. It culminated in the White March which, as good intentioned as it was, was essentially a way of people saying that they had had enough of some sort of Belgian state-cabal*, when maybe the message should have been that they had had enough of the dysfunctionality, and that could have been a political transformation.

Also the Dutroux case was the only thing Belgium was famous for for a long while, hence the French-imported jokes and "folklore" about it (although in Belgium its mainly Carolos who get the brunt end of these references...ask any Charleroi football supporter)


*The state cabal might exist of course, given the existence of baron circles with a lot of capital, the small village type mentality of the politcal class and the same families and names coming up in power every generation. But it could never be exposed.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #332 on: May 15, 2019, 11:22:18 am »

Just so you situate the level of debate in parts of Brussels's immigrant communities, ECOLO have been distributing this flyer :



They have since said it was not approved by the Brussels regional office.

Reminds me of George Galloway's "God knows who is a good Muslim and who is not".
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tack50
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« Reply #333 on: May 15, 2019, 03:23:13 pm »

After watching that flyer, I now endorse DeFI and PS for Brussels Tongue
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« Reply #334 on: May 18, 2019, 10:55:01 am »

I'll vote PVDA-PTB after voting for Open VLD (liberals) in 2014. My foster mom will also vote PVDA-PTB after voting always CD&V or N-VA/VU since 1960's, influenced by my experiences and my political participation. My other foster mom always voted for the Greens but will now vote for a right-wing party (N-VA) for the first time as she increasingly became islamophobic. My dad will vote Vlaams Belang after being right-wing for years (although i don't know his voting history). I'm starting to feel like 2019 might be a re-alignment election for Belgium.

A lot of friends will vote Vlaams Belang and PVDA-PTB. I've heard in media that Vlaams Belang is very popular among the young people. 25% of 18 to 30 year olds will vote for them, but s.pa and CD&V do remarkably terrible among those voting groups and have old loyal voting bases.

My real mom is against Open VLD, N-VA and Greens and will vote for Vlaams Belang or PVDA-PTB. Same applies to my grand-parents which are either communists or Vlaams Belang voters, but i don't know them well enough. Both my families seem to be inclined to support Vlaams Belang. My foster families seem to support more traditional right-wing parties (CD&V and N-VA).
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« Reply #335 on: May 18, 2019, 11:05:57 am »
« Edited: May 18, 2019, 11:10:11 am by Lakigigar »

New polling. Media spinned it into losses for the Greens or a disappointing poll for them (while still winning seats), while Vlaams Belang had a very good poll and seem to have momentum build on maybe the case of Julie Van Espen and a good (online) campaign.

Flanders



Brussels



Wallonia



Polling history



If true, this would be the best election result for Vlaams Belang since 2007 when N-VA was still in a cartel with CD&V (and they have now close to 30%). Flanders at a whole in the meantime clearly shifted to the right, just like almost everywhere else in the world in the last decade / ten years.
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Lakigigar
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« Reply #336 on: May 18, 2019, 11:18:45 am »

https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2019/05/16/dries-van-langenhove-de-hoop-van-rechts-radicalen-in-vlaanderen-a3960502

An article about the polarisation of the Belgian youth: the climate activists on one side and the identitarians on the other side.

I also made a poll in a survey i had to made for school and had 50 responses. It included this poll



30% - i don't know
16% - I'm not allowed to vote or will fill in an invalid ballot
16% - Greens
14% - PVDA
12% - N-VA
6% - Vlaams Belang
4% - Open VLD
2% - A different party
0% - CD&V and s.pa



20% - Younger than 18
38% - 18 to 21 year olds
24% - 22 to 25 year olds
6% - 26 to 29 year olds
12% - Older than 30
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Lakigigar
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« Reply #337 on: May 18, 2019, 11:28:54 am »

Quote
I mean the Marc Dutroux affair was one of the things that caused the downfall of the Christian Democrats in 1999 and spellt the end of the political careers of Justice ministers like Melchior Wathelet, and even 10-15 years later when I was living there Marc Dutroux was still a household name, even middle school kids who were babies when he was committing his crimes all knew who he was.

That's true... I'm the first to say that i forgot a lot of serial killers. I think i only know Freddy Horion (but don't know what he did), de Bende van Nijvel, Kim De Gelder (more recent), a certain Hans (with Asperger's), de kasteelmoord (and you have a parachutemoord as well) and Ronald Janssens. Some of those cases got more media attention than they deserve, but i think that you're right that every Belgian will know Marc Dutroux, and he was even a Walloon while Kim De Gelder also has such a reputation that everyone know his name, but Marc Dutroux is Belgian's most famous serial killers, and everyone knows the names of the murdered and what happened, and even his escape.
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Lakigigar
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« Reply #338 on: May 18, 2019, 12:03:18 pm »



my result of a voting survey.

1. PVDA (far-left)
2. s.pa (social democrat)
3. Green (greens)
4. Vlaams Belang (far-right)
5. CD&V (christian democrat)
6. N-VA (nationalist, conservative liberal)
7. Open VLD (liberals)
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« Reply #339 on: May 18, 2019, 03:02:55 pm »
« Edited: May 18, 2019, 04:08:55 pm by coloniac »

Welcome back to the thread Lakigigar! Do you know people in your environment that will vote differently regionally/federally/EU? Do you think the EU debate has been a bit drowned out?

I think I will vote regionally for Clerfayt (Defi), although I am still not sure who I will vote for. I will spoil my ballot or vote for the animal party federally and then definitely Groen at EU.  
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« Reply #340 on: May 19, 2019, 05:12:23 am »

Welcome back to the thread Lakigigar! Do you know people in your environment that will vote differently regionally/federally/EU? Do you think the EU debate has been a bit drowned out?

I think I will vote regionally for Clerfayt (Defi), although I am still not sure who I will vote for. I will spoil my ballot or vote for the animal party federally and then definitely Groen at EU.  

The animal party seems very radical to me, and is a wasted vote, as they have no chance to break through. Spoiling a ballot is a ballot that will add to the majority's total. I understand you don't fully agree with any party, and neither do i, but spoiling a ballot is just stupid.
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« Reply #341 on: May 21, 2019, 02:18:47 am »

Just so you situate the level of debate in parts of Brussels's immigrant communities, ECOLO have been distributing this flyer :



They have since said it was not approved by the Brussels regional office.

Reminds me of George Galloway's "God knows who is a good Muslim and who is not".

And just for the sake of fairness, it seems like ECOLO are not the only ones :





*sighs in belgian*
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parochial boy
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« Reply #342 on: May 21, 2019, 02:28:37 am »

Being called Jan Jambon must be a bit of a handicap if you're going after the Haredi Jewish vote Cool
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« Reply #343 on: May 21, 2019, 08:17:57 am »

Big hitters in the parties have been going on about their coalition preferences and their own red lines in terms of which parties they are ready to ally with, which given the last election can be taken with a pinch of salt, but here goes :

N-VA said they are not willing to govern with any Left Francophone party unless it is to establish a confederal constitution. It has not excluded any Flemish party apart from PTB/PVDA but says Groen is its last option. It is also ready to maintain the cordon sanitaire against VB although I am still fairly sure if these two ever form a majority at regional level that will end. It also rejects any coalition with Défi.

CD&V and Open VLD both reject the two extremes (PTB/PVDA and VB) but have not ruled out anybody, although VLD are slightly more hostile to the Francophone Left. Its understood though that they would find it hard to work with the N-VA if Theo Francken is allowed back into a ministerial role.

sp.a  : leader John Combrez has said that working with the N-VA is "quasi-impossible". Otherwise seems free to any coalition, although COmbrez will likely be out of a job and also likely be replaced by a "Red Lion"-type (a workerist, Flemish nationalist sort that makes headlines for being a fireband). PVDA coalition is not feasible anyway so they are happy to ignore that question

Groen : Meryam Almaci, the campaign leader, was asked if she would govern with the N-VA during the radio duel between her and De Wever. She replied "not with this N-VA", but that means there is still some conditionality.

PVDA/PTB : basically nobody to the right of the Socialist pillar.

ECOLO : No to N-VA, VB

PS : Interesting change of rhetoric here since four years ago, instead of saying "never with the N-VA", they are saying "We don't want to govern with the N-VA and we don't want to waste our time again"...but they leave the door slightly open.

Défi : Their selling point is basically "We are old MR without the N-VA and we will never enter government with Flemish nationalists" so there you are. It will be interesting to see if Flemish parties decide to include N-VA in Brussels and if Défi have enough leverage to stop that.

cdH : a lot of hopes pinged on them joining the "Swedish" coalition to reach a potential majority should the N-VA surge again...but new leader Prévot has poured cold water on this this morning. He will not support a Swedish 2.0.

MR : Say they are willing to govern with N-VA on same terms as before i.e no communitarian agenda or decentralisation policies, only socio-economic. Other than that, no VB, no PTB/PVDA.


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« Reply #344 on: May 21, 2019, 09:53:23 am »

Considering how divided Belgium is, what type of coalition is most likely.  I assume it will be somewhat more to the left than last time but probably mixed as usual.  Are Greens likely to be included or left out.  I suspect amongst Christian Democrats, Liberals, and Socialists at least one will make it, but someone could correct me if wrong.  Also how soon do you think we will know the government.  Belgium has the record of 583 days without one so assuming it will take several weeks.  Is it possible there will be no government by year's end?
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« Reply #345 on: May 21, 2019, 11:25:54 am »

Considering how divided Belgium is, what type of coalition is most likely.  I assume it will be somewhat more to the left than last time but probably mixed as usual.  Are Greens likely to be included or left out.  I suspect amongst Christian Democrats, Liberals, and Socialists at least one will make it, but someone could correct me if wrong.  Also how soon do you think we will know the government.  Belgium has the record of 583 days without one so assuming it will take several weeks.  Is it possible there will be no government by year's end?

Its very possible that we don't have a government by 2020 if the seat allocation is what it is, yeah.

Its also possible the Greens become the largest political family in Belgium (although that looks increasingly unlikely) and thus are given a formateur role.
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« Reply #346 on: May 21, 2019, 12:07:21 pm »

Considering how divided Belgium is, what type of coalition is most likely.  I assume it will be somewhat more to the left than last time but probably mixed as usual.  Are Greens likely to be included or left out.  I suspect amongst Christian Democrats, Liberals, and Socialists at least one will make it, but someone could correct me if wrong.  Also how soon do you think we will know the government.  Belgium has the record of 583 days without one so assuming it will take several weeks.  Is it possible there will be no government by year's end?

Its very possible that we don't have a government by 2020 if the seat allocation is what it is, yeah.

Its also possible the Greens become the largest political family in Belgium (although that looks increasingly unlikely) and thus are given a formateur role.


Looks like then either Liberals, Greens, or Socialists will get that role although tough to say which of three.  Christian Democrats strong in Flanders but weak in Brussels and Wallonia.  Socialists strong in Wallonia, okay in Brussels, while weak in Flanders.  Liberals not winning anywhere, but not doing poorly anywhere either thus could win on that measure.  Greens strong in Brussels while okay in others but not great.  I am guessing NVA, Vlaams Belang, and Workers Party will likely be excluded from coalition.

Does seem though Wallonia and Brussels leaning leftward while Flanders leaning rightwards.
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« Reply #347 on: May 21, 2019, 01:08:12 pm »
« Edited: May 21, 2019, 01:15:43 pm by coloniac »

Considering how divided Belgium is, what type of coalition is most likely.  I assume it will be somewhat more to the left than last time but probably mixed as usual.  Are Greens likely to be included or left out.  I suspect amongst Christian Democrats, Liberals, and Socialists at least one will make it, but someone could correct me if wrong.  Also how soon do you think we will know the government.  Belgium has the record of 583 days without one so assuming it will take several weeks.  Is it possible there will be no government by year's end?

Its very possible that we don't have a government by 2020 if the seat allocation is what it is, yeah.

Its also possible the Greens become the largest political family in Belgium (although that looks increasingly unlikely) and thus are given a formateur role.

Looks like then either Liberals, Greens, or Socialists will get that role although tough to say which of three.  Christian Democrats strong in Flanders but weak in Brussels and Wallonia.  Socialists strong in Wallonia, okay in Brussels, while weak in Flanders.  Liberals not winning anywhere, but not doing poorly anywhere either thus could win on that measure.  Greens strong in Brussels while okay in others but not great.  I am guessing NVA, Vlaams Belang, and Workers Party will likely be excluded from coalition.

One thing we do still have though, is a tendency to punish "losers" of an election and reward "winners". Its a feature in Lowland politics that has dissipated now, but the parties that make strong gains are tended to be invited into government talks first, and only then are the ones who lost seats considered.

In that case you can already rule out the Socialist parties getting the formateur role. They are heading for historic losses that are only compensated by their strong campaigning ability and people having short memories.

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Does seem though Wallonia and Brussels leaning leftward while Flanders leaning rightwards.

Well yeah, I always stress that the faultlines/sociological divides in Wallonia are also still provincial while Flanders has a lot of its population concentrated in one square (Antwerp-Gent-Brussels-Leuven) with a common political and socio-economic sphere as a result (and two, minor peripheries, West-Flanders and Limburg, with somewhat different political identities, although they are getting absorbed too). Its clear though that the Walloon political class is very left, culturally, while the Flemish have seen a right-ward shift over the years.

Speaking of the provinces, if I have the time I'll try to do a preview of where parties can gain or lose seats based on the vulnerable ones from last election and the local elections last autumn so we're nice and ready for Sunday. Although I won't be too bitter if this thread is overshadowed by the EP one Cheesy


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« Reply #348 on: May 21, 2019, 01:37:05 pm »

Thanks for the updates, coloniac and Lakigigar.
New polling. Media spinned it into losses for the Greens or a disappointing poll for them (while still winning seats), while Vlaams Belang had a very good poll and seem to have momentum build on maybe the case of Julie Van Espen and a good (online) campaign.
To what extent would you say the VB surge is related to DVL's popularity?
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« Reply #349 on: May 21, 2019, 04:20:57 pm »

Thanks for the updates, coloniac and Lakigigar.
New polling. Media spinned it into losses for the Greens or a disappointing poll for them (while still winning seats), while Vlaams Belang had a very good poll and seem to have momentum build on maybe the case of Julie Van Espen and a good (online) campaign.
To what extent would you say the VB surge is related to DVL's popularity?
Hmm, among youngsters it will matter but i think VDB would surge with or without DVL. But he's definitely popular among right-wing youngsters, and he might attract voters that would otherwise vote for Theo Francken, so i would say a bit, but he also certainly would scare some voters off, but it would be a net positive. I don't think his popularity explains the surge though. We would have seen the surge a long time ago, but he will increase the vote share of youngsters. Around 25% of 18 to 30 year olds are expected to vote for Vlaams Belang, partly because the mainstream parties do very bad among them, and the youth is very polarized (left-wingers going for PVDA / Groen) and right-wingers preferring N-VA and Vlaams Belang), and others going for Open VLD, but the only people who vote CD&V or s.pa among them are the ones that have parents, friends, family members who also are politically active for those parties. Especially s.pa does extremely bad among them.
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