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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 48708 times)
Ex-Assemblyman Steelers
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« Reply #450 on: June 20, 2019, 11:38:55 pm »

How long will be negotiations this time?
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Zinneke
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« Reply #451 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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« Reply #452 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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« Reply #453 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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« Reply #454 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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« Reply #455 on: July 21, 2019, 01:06:40 pm »

CD&V leader Pieter De Crem said they don't intend to enter a federal government without the N-VA, and Open VLD leader Gwendolyn Rutten faces a leadership challenge: Vincent Van Quickenborne wants to pull the party to the right and is also opposed to Purple-Green unless Groen-Ecolo are willing to "burn their entire manifesto".

So as expected, forming a government with MR-PS-Ecolo on the Walloon side and Groen, Open VLD, CD&V and perhaps sp.a (who should also really do a tour in opposition...) on the Flemish side will mostly be very difficult because the Flemish center-right parties Open VLD and CD&V don't want to lose even more to N-VA and VB.
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« Reply #456 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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« Reply #457 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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« Reply #458 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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« Reply #459 on: August 16, 2019, 10:40:24 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...


cDH already had a new leader this year. And there were no recent replacements of leaders. It was about time.

Why do you prefer De Croo Jr. and not Quicky? I hope Francisco Vanderjeugd becomes the new VLD leader. I really dislike Rutten. I don't like CD&V moving to the right. Jambon's government is more than Bourgeois'. And i would really dislike De Crem as CD&V chairman.

Who is Red Lion? I prefer Crombez in that race. I'd like Green to change their leaders. Almaci is not left-wing enough, and I dislike Calvo's attitude

PVDA-PTB has no reason to be in the Walloon government, although i prefer a PTB-Ecolo-PS government, but PS is corrupt, still better than the other parties, including Green and s.pa. I don't think it's the right time, but i'm unsure. I approve Magnette, and disapprove Di Rupo. Ideally a Magnette II government with a left-wing broad coallition between PS-Ecolo and PTB but i understand PTB's viewpoint.
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« Reply #460 on: August 16, 2019, 10:48:14 am »


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.

I hope it will take a long time, and that they'll call new elections. Happily waiting for MR/Open VLD, CD&V (De Crem lol) and N-VA to lose more.

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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.

That's absolutely not true.
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« Reply #461 on: August 16, 2019, 11:22:10 am »

https://m.hln.be/showbizz/muziek/festivals/pukkelpop/anuna-de-wever-verlaat-pukkelpop-nadat-ze-uitgejouwd-en-belaagd-werd-op-camping-organisatie-opent-onderzoek~a18f996c/?utm_source=browser&utm_medium=push_notification&utm_campaign=PushCrew_notification_1565949476&pushcrew_powered=1&fbclid=IwAR1_aE2WMvKIWh6Pqld3RA_nT9DJ-YfwB2hKBq05-9e8aky648wmpACObWk&referer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2F

The growing polarization among the youth is problematic. The strongest voting bloc of both the far-left and far-right is a bit going too far. On a festival, climate activist Anuna De Wever (similar person to Greta Thunberg) has been boo'ed, and they've chased her to her tent, waking her up with death threats, ruining her tent and throwing urine at her. The video's has been shared by the far-right facebook page "Make Vlaenderen Great Again".

Last year, there was an incident as well when some people chanted "Chopping off hands, Congo's ours".

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One of the youngsters seen in a video chanting a racist song at the Pukkelpop music festival has apologised.  The teenager wrote an email to the press in which he apologised for singing "Chopping off hands, Congo's ours".
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« Reply #462 on: August 16, 2019, 06:10:57 pm »

Loved the booing of Anuna but obviously harassing her is utterly unacceptable. In response, the festival was accused of taking people's Flemish national flags away from them. Not a good response either...
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« Reply #463 on: August 17, 2019, 06:00:16 am »

Loved the booing of Anuna but obviously harassing her is utterly unacceptable. In response, the festival was accused of taking people's Flemish national flags away from them. Not a good response either...

They've called it a "collaboration flag". N-VA want apologies from the festival organization.
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« Reply #464 on: August 17, 2019, 06:07:24 am »
« Edited: August 17, 2019, 06:25:19 am by Lakigigar »

Climate activist Anuna De Wever targeted in Pukkelpop incident

Climate activist Anuna De Wever targeted in Pukkelpop incident

The renowned Pukkelpop music festival in Kiewit (Limburg) was disturbed by an incident in which the young Belgian climate activist Anuna De Wever was targeted. De Wever was first booed while she was on stage for her climate campaign, and she and some friends were later harrassed at their tent on the festival campsite.

The problems started on the Boiler Room stage, where De Wever held the "Clap for Climate" action together with the Flemish film director and fellow climate activist Nic Balthazar. The aim was to have the people clap their hands together to highlight the global warming issue.

Part of the audience cooperated, while others booed De Wever. "It's normal that some people support the action, while others are against. Anuna can cope with that", said festival spokesman Frederik Luyten. However, Anuna De Wever said it was the first time the response was so negative. She had staged similar actions at Dranouter, the Lokerse Feesten and the Cactus Festival.


However, organisers say a line was crossed by what happened afterwards. De Wever and her friends were reportedly harrassed on the campsite. There are talks of verbal abuse, and bottles filled with urine being thrown at them. Jeroen De Preter's daughter was also targeted in the incident: he writes on Twitter that "I just talked to my daughter on the telephone. She was deeply touched by what happened. After Anuna had been spotted at their tent, young men kept them awake uttering death threats; bottles filled with urine were hurled at them and a party tent was destroyed."

About 20 "black" lion flags were seized after the incident

De Wever and her friends got protection from security teams at the site. Festival organisers have announced an investigation, adding that "such things shouldn't have happened. It is completely unacceptable that people are being harrassed at a music festival, for whichever reason."

There may be a link with right extremist groups. Organisers have seized some 20 Flemish lion flags after the incidents; these flags show the lion with black claws and not with the traditional red claws. Organisers called this "black flag" a "collaboration flag" but this was not well received by Flemish nationalist MP Peter De Roover (N-VA), who demands public apologies.



It's like this is the flag of Nazi Germany or of CSA Tongue I think the Flemish flag is great, and should not be seen as a collaboration flag and is more comparable with the German/Prussian eagle, but my main concern is the radicalisation of the youth, especially on the right. They're surprisingly the strongest voting bloc for both PVDA-PTB, the Greens (probably) and Flemish Interest, and i've seen that around my friends and people around here as well. I live in a region where Flemish Interest did very well and N-VA has lost a substantial amount of vote in West-Flanders (lacking strong persons in this region of the country).

I have five people who've liked the page of Dries Van Langenhove including my dad and three former classmates
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« Reply #465 on: August 17, 2019, 06:38:48 am »
« Edited: August 17, 2019, 06:43:38 am by DavidB. »

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.
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« Reply #466 on: August 17, 2019, 03:56:56 pm »

https://www.facebook.com/comacstudenten/videos/561524894381555/

Sad that a music festival gets politicized. Here a group of youngsters boo'ed at Flemish right-wing activists while singing: "Come on Belgium, Come on Belgium"
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« Reply #467 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 #468 on: August 17, 2019, 07:34:34 pm »
« Edited: August 17, 2019, 07:42:30 pm by DavidB. »

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...").

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.
Peter De Roovere and Steven Vandeput from N-VA have been the most loud about this, not VB...

As for the legal/moral question, here's your state press:
Quote
"Het is juist dat die zwarte Vlaamse Leeuw gebruikt geweest is door collaboratiebewegingen, net zoals de Belgische vlag gebruikt geweest is door collaboratiebewegingen", vertelt Vuye aan onze redactie. "De Belgische vlag tooide de uniformen van het Waals Legioen van Léon Degrelle. Dus ook dat is dan een collaboratievlag als je het uitsluitend herleidt tot de periode 1940-1944. Maar die vlaggen zijn natuurlijk veel ouder."

Vuye, Vlaams-nationalist en professor Staatsrecht, verwijst naar rechtspraak van het Europees Hof voor de Rechten van de Mens. "Men noemt dat polysemische symbolen, symbolen die meerdere betekenissen hebben. De vlag met de zwarte Vlaamse Leeuw heeft een andere betekenis wanneer ze zou opgehangen worden bij een herdenking van een of andere collaborateur dan wanneer ze gebruikt wordt binnen de Vlaamse Beweging. Zo'n polysemisch symbool gaan verbieden door het te herleiden tot een héél beperkte periode van de geschiedenis is een vrij flagrante inbreuk op de vrijheid van meningsuiting."
https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2019/08/17/de-zwarte-vlaamse-leeuw/
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« Reply #469 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.

Quote
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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« Reply #470 on: August 18, 2019, 05:15:59 am »
« Edited: August 18, 2019, 10:23:46 am by DavidB. »

Calm down, lol. This namecalling and these personal attacks are completely unnecessary. All I'm saying is that it's a bad decision, both because these flags are Flemish flags and because people didn't know these flags weren't allowed in advance. Color me highly skeptical that young people having fun at a festival flying (a version of) their national flag are secretly "celebrating SS collaborators openly" (Bruno De Wever, hardly a right-winger, agrees).
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« Reply #471 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 #472 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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« Reply #473 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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« Reply #474 on: September 09, 2019, 03:24:32 pm »

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?
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