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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 49304 times)
Zinneke
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« Reply #475 on: September 09, 2019, 04:03:56 pm »
« edited: September 09, 2019, 04:20:31 pm by coloniac »

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



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

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

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

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

I think its a given that this one is going to be formed after long long drama and negotiations.
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Feel The Bern
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« Reply #476 on: September 10, 2019, 06:27:51 am »

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



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

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

Given Belgium's reputation, short answer is never the likely outcome.
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« Reply #477 on: September 10, 2019, 06:30:31 am »

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



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

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

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

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

I think its a given that this one is going to be formed after long long drama and negotiations.

It wouldn't be atypical for Open VLD Cheesy .
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Zinneke
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« Reply #478 on: September 18, 2019, 06:00:05 pm »
« Edited: September 19, 2019, 01:32:54 am by coloniac »

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

MR also have a presidency vacancy after Michel and Reynders left for Europe. Reynders has parliament support but is facing a corruption allegation from a secret service officer in his hearing. He likely has enough political capital to get away with it though. Anyway, the party itself is set for radical change now that these two are gone. The new Walloon ministers have pledged not to stand so that takes out outgoing Walloon Minister-President Willy Borsus. For the moment it looks like it will be between Sophie Wilmès, who is very technocratic and on the more left side of the party, and Denis Ducarme who is quite a hard right figure by MR's standards. They have kind of soiled themselves tying their mast to PS, their old frenemy, and ECOLO, who they spent the entire campaign criticising, to lead a hard right campaign again though. Interesting time for the Walloon Right for sure.
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« Reply #479 on: September 24, 2019, 07:01:42 am »

https://www.hln.be/nieuws/binnenland/de-grote-peiling-vlaams-belang-wipt-over-n-va-naar-eerste-plaats-dramatische-score-voor-cd-v-en-sp-a~a8e15ff7/?fbclid=IwAR2ub89AaqZQ8dRVbNlDkx6v52_Y_EulKOm-5dDreT2odyQ1i49U4Zmp5gM

New polling. Far-right Vlaams Belang now takes the lead.
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parochial boy
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« Reply #480 on: September 24, 2019, 07:06:57 am »

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

Meaning, what generally is their relation with the rest of Wallonia/Belgium? Do they feel like they are part of Wallonia, or like an ignored minority? Is there any irredentist sentiment with Germany hanging around?
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urutzizu
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« Reply #481 on: September 24, 2019, 09:21:26 am »

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

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

Not Belgian ofc, but as far as I know they are basically neutral in the whole Belgian divide. There is no real separatist/irredentist movement there, as they have quite a good deal, with considerable autonomy as their own language community and German as a full third official language in Belgium.
They dont really have much to complain about, and thats why (unlike with Saarland 1945-1956) nobody in Germany cares about them.
That said, when Belgium went to the brink 2010-11, their leader said that he hoped that Belgium stays together, but if not, they will decide between 4 Options:
1. Stay with independent Wallonia
2. Independence in their own right
3. Join Luxembourg
4. Join Germany

Reason why the last option is not really very attractive for them, is because then they would invariably lose the generous autonomy they currently have. They are way too small to become a state of Germany, so they would just end up becoming another district of NRW. Not so attractive.
That said, if the whole of Wallonia joins Germany as Paul Magnette wants, then it would be whole different story. But that is not happening in a million years, aside from the language barrier, nobody here wants to have to heavily subsidise another state, when subsidising our own states in the east is already extremely controversial. Now that the financial redistribution has been phased out anyway, Wallonia would have to run a balanced budget without outside money anyway, and that is fantasy land.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #482 on: September 24, 2019, 12:16:07 pm »
« Edited: September 25, 2019, 03:15:54 am by coloniac »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Zinneke
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« Reply #483 on: September 30, 2019, 10:28:18 am »


The party composition was agreed beforehand but negotiations are finally concluded for a Flemish government today. One stumbling block was trying to find a Brussels -based minister (which is a legal obligation due to the Flemish government taking Dutch speaking Community competences under its wing). VLD Brussels veterans Guy Vanhengel and Sven Gatz (both more social liberals) joined the Brussels government without consent from their Flemish branch that wanted to turn to the right. It will be interesting to see who gets the portfolio.   


Also, in the MR there is now a battle being waged for power after Reynders and Michel both left for European functions. So far there is a strange powerplay going on between the Provinces and within them because apparently MR are considering having a more balanced co-presidency to avoid the French style personality warfare, and the tensions that the PS have between their provincial branches (Hainaut, Liège and Brussels usually tussle for influence within a Francophone party). luck has it though that two eminent figures of their hard right, Denis Ducarme and Georges-Louis Bouchez, are in open warfare against each other in Hainaut. The former had one of his protégés leak Bouchez reprimanding a member of his "Mons en Mieux" list for backing a motion with MR asking for a more progressive liberalism. Its unknown who exactly will incarnate what is left of MR's "social liberal" wing - which was the official party line under both Reynders and Michel for a while, but rumour has it it could be Eupen-based federal deputy Kattrin Jadin. Other potential candidates are Sophie Wilmès (very technocratic style) or Phillippe Goffin. Ducarme is the slight favorite.
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« Reply #484 on: October 02, 2019, 06:45:07 am »

I'm very opposed to Jambon I, which seems to be a very asocial government. Can honestly say that i oppose 90% of what they've agreed upon. Now awaiting federal government formation, possibly liberals - socdems and flemish nationalists. Although i'd prefer a green - liberal - flemish nationalist government.
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« Reply #485 on: October 03, 2019, 12:11:11 pm »

How close are we to a government?  Belgium I think holds record for longest government formation of 583 days so any chance this record might be broken or is that likely to hold?
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Zinneke
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« Reply #486 on: October 04, 2019, 07:18:48 am »

How close are we to a government?  Belgium I think holds record for longest government formation of 583 days so any chance this record might be broken or is that likely to hold?

We are nowhere near close but not because of the previous crisis reasoning, where NVA and PS were basically put into a room and told to get a deal when none of them wanted that at that time (now might be different). Its mainly because there are like 6 parties that have to elect Presidents and it suits no one for the moment to commit to anything on the federal level (because being constructive and compromise in a clown world where VB gets 20% is impossible), so we are basically waiting for them to solve their internal squabbles that are usually solved by backroom deals anyway (cfr ECOLO or MR who today said they expect to "coronate" Georges-Louis Bouchez after Michel struck a deal with the barons of the party...never mind the fact that he ran their worst campaign in almost a generation).

Anyway the  new Flemish regional government are already trying ot wrestle competences/agencies such as internal security, the human rights watch organisation and the quotas for medical students (all federal competences) from the highest level so we're heading for state breakup. None of the francophones have any balls to talk about institutional matters, to tell Flanders to have their cake and eat it with a referendum on independence, no no, that would be far too clever for us dumbos.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #487 on: October 21, 2019, 01:37:17 pm »
« Edited: October 27, 2019, 03:22:17 am by coloniac »

Leadership elections are underway :

MR have the most competitive one. Although Georges Louis-Bouchez (of Mons) has official support from both old barons of the party (Michel and Reynders), there are left-wing challengers in the form of Christine Defraigne (of Liège), and Phillippe Goffin (of Cresneux, near Liège), both of whom are true to their Province and are social liberals. The token Brusselite is Clémentine Barzin, who is close to the Reynders clan, with some suggesting Reynders is not actually that happy with the coronation of "GLB". Completing the set is GLB's now arch-rival in Hainaut Denis Ducarme, who wants to be the "Walloon Francken" but is a loyal foot soldier of MR. GLB is given as a winner but he's got to justify how effective he will be.  

Défi have a 4 way battle between two ex-PS card carriers, one ex- Institute Jean Gol (MR think tank) philosopher, and some crank from Luxemburg. The philosopher is Emmanuel De Bock who wants to distance the party from its traditional roots and focus on social liberalism, trying to profit from MR's veering to the right. The young challengers are Christophe Magdalijns who is part of the "pragmatic" wing of the now retired Didier Gosuin, and the more social, young, female,  (and Walloon, for once) Julie Leclerq, who wants the party to run in FLanders - and not as a Francophone interests group. Lastly there is Jean-Claude Cremer, who runs the Luxemburgish provincial wing of Défi, which must be a fun pass-time. De Bock has the intelligentsia, Le Soir reading francophone liberal support, Leclerq seems to fit the better mould for #woke Défi, but Magdalijns might crucially have a better ground game because of Gosuin's support.  

PS : With Elio Di Rupo gone after almost 2 decades at the head of the Walloon-Brussels party of government and behemoth, it was CETA celebrity, ex-PoSci professor Paul Magnette who was elected unopposed. No surprises here, although something must have been promised at the federal level to Jean-Claude Marcourt and the Liègeois PS, who tend to prefer mandates over presidencies.

Groen had their election and Meryem Almaci was elected with tandem partner Dany Neudt after two rounds following a challenge from her "realo"-right. Bjorn Rzoska fought a campaign with Rina Rabau on "not guilt tripping" the core Flemish vote and wanting to take government responsibility. He pushed for an alliance with N-VA at Provincial level in East Flanders.

CD&V's leadership election is a sh**teshow judging by the fact that a guy most famous for playing a garden gnome in a tv-cum-theme park attraction is the candidacy generating the most headlines. I'll complete it when its done (or Laki) but its the one that's garnering the most media attention north of the border.
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« Reply #488 on: October 23, 2019, 06:05:28 pm »

Let’s say one of the regionally party for reason ends up with a majority what’s happens then?
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Feel The Bern
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« Reply #489 on: October 24, 2019, 09:44:44 am »

CD&V's leadership is a joke, but I prefer Sammy Mehdi. Would be a fresh young face for the party, with immigration background. That would be good. Glad Magnette will be chairman of PS. I'm both not in favour of Rzoska and Almaci in Groen and they likely won't get my vote, especially after they cancelled a climate march in Ghent. Not interested in who become MR chairman that much. In s.pa my preference goes to Hannes De Reu, and in VLD my preference goes to loyal mayor Francesco Vanderjeugd (also a young fresh face).
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Lakigigar
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« Reply #490 on: October 25, 2019, 07:33:22 am »



An amendment was filled in by PVDA-PTB (the marxists) about creating more funds for nurses & so (the white march as it was called), and was accepted by far-right VB, both the green parties, and both socialist while the center-left walloon parties and regionalists (Défi) abstained.

This is exactly why i hate the neoliberal parties (cd&v, n-va and open vld), and why i think VB is less bad than them. A s.pa / PS / Groen / Ecolo / PVDA-PTB / VB government will never happen, but it's my preference.
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Zinneke
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« Reply #491 on: October 25, 2019, 07:58:22 am »
« Edited: October 27, 2019, 03:24:10 am by coloniac »

You have got to understand that VB only support these measures because their entire political philosophy was so much in the gutter for so many years that they can get away with pretty much supporting any policy left, right or center.

I infinitely prefer, as a leftist, a Conservative with principles like De Wever to an arsonist demagogue like Van Grieken who support a left-wing policy once in a blue moon to show he "cares" about poor people.
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« Reply #492 on: October 25, 2019, 12:02:49 pm »

VLD always namecalling us communists and us being the same as VB is also something that bothers me. It's one of the reasons why i internationally am very hesitant to support (neo-)liberals. Why would they vote against more funds for care sector, and especially nurses which are demanded so much by the economy. Make it an attractive profession!
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Zinneke
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« Reply #493 on: October 26, 2019, 06:09:55 pm »

Sophie Wilmès will replace Charles Michel as Prime Minister. First woman prime minister in Belgian history.
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« Reply #494 on: October 27, 2019, 07:12:04 am »

Sophie Wilmès will replace Charles Michel as Prime Minister. First woman prime minister in Belgian history.
It's more symbolic, because this government can't do much. It's all about the next government.
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Tender Branson
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« Reply #495 on: October 27, 2019, 08:12:13 am »

Sophie Wilmès will replace Charles Michel as Prime Minister. First woman prime minister in Belgian history.
It's more symbolic, because this government can't do much. It's all about the next government.

Welcome to the club.
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« Reply #496 on: October 27, 2019, 09:46:54 am »

Sophie Wilmès will replace Charles Michel as Prime Minister. First woman prime minister in Belgian history.
It's more symbolic, because this government can't do much. It's all about the next government.

Welcome to the club.
We're used to it.
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« Reply #497 on: October 28, 2019, 09:15:40 pm »

Sort of tenuously linked to the langugage question - but what is the political identity of Brussels? Does it see itself as a francophone city, and solidaire with Wallonia? Or does Brussels consider itself to be a separate entity in its own right?

I guess the the same question would go for Halle Vilvorde, do they see theselves as Flemish or Bruxellois? or is it just too messy to say?

The simple answer is that the people currently living in Brussels do consider themselves separate politically from Walloons. But at the same time see their existence inside a Belgian state as being reliant on voting for "Walloon" parties (and also largely because Brussels is now 90-10 francophone/dutch-speaking). Because Brussels is a city the political debate is tailored around different issues than Wallonia. And, as you can clearly see, it votes slightly differently to Wallonia (ecolo are still strong here along with Défi and PS, + the Flemish parties' influence that has to govern in the cross-community set-up).

The French-speakers in the periphery identify with Brussels, although keep in mind (i.e the Flemish nationalist perspective) many can also be Walloon immigrants who don't understand why the Flemings are so aggressive on language policy, and just fall back on the grandiose idea of BHV.

It varies with the Flemings, it usually depends on whether or not their socio-economic life revolves around Brussels, in which case they tend to be a bit more cosmopolitan, but still proud of Flemish roots. Then you have the ones desperate not to suffer the "Brusselisation" of their communities. A good indicator is whether the commune building flies the Belgian flag or not (no joke). There are also parts of "North North Brussels" where flying the wrong flag out of your window is a bad idea.

If I understood correctly you can vote for more than one candidate as long as these candidates belong to the same party. How does this work?

Yup, a simple rule. If you vote for several candidates in the same list, then a +1 is made to the party list total. The district's assigned seats are then distributed between the lists, but the actual candidates of the list selected are based on which ones got the most votes and jump the list (just like NL). So by adding +1 to each candidate you like you and your friends can make several candidates jump the list rather than say, focusing on one. If that makes sense.

Also if you vote blanc your vote automatically goes to the largest party list, which for me is a more motivating factor to go out and vote than the potential fine you can incure for not turning out on election day.

What is Wallonia counterpart, the HDC like?
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Zinneke
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« Reply #498 on: October 29, 2019, 02:52:02 am »

Do you mean the Humanist Democratic Center? cdH?
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« Reply #499 on: October 29, 2019, 08:17:40 am »

Do you mean the Humanist Democratic Center? cdH?

Yes them (though I did read about them in previous pages).
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