Jamesb101.com

commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

DSD on the Elections in Belgium…..

I don’t think Ireland will soon hold elections to match the UK’s, but the Czech elections were followed by Slovak ones this weekend, and the Dutch ones by Belgian ones.

In Belgium, the big gains were by a new Flemish (Dutch-speaking) party. Most of Belgium’s parties (Socialists, Liberals, Christian Democrats, etc.) are split into a Flemish and Walloon (French-speaking) wing, so coalitions take a long time to build and are vulnerable (like the most recent one) to all kinds of pressures.

Here’s the English-language report, by Iain MacIntyre, from Radio Netherlands Worldwide:

http://www.rnw.nl/english/article/triumphant-flemish-separatists-call-united-front” The Flemish separatist NVA has emerged as the largest party in the general election in Belgium. The New Flemish Alliance took 17.4 percent of the vote, good for 27 of the 150 seats in the Belgian parliament – an increase of 19 seats.

In second place was the Francophone Socialist Party (PS) which won 26 seats. Pretty much all the other parties lost ground, particularly the Christian Democrat and Liberal parties which formed the previous coalition government.

United front

NVA leader Bart De Wever is calling for all the Flemish parties to work together. “If I have to do it alone, I’m doomed to fail” he said. Flemish political analyst Carl Devos says De Wever wants to develop a joint standpoint before approaching the Francophone parties.

Despite its ties with the PS, the Flemish socialist party (sp.a) with 13 seats says it will be “a constructive partner”. The Christian Democrat CD&V expressed doubts that a united front would help.

Although the NVA seeks an independent Flemish state in the long term, this does not mean the end of Belgium or even the start of devolution in anything like the near future. The complications of Belgium’s electoral system, with separate voting in the Flemish, Dutch-speaking region and in the Walloon, French-speaking region plus bilingual Brussels, means that at least four parties (two from each region) are normally needed to form a coalition….

More at: http://www.rnw.nl/english/article/triumphant-flemish-separatists-call-united-front

Here’s the slightly more-interpretive BBC report:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/europe/10303179.stm

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June 14, 2010 - Posted by | Blogs, Government, Media, Politics, Updates | ,

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