Sunday, June 13, 2010

Flemish Nationalists Win in Belgium

Belgium held its election today and it appears that the Flemish Nationalists have scored a decisive victory.

Before going into the details, here’s an essay from Anja Otte via Flanders Today. She provides an overview of the various drivers for Belgian elections as she explains “The Rule”:

Flemish politics are governed by The Rule, which is: the party that “owns” the theme that dominates the campaign wins the election.

  • If the big theme is social security or redistribution, the socialists win.
  • If it’s food or environmental safety, the greens win.
  • If everyone is talking about budgetary orthodoxy, then it’s time for the liberals to cash in.
  • If relations between the Dutch and the French speakers dominates, the nationalists are in for sure
.

According to this analysis, that last issue predominated in this election, even though she says most people can’t explain the nuts and bolts involved:

The chances are slim that you can find anyone on the street who can explain what confederalism means, yet this has become a major theme in the election debates. A confederation, should you wonder, is an association of sovereign member states. This is one step further than the federal state Belgium is at the moment - a union of partially self-governing regions and communities - and in the eyes of many French speakers, it is one step removed from Flemish secession.

Outsiders have trouble separating out the finer details of the alignments and the shifting realities of Belgian politics. It is only human to employ one’s own philosophical and political templates as a way to understand Belgium. Sometimes that works, but often it doesn’t.

Sadly, in another essay, Ms. Otte demonstrates the global affliction which sickens so much of the debate about sovereignty and immigration. She demonizes (at least this is the case in conservative America’s view) Vlaams Belang:
- - - - - - - - -
Over the past two decades, the international media has been obsessed with just one party in Flanders: the Vlaams Belang (previously Vlaams Blok) and its mixture of separatism and xenophobia, leading to conclusions about this region being narrow minded and racist.

Only people who give the “international media” any credence for accuracy or fairness would believe that Vlaams Belang’s desire for sovereignty and assimilation of its immigrants was racist or xenophobic. Those of us in America who want to halt illegal immigration are accused in a like manner by the very same international media.

This is a mindless, immoral accusation but the transnationalists have the microphone and they’re not about to let any other point of view be heard. She says:

The reports have often missed the point that, even at its peak - with 24% of the votes - most people in Flanders actively detest the Vlaams Belang. This is not a party like any other, was the phrase often used. Because of its anti-immigrant viewpoints, often bordering on the racist, all other Flemish parties created a cordon sanitaire around the Vlaams Belang, refusing to enter any government with them.

Ms Otte does not say what Belgium is going to do about its increasingly violent no-go zones, the ones that Vlaams Belang had the courage to point out as problems that needed attention. Do “most people in Flanders” accept the virulent anti-Semitism of the inhabitants of these no-go zones? Are they prepared to handle the escalation of violence as these haters continue to intimidate and violate Belgian citizens?

How high-minded of “most people” to “actively detest” those who tell the truth. Another “see-no-evil-speak-no-evil-hear-no-evil” move to avoid facing the very real dangers of an unassimilated and hostile horde in your midst. Good luck with that, Belgium. Like the rest of us, you will pay the price for being so politically correct and virtuously blind. By all means, play follow the leader. It’s a safe position...at least for the moment. However, as a long term strategy it makes you and yours dhimmis.

Perhaps this author would like to hear about the way the “poor Walloons” are treated? Here’s an AP report via Breitbart. Ah, the international media; they don’t even mention VB here. It must have been an oversight:

Polls predicted a solid showing for a mainstream Flemish party whose leader wants Dutch-speaking Flanders to sever its unhappy ties with Francophone Wallonia and, in time, join the European Union as a separate country.

This is a nightmare scenario for poorer Wallonia which greatly depends on Flemish funds and shows how linguistic disputes dominate national politics…

Yeah, poor Walloons…they don’t understand why socialism is a loser. Socialism is for those who believe everything should be “fair” even if it’s not fair to you. The collective doesn’t work. Never has.

Here is the breakdown of the election results:

Although there are still a good number of results to be declared, a clear trend is emerging. The Flemish nationalist party N-VA has polled even more than it did in recent opinion polls. With 29% Bart De Wever’s party is streets ahead of its nearest rival the Christian democrats. [it's now 30% - D]

  • Evidently the biggest loser was the Christian Democrats, who are reduced to 17.5%, their worst-ever electoral showing.
  • Vlaams Belang is much reduced, losing about a third, holding onto only 12.5%.
  • The Liberals garnered 14.5%, down from the last election.
  • Lijst Dedecker has lost more than a third of its support. It will have no MPS outside West Flanders.

Yes, it’s confusing to outsiders, but this page has a listing you’ll find helpful. Not only does the chart illustrate the numbers, but as you have to scroll across that chart you become bewildered by the sheer volume of splinter parties. The Pirate Party? Seriously? This political fracturing strongly resembles the religious denominational splinters in American Christianity. Here, the fissions simply go on and on, breaking into ever smaller pieces of the Christian pie. It looks as though Belgian political parties have the same tendency.

If you scroll down to the sidebar on the right on that same page you’ll find two clickable listings for the constituencies and for the parties in Flanders (the voting image at the top has all the political parties, not just the Flemish). Those lists provide a good background both geographically and in terms of party members.

Most interesting is the way the winner, Bart De Wever, framed his victory [emphases are mine - D]:

The N-VA is heading for a share of the vote of up to 30% across Flanders. This makes the Flemish nationalists the biggest party in Flanders and Belgium

Mr De Wever said that now was the time to build bridges and he hoped that others, even those who lost ground in this election, would be prepared to take up government responsibility.

Mr De Wever said that now was the time to build bridges and he hoped that others, even those who lost ground in this election, would be prepared to take up government responsibility.

Mr De Wever noted that 70% of Flemings had not voted N-VA.

That’s the way the fractional party voting goes in Europe. I can see its strengths, but there are definitely weaknesses when it comes to political stability. However, this modest appraisal by Mr. De Wever bodes well for cooperation among the various parties.

Perhaps Belgian politics may stabilize for a while? Flemish succession will still be an issue, but this calming of the waters by De Wever brings hope to those who want stability.


Note: After looking around for some time, I finally settled on Flanders Today as my resource for this information. It’s geared well toward English speakers. Thus, everything in this post is sourced from Flanders Today. If our readers have alternative stories, please link them in the comments.

1 comments:

alan said...

Charles Johnson bans Belgium in 5, 4, 3 ...