Saturday, June 09, 2007
Yes, Sunday 10th June is polling day in the Belgian General Election.
For LibDems maybe even more of interest as the outgoing Belgian Federal Government is headed by one of our European ELDR colleagues who has been in office since 1999. The prognosis is not good – winners this time are expected to be the opposition Christian Democrats.
Belgian politics are of a rainbow complexity to make Welsh Assembly activities monochrome by comparison. For example there are actually two entirely separate LibDem parties (one Flemish, one Waloon) just as there are separate Flemish and Waloon Socialists and Christian Democratic parties. A fair account of all this is on European Tribune.
One interesting theme emerging is the conflict in Belgian Liberal politics between social and economic liberalism, which seems to have led to splits and realignments over the last few years. The place of markets in politics has been a hot issue for the Vlaamse Liberalen en Democraten..
Also part of the Flemish party’s electoral problem has been its support for electoral rights for immigrants to Belgium, putting it into hot conflict with the Vlaams Bloc (Flemish Bloc)
All this may be of interest in our own UK discussions… as well as important for our Belgian friends.