Political tactics

aaah there's some moments that I just love politics. That I can sit back and watch it from a distant and enjoy the tactical games as if watching a team sport.

Remember that I explained here that a voting district in and around Brussels needs to be split into a bilingual area (Brussels) and a Flemish area (around Brussels). This district has been subjected by our highest court house and the government cannot organise legal elections before it is split. However, it is one of the topics that the Flemish and Wallonian politicians cannot agree upon.

While our government formations were dragging and dragging, the Flemish parties have voted their proposition in the parliament unilaterally using their electoral majority for the first time in Belgian history. All Flemish parties were united as were their frenchspeaking counterparts as well; Their so-called "5 minutes of braveness" turned out into a flop though: the formation attempt of Yves Leterme failed, the Wallonian politicians used some bureuacratical procedure that protects each cultural group in Belgium against such laws forced by one group upon the other. In the end this helped Yves Leterme to form his government after all as this delicate topic was off in the bureaucratical freezer and out of sight for a years was expected. Time enough to find a solution later on.

At least that was what everyone in Flanders was thinking. The Wallonian political parties have now all agreed to not use their protection measures to the limit. They've stopped the procedure that could have continued until next fall still. As a result, this bill comes back in the parliament on May 8th and the Flemish political parties can vote pro once again.

What a big risk they take?!, you might be thinking.

Not so...it's actually a brilliant tactical move. Yves Leterme is no longer president of the major Flemish political party, he is now leading our national government. His Flemish allies all want to vote for their bill and keep their point of view strong and they count on Yves' loyalty. If he holds the vote, it could mean a split with some of his allies.... all his Frenchspeaking counterparts say it's in his hands now. They want a negotiated compromise and count in his leadership to stop a vote in the parliament and to start negotiations. If the vote gets passed nevertheless, they'll leave the government.

Now that's what they call the sword of Damocles. Or brilliant tactics. Or bluffing.


Wholly Burble said…
My goodness--the way you describe this it does sound a bit like a chess game--lots of planning, plotting, maneuvering--all to end up where you want to go, but can't get to with a straight line.

Thanks for sharing, it's always an adventure to read about what's going on thre.
Anne Bradshaw said…
I enjoyed reading about your politics. Thanks for sharing.
Your politics are much more interesting than ours. I listened to a few minutes of a press conference by our village idiot... erm.... President... and he says the same things over and over and over and over. He NEVER answers questions directly. I had to turn it off. Argghhhh.
Goofball said…
@wholly burble: yes it's like chess. If it isn't a topic where you get too emotional about yourself, it's really exciting to follow :D

@Anne: well I'm glad you like it.

@Jen:hahahahaa village idiot. very funny!

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