So it seems the Belgian apathy to the political problems has come to an end.  Since a few weeks lots of little initiatives have sprouted on the internet:
  • a few successful youtube videos complaining about the situation
  • website that counts down until we break the world record held by Iraq for country with the longest period without government
  • a virtual campground in front of the prime minister's house to ask the politicians money back if they don't do their job
  • A theatre evening with lots of (Flemish) artists themed "Separatism, not in our name"
  • Students organizing a protest in Brussels today via FB with the theme "SHAME"
Today 35000 - 45000 people marched through  the streets of Brussels protesting against the fact that we have no government yet.  Isn't that ironic: most other countries protest against their government, but we must ask our politicians to form one.

The point is that most of the politicians and most politic parties do want to form a government...most , maybe not all.  But we've voted such a scattered political landscape and rewarded those politicians with the most bold stubborn point of views that they can't come to an agreement together.  So what are we asking in fact?  To quickly compromise and break their electoral promises? To form a government no matter what, regardless the quality of their agreements?  If we'd select a subset of the protesters, would they be able to come to an agreement or wouldn't they struggle with the same issues? Aren't we all secretly convinced that it is the "other" parties that are taking impossible point-of-views, not "our political party, we voted for"?

Well the difference is of course that the protesting civilians aren't paid to do a political job and rule the country and the politicians are. And I hope the big turn-out might make it easier for the different parties around the table to indeed swallow some painful compromises and sell it to their voters.  They'll all have to lose somehow for sure to move forward.

Personally I'm kinda happy that the turn-out wasn't so Frenchspeaking as the comments on the organization's website beforehand predicted (although 21% Flemish still isn't that great). If not it would have once again only stressed in what sort of enstrangered country we live. On the contrary, despite the organization's call for a non-political statement protest, a high number of people were wearing Belgian symbols and pro-unity slogans.   I must say that it felt good to see that, especially since we are so often flooded with separatist messages and the counter opinion usually remains silent.

Despite the awakening of the Belgians last days, I still believe we're moving forward to break that world-record of goverment-less country quickly.  Only 65 more days.  Bleh.   Shame indeed.


Lilacspecs said…
I'm actually more indifferent now, ironically.
Everyone here is finally starting to get annoyed with the lack of now I'm just sort of used to it.
Brian Miller said… do things run?
Goofball said…
@Brian: we have the previous government who stepped down that has to keep things running. They have limited power and can't approve any new plans. They've just recently been granted the right to make the budget for 2011 though because...well yeah it's already 2011.
There's also a lot of authorisations for the federal regions and those governments are still up and running.

Nevertheless there's many reorganisations, plans, bills on hold for almost a year now.
Brian Miller said…
ah thanks for the explanation...

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