Monday, June 18, 2007

Belgium joins rightward drift

If you haven't been to DownEastBlog anytime soon, head on over and show Mike some lov'n.

While the right in France didn't get the tidal wave hoped for (still they have the Presidency and 314 out of 577) - next door the Belgians have taken a less dramatic - but none-the-less significant - step to the right.

The results for Flanders: big wins for the opposition party CD & V (Christian Democrats, first pillar from the left), a slight win for the VB (second pillar from the left), heavy losses for the ruling liberals (third pillar) and socialists (fourh pillar), sudden emergence of breakaway rightwing party LDD (fifth pillar, light blue), Green nutters (last pillar) winning a bit. If not a shift to the right, definitely a shift away from the left.

Noteworthy too is the sudden rise of a small breakaway rightwing party from the liberal VLD. This LDD party, for Lijst De Decker, which secured in Flanders some 7% of the vote, seems to have attracted most of the malcontent "dark blue" liberals of the VLD, who could not stomach anymore how their once great party - I myself was a VLD member till 2004 - had become nearly indistinguishable from the socialists.

In light of the shift towards the centrist Christian Democrats and the sudden appearance of the rightwing LDD (rightwing only with regards to economics, ethically it has a "progressive" agenda, it is perhaps surprising that the VB still stood its own, and even gained 1.1% as compared to the previous parliamentary elections. Given the peculiarities of the Belgian voting system this will however not translate in another seat in Parliament, to the contrary, the VB loses one, from 18 seats to 17. By contrast, the Christian Democrats now have 30 seats in the 150-seat Kamer (Lower House).

To sum it all up, there IS a rightwing shift in Belgium, both in Flanders and Wallonia.
Good news for the West. They won even with statements like this.
Flemish Christian Democrat, Pieter De Crem, ..spoke(n) out in favor of "more risky operations" for the Belgian Army. This may very well be interpreted as a more active involvement in the WOT.
I had a Swedish Army (of all types) tell me once with much conviction that Europe will, in the end, come to its senses. It will take too long, will come late, and will be fixed in the messy way Europe does things - but it will happen.

Who knows, maybe Europe will go down fighting - and maybe pull a win out of it. I like the trend here, and will take the good news, because this war is still in its opening rounds - and with the most popular name for boys born in Brussels being Mohammed - time is not on Belgium's or Europe's side.

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