Skip to comments.Belgium's Liberal-Socialist government suffers major losses in general elections
Posted on 06/10/2007 11:26:14 AM PDT by LdSentinal
BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) - Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt's government of Liberals and Socialists took a fierce beating in Sunday's general elections as Christian Democrats translated eight years on the opposition benches into major gains, according to early vote projections.
After two four-year terms, the coalition partners were predicted to lose ground across Belgium, a country of 10.5 million where political parties are split into separate Dutch and French-speaking factions. With 30 percent of the vote counted, the VRT television network gave Christian Democrats 32.4 percent of the vote in Dutch-speaking Belgium (up from 25.8 percent in 2003) and Verhofstadt's Liberals only 18.2 percent (down from 24.2 percent).
The extreme rightwing, anti-immigrant Flemish Interest party would get 18.5 percent of the vote (down from 17.9 percent) to remain the second largest faction. Verhofstadt's allies, the Socialists, were predicted to lose in both Flanders (dropping to 17.4 percent, from 23.5 percent ) and in Wallonia (slipping to 31 percent, from 36.4 percent). Green parties scored something of a comeback in both Dutch and French-speaking Belgium. The francophone socialist party has been mired in corruption scandals lately. In Wallonia, the ruling Liberals also lost, polling about 27 percent of the vote (down from 28.4 percent). As in Flancers, the Christian Democrats advanced in Wallonia.
If the early results hold, Yves Leterme leader of the Dutch-speaking Christian Democrats, will be the most likely candidate to form a new government _ usually a lengthy exercise in this linguistically divided nation. The post of prime minister has been held by a Dutch-speaker for the last 33 years, reflecting Flanders' economic dominance.
«It is high time to change» and put Christian Democrats in charge, Leterme said already before the vote. Across the language frontier in southern Wallonia, politicians have been pushing for a Francophone prime minister in recent weeks.
Voting is mandatory for Belgium's 7.7 million voters, with all 150 seats in the House of Representatives and 40 of the 71 Senate seats at stake. Flemings can only vote for Flemish parties and Walloon voters only for Francophone parties, except for the area in and around the bilingual capital, Brussels, where parties from both languages are on the list.
Amazing, Europe is going away from social government while the US is moving toward it.
(I.E. Belgium and France)
More bad news for the DUmmies.
The leftwards drift (namely the 2006 elections) in the USA is a temporary shift. I have a good feeling for 2008.
With Fred Thompson we have a real chance to get a conservative Republican into the White House.
That's what confused me too, but I wrote it off as a possible Freudian slip, or subconscious hope, of the Associated Press writer.
To the Wrong, less is more, war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength.
“The leftwards drift (namely the 2006 elections) in the USA is a temporary shift. I have a good feeling for 2008.”
I fully agree. Let us not forget that the loss of Congress was due mainly to corruption (Abramoff, Foley) and stupidity (Allen). The DUmmies didn’t win anything - we lost it.
If we stay scandal-free and espouse Conservative principles, we will win the Presidency by a 3 to 1 electoral vote margin and get both houses of Congress back in 2008.
Now there's a shocker.
It seems this is becoming a (welcome) trend in Europe.
You know, it's kind of funny, sitting here in Nebraska, with a stable overflowing with good solid substantial Republican candidates--and we're one of the smallest states in the union--we got so much prime talent, so much quality talent, men and women in their 20s and 30s, here in Nebraska, there's an embarrassing surplus of it.
One wishes there was a way we could "export" some of the surplus to areas needing good young vigorous high-quality winning Republicans.
“You know, it’s kind of funny, sitting here in Nebraska, with a stable overflowing with good solid substantial Republican candidates”
Then how do you explain Chuck Hagel?
My theory is some sort of microscopic aneurysm in the brain, which is common among men his age.
Such aneurysms, frequently undetected unless one is specifically looking for them, cause all sorts of abruptly-abnormal behavior; one has to remember that aside from this anomaly about the War for the Liberation of Iraq, Hagel has been, and still is, one of the "most conservative" U.S. Senators.
But at any rate, Hagel is done, finished.
Unless I am grossly misreading popular opinion here in Nebraska, no matter what Hagel does, Hagel is history.
As I am not God, I cannot say this for a 100% certainty; only a 99.9% certainty.
For Hagel to survive in Nebraska in 2008 (if he does run for the U.S. Senate again), would be similar with a football coach pep-talking his team during half-time, when the team is down 77-7, all the major players out with injuries, the surviving quarterback a fourth-stringer.....and the team goes out to win in an upset.
As college football is 138 years old, I imagine maybe possibly perhaps such a thing has happened in all those years, but probably not very often.
Most Nebraskans dropped Hagel because of his ideas about the War for the Liberation of Iraq; this never bothered me especially much, given Hagel's record on other issues (solidly conservative), and because there's plenty of room for dissension.
I myself have always been one of the "last-ditchers;" because of my natural conservatism and caution, I don't jump ship until I'm certain the ship is actually sinking (like, maybe when the funnels are starting to go under).
Where Hagel lost me was when he alleged George Bush might be impeachable simply because.....some people don't like him.
Which of course is the way DUmmies think.