Thursday, 1 December 2011


After a year and a half in the receivership of a caretaker government, Belgium is finally set to form a coalition, permanent regime. Political and cultural contention meant that the Low Country surpassed civil war-torn Cameroon and occupied Iraq for the modern record of operating without a proper elected government. Now, for the first time since the 1960s, the liberal and social-democratic parties have joined together under the leadership of a prime-minister from the French-speaking region of Wallonia. I think that this is a big accomplishment and wish the Belgian people continued success in their affairs, but it is a bit strange how the daily business of politics limped along over the past five-hundred days in a self-described power-vacuum towards this notorious record given that in Brussels there is already super-imposed seat of the European Union and those vested powers and a perfectly good royal family and given that the outcome of elections and party-partnerships will never please everyone. There are significant divides and cloying for representation between the Francophone Walloons and the Dutch-speaking Flemish, and politicians are generally disappointing. Belgium's perseverance to secure a proper government sort of reminds me of the biblical Israelites insistence on a human ruler out of king-envy and peer-pressure. Maybe it was a bit awkward to tell their neighbours that their king was God. The Israelites got some very good and wise secular leaders but were eventually tuned into the fact that earthly leadership was prone to error. Now that Belgium is not just Brussels, as the EU capital, hopefully the political loggerheads can be navigated and place more emphasis on unity rather than division.