First the background. On October 14, last Sunday, municipal elections were held in Belgium. While they did not promise surprises in Wallonia, Belgium's overwhelmingly socialist ergo dirt poor French-speaking part, they were expected to cause quite an earthquake in Flanders, Belgium's rich, Dutch-speaking northern half.
And they did.
A 'secessionist', 'conservative' party that has almost litterally sprung up from nowhere, N-VA, for Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie [New-Flemish Alliance] mad major inroads everywhere in Flanders, in the process cannibalizing its nearest neighbor, the truly conservative Vlaams Belang, and pushing the socialists from the throne in Flanders' biggest city, Antwerp.
Initially not intending to do a post about it since rather affected by the terrible losses my party, the Vlaams Belang, suffered, the CDR's mail spurred me into writing a response, and it sort of morphed into something sufficient for a decent post. You'll find it below, but first of all two remarks:
a.) In choosing to label his mail 'Did you vote twice or something' he seems to assume I contributed to the N-VA's success, ergo he thinks I'm an N-VA supporter. I am not, since I consider them CINO's (conservatives in name only). Still, the very perception that the N-VA is rightist can be a burden in Belgium, as the N-VA will very soon find out.
b.) The N-VA is not secessionist per se. It's confederalist.
OK. Now for my reply to the CDR:
"Op 15/10/2012 1:26, CDR Phibian Salamander schreef: > > http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/70477188-1636-11e2-b6f1-00144feabdc0.html#axzz29JpkGZAt > > Cheers, > Sal > > - http://cdrsalamander.blogspot.com > - http://www.blogtalkradio.com/midrats > Contributor to: > - http://blog.usni.org > - http://bigpeace.com
CDR, baloney. Mark my words and you'll remember them when you have the fortune to reach the ripe old age of 90, Belgium ain't no artificial nation. Among the average Fleming there is no desire to split up the country and indeed, the guy in the article, Bart De Wever, leader of the N-VA, something like a Vlaams Belang Lite, is no secessionist. He is a confederalist, wanting to transfer certain fiscal responsibilities to the regions while keeping key ministries like defense or foreign affairs at the federal level. He DOES want still greater autonomy for Flanders and Wallonia, true.
But I think he's smart enough to understand that there are strong supranational forces at play (the EU itself foremost) which will NEVER allow that one of the six founding members of the EU, indeed, a mini EU in itself and its very political laboratory, will call its splitsville thereby calling in question the viability of the greater EU itself.
In that respect NV-A is a bit more realist than the VB, which btw is rapidly hrinking as a result of N-VA cannibalizing it. They understand that here in ole Belgium we aren't doing anymore what we'd like to do without Big Brother EU looking over our shoulder ready to intervene at a moment's notice.
Also, there's the problem of Brussels. You simply cannot make a clean cut in Belgium, it's not Czechoslowakia where both parties had clearly defined and mature administrative centers: Prague for the Czechs and Bratislava for the Slovaks.
Belgium falling apart? Forget it.
I think the VB made a grievous political error in not acknowledging that the average Fleming DOES-NOT-WANT-A- BREAKUP. They (the VB) have been hammering on independence for aeons, it can't be done. And now they are stuck in a corner with their main programme point and can't call it quits without losing face even more. Of course, the VB programma is more than that. Other main points are:
* strong identity politics (Western in general, Flemish in particular)
* strongly opposed to islamization
* zero tolerance for criminality
* defense of traditional values (the traditional family with man, woman, preferably married, and a couple of kids
* against gay marriage, against gay adoption
* on the economical level, pro free market with social corrections, from a technical POV pro supply side economics
All good points, which is why I am still a VB member. But I couldn't even vote for the VB since privately I live in Wallonia. I HAD to vote, for that reason, for Walloon parties - and with pain in my heart give my vote for the least worst.
You won't find (m)any of those VB hallmarks in the N-VA programme. Like I said, their signature claim is for confederalism, as they see it as the only means to stem the flow of Flemish money to the dilapidated socialist structure in the south - Wallonia.
Bottom line: the VB has a string of good, honest conservative points but one demand that cannot realistically be met - Flemish independence tout court. The N-VA, soi-disant VB Lite, lacks the real conservative stuff, indeed, is ambiguous in quite a few matters, but has one realistic proposal for stopping Walloon profiteering on Flemish backs - confederalism.
Inexplicably, the leader of the NVA, Bart De Wever, does not let an occasion pass to spit in the VB's face. I can understand that for pragmatic reasons it would be preferable not to 'burn' itself in an alliance with the VB (that there would be 'burning' is in itself a disgrace since the VB has long since come clean with its past). There's however no excuse for displaying genuine physical contempt.
What will the future bring? The VB has so hammered on the unreachable goal of indepence that they've cornered themselves. Voter fatigue with a party that is at the same time constrained in the infamous 'cordon sanitaire' has depleted its ranks. Unless a miracle happens, I see no immediate solution for the stalemate the party finds itself in.
The N-VA will discover soon enough that even the whiff of faux conservatism suffices to brand it as 'extreme right' in a country where leftist ideologies have so been spoonfed to the population that they have become mainstream. Sure enough, already Daniel Termont, the socialist mayor of Ghent, a major Flemish town and one where the reds and greens were able to stay in power, said to the Dutch press that Bart De Wever made him think of the thirties. That a proponent of mere confederalism can be branded as a closet nazi by a socialist asshole pur sang who GETS AWAY WITH SUCH A RIDICULOUS ACCUSATION speaks bookmarks of the level of political correctyism that has so much become the norm that anything that's not in line with it is suspect.
Add to that the imho volatile nature of the N-VA 'show of strength', based as it is one nothing more than a one man cult - for some reason Bart De Wever 'ticks', at least for now, and you have the promise of an N-VA implosion a couple of years hence.
In short - I'm desperate for conservatism in Belgium (AND in Europe), which would be the ONLY thing that can put us back on the tracks.
Personally, I will stay a VB member. Apart from its striving for independence, it's sufficiently conservative for me. If the conservative ship must go down in a world full of political lies, media distortions and educational brainwashing, then I prefer to go down with it instead of going with the flow.
Nite - Michael
PS gonna read some more pages of The Killer Angels, almost at the end now. Mighty good book!"
Indien VB-leden die deelnamen aan de verkiezingen dit lezen, proficiat met jullie inzet. Doorvechten!