Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Belgian King Doing His Job
HM King Albert II of the Belgians has been at work, showing how invaluable even a very limited monarchy can be, in the wake of the recent elections which gave the largest number of seats to the openly separatist New Flemish Alliance. Although most Belgians still voted for parties which support national unity it is disturbing that, for the first time, the largest number of seats were won by Flemish nationalists who support the secession of Flanders and thus the destruction of the Kingdom of Belgium. Since then the King has been meeting with political leaders in an effort to quickly form a coalition government before the lack of a government makes the political and particularly the economic situation even worse (Belgium ranks third in terms of overwhelming debt which has been dragging down European countries lately). As it stands now (though not exactly a pleasant prospect in my view either) it seems possible that the winning socialists of Walonia could join with the Flemish socialists to form a national government without the support of the separatists. It is important for monarchists to remember the crucial role played by the King in all of this as the one figure in government who has the prestige and the (even if symbolic) authority to bring the various parties together to work in the national interest. In a way almost unique to Belgium in the degree to which this is true, the King is also virtually the only man in government who can stand above the regional differences of the country. As the saying has long been, everyone else may be Flemish or Waloon but the King is Belgian. Hopefully, for the sake of the country, his efforts will be successful and Belgium will have a government, dedicated to national unity, that can quickly get down to taking care of the business of the country.
Posted by MadMonarchist at 11:56 AM
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I hate to say this, but I definitely support the 'separatists' in this battle. They've watched as Waloon socialists turned half of Belgium into a third-world country. Debt, declining (er, declined) levels of living, a broken judiciary system. The Flemish people deserve to leave their association before Waloon politicians decide that it would be "fairer" for them to take Flemish free-market wealth.ReplyDelete
I'm hoping that if the country does break up, then the Belgian monarchy will merely split in two and not be left holding a tattered tradition.
When it comes to politics I am probably more in line with the average Fleming than the average Waloon, for the reasons mentioned, but I would never support the separatist faction paramountly because there is *zero* chance of the monarchy surviving as you hope. The hard-core Flemish nationalists have political opinions ranging from radical republican to neo-nazi and there is no way they will be a monarchy if they break from Walonia. I am also not prepared to give up on the Kingdom of Belgium and tell all those who gave their lives for that country over the years that their sacrifice was for nothing. The answer to the problem, which I agree is much as you state, is not to destroy Belgium but to eradicate the socialism *and* the radical nationalism in the two halves of the country.ReplyDelete
I agree with you, MadMonarchist. At this point, as I see it, the Flemings, the Walloons, and the royal family have been through so much together, it would be too much of a tragedy for them to part ways over corrupt politicians. There must surely be a better solution. I suspect that there are those in Wallonia (maybe not among the politicians, but at least among the people) who are also frustrated with all the mess, with whom conservative Flemings might be able to work, with a little good will.ReplyDelete
Yes, it is a slap in the face to the past generations who defended with their lives the unity and independence of the country. I also think if the division would happen it would only be the begining of the problems. What to do with Brussels? What to do with all of the government property and organizations and military? What to do with us of one group born and raised in the territory of the other? I sometimes wish I could go home just to vote against this stuff but there is hardly one worth voting for.ReplyDelete