Why so down on Belgium?

You can talk about anything here

Moderator: Global Moderator

User avatar
RascalJones
N3O Member
N3O Member
Posts: 1275
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 1:22 am
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Contact:

Why so down on Belgium?

Post by RascalJones »

CHAOS has a frowny face beside his location, and some have said the only good thing out of Belgium is the beer.

What's wrong with Belgium?


My great uncle used to tell me some crazy WWII stories from Belgium. He actually landed at Normandy on D-Day, as an army engineer, and helped push through France and into Belgium. If I remember correctly, he landed one beach away from the one featured in "Saving Private Ryan". One year at Thanksgiving time, he told me the story of the landing. It was an amazing story to say the least. I only wish I had recorded it before he passed away. He had lots of good things to say about Belgium.....mostly about the women. I actually have a picture of him and a buddy of his standing on a street corner somewhere during WWII.

User avatar
I__CHAOS__I
N3O Member
N3O Member
Posts: 3009
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 12:55 am
Location: ??

Re: Why so down on Belgium?

Post by I__CHAOS__I »

good ol' times ;)

but if you would be aware of our (belgian) political situation/mess now, you would understand... it makes me sick :(
Image
Wisdom is the supreme part of happiness. - Sophocles
Happiness belongs to the self-sufficient. - Aristotle

User avatar
Comadevil
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 2117
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 4:55 am
AOE3 Nickname: Comadevil

Re: Why so down on Belgium?

Post by Comadevil »

Quite understandable if Vallonians and Flames(??) go against each other and even long old marriages break about it as i have read it.
It is an old rivalry which now is boiling much higer than used to be. Belgium didn't get a new government since the election in June because of it

lordandcount
N3O Officer
N3O Officer
Posts: 780
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 11:03 pm
Contact:

Re: Why so down on Belgium?

Post by lordandcount »

Well there have been voices to get the dutch speaking part to the netherlands again, but the problem is that the french don't want the french part. The big problem is that the dutch speaking guys are with more, richer and that the most money is going to the french part. By the way beer isn't the only good thing. There are 2 more things: jokes about belgian stupidity (Quite common in the Netherlands) and their frites.
Image
NEO_CrAz3n wrote: L&C is sorta the N3O police.
I'm the most annoying officer

Navarone_Guy
Honorary Officer
Posts: 1206
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 9:02 am
Location: Over there

Re: Why so down on Belgium?

Post by Navarone_Guy »

Chaos, I could say the same about the American political system...
Groovy.

KingKaramazov
Honorary Member
Honorary Member
Posts: 1216
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 12:12 pm
Location: Boston, MA
Contact:

Re: Why so down on Belgium?

Post by KingKaramazov »

Hahah...Nav, somehow I doubt it's as bad, but yes, our political system sucks balls.

But ours is more of the "elicits disgust" category as opposed to the "rips apart families" category.
"Why are some people all grasshopper fiddlings, scrappings, all antennae shivering, one big ganglion eternally knotting, slip-knotting, square-knotting themselves? They stoke a furnace all their lives, sweat their lips, shine their ey

User avatar
blayzer13
Honorary Member
Honorary Member
Posts: 505
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 2:39 am
Location: vermont,usa

Re: Why so down on Belgium?

Post by blayzer13 »

i would say our political system has been flawed ever seince the 2 party political system was adopted

ZoRPrimE
Major
Major
Posts: 251
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 7:00 am
Location: Limassol, Cyprus

Re: Why so down on Belgium?

Post by ZoRPrimE »

Thomas Paine can help us out here.
"Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one."

In order not to be a cynic I try to think of government in terms of decades and centuries rather than see it in smaller increments. It's like watching the minute hand on the clock to experience and hour going by, it just doesn't seem that much like progress.

For now it looks like's something is Rotten in Belgium, sure must take the load off of Denmark!
"It is by will alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the juice of sapho that thoughts acquire speed, the lips acquire stains, the stains become a warning. It is by will alone I set my mind

KingKaramazov
Honorary Member
Honorary Member
Posts: 1216
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 12:12 pm
Location: Boston, MA
Contact:

Re: Why so down on Belgium?

Post by KingKaramazov »

Blayzer and his to-the-point comments for the win.

I agree.

Zorprime has an interesting point, but unfortunately all too often the more "in the moment" happenings of politics have large, important, and perplexing, frustrating, or unfortunate consequences for people living in the here and now.

:p
"Why are some people all grasshopper fiddlings, scrappings, all antennae shivering, one big ganglion eternally knotting, slip-knotting, square-knotting themselves? They stoke a furnace all their lives, sweat their lips, shine their ey

User avatar
luukje
Honorary Member
Honorary Member
Posts: 553
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2007 5:21 pm

Re: Why so down on Belgium?

Post by luukje »

We are 165 days without governement over here in Belgium and counting. I think for people outside belgium it is very hard to understand how complex politics are over here.

A short history lesson.

Belgium is a country that was created by France and the UK to form a cushion betweem them and the emerging united German empire and to block any ambitions the netherlands had left in the 19th century. It was formed out of mostly flemish speaking rural communities governed by french speaking "bourgoisie".

At the end of the 19 th century the french speaking part had an economic boom fueled by coal and steel industry. At the same time the flemish wanted their language and culture recognosed as equal. Protest were always peacefull and by the end of the 1960 the flemish got their first part of cultural autonomy.

World economics in the mean time had made wallon economy with their coal mines and steel factories obsolete. In Flanders a lot of investements created incredibele growth and job opportunities. To counter the crisis wallon leaders agreed with flemish leaders to trade more cultural autonomy for ecomomic autonomoy in wallon in 1970ties and 1980ties.

So Belgium is divided in a flemmish speaking part, a french part and a german part. And at the same time it is divided in a flemmish economic region, a wallon region and Brussel region.

Unfortanely no turnaround has succeeded and in Wallon there are now generations of unemployed, people living their whole lives of well fare. Flanders is a top 5 region in europe, Wallon a bottom five. The different political reforms have created a very complex governing system.

The majority in flanders wants new reforms, giving wallons and flemish responsability for their own part of the country. Elections in Flanders were won by the parties that made this there ballot point. Wallons are afraid that is the start of the disintegration of the country and their leaders have promised that there will be no reforms. I think Wallons know that reforms are needed, but the fear of being left alone and loosing the support from flanders is bigger.

This is complicated by ohther issues.

Cultural and economic autonomy has created a situation in wich both parts of the country have their own political parties. In order to form a governement six (SIX!) - I repeat - different parties are required. Each of these parties has different views, had made other electoal promises.

Unfortenately leaders of the flemish movement aligned with the germans in WW I and II. In Flanders there still is a party that promotes this kind of "independent flanders" politics, at the same having deeply consevative and anti semitic views. For wallons it is is easy to brnad "flemish" = racist and separatist.

The capital of belgium, Brussels, was in the flemish speaking part of the country but after two centuries of french speaking rule, it now only has 10-20% flemish left. There are a lot of european and african immrigants living there but they prefer french or english. French speaking brussels want to enlarge brussels, annexing some flemish communities that have suffered the same fate. The Brussels french leaders have aligned with wallons leaders to get more support for their demands. In Flanders people want this stopped. For them these demands are giving away their "territory", for the french speaking it is about protecting their language.

So leaders of flemmish, wallons and brussels are trying to find some common ground for new solutions, but there isnt any. Nobody really wants a separation, but the current leaders just dont have an answer for all the problems and demands.

I hope they find a solution, given this country new constitutions and structures, ensuring the best for both parts of the country. But being flemish, if the wallons keep refusing any reforms, I would rather see a split than contuining the current situation.

User avatar
luukje
Honorary Member
Honorary Member
Posts: 553
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2007 5:21 pm

Re: Why so down on Belgium?

Post by luukje »

Will anybody read this?

User avatar
Comadevil
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 2117
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 4:55 am
AOE3 Nickname: Comadevil

Re: Why so down on Belgium?

Post by Comadevil »

I read it.

User avatar
I__CHAOS__I
N3O Member
N3O Member
Posts: 3009
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 12:55 am
Location: ??

Re: Why so down on Belgium?

Post by I__CHAOS__I »

well written luukje, although thousands of pages are needed to explain it in depth, you highlighted the most important issues

There is one other thing that is not neglectable: it's the fact that flanders parliament has used it's majority (in raw numbers) to enforce a decision knowing the french part had no counter for it... that's unacceptable and against all principles of a democracy imho.
Image
Wisdom is the supreme part of happiness. - Sophocles
Happiness belongs to the self-sufficient. - Aristotle

User avatar
luukje
Honorary Member
Honorary Member
Posts: 553
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2007 5:21 pm

Re: Why so down on Belgium?

Post by luukje »

They shouldnt have done that, I agree, but it was intended as sign to wallon politicians that femish demands are real and serious, not to be taken lightly. It didnt work.

We will probably get some governement before year end, but what kind of governement. People that have been disagreeing over almost everything will suddenly find a lot of common ground? Nonsens.

We need to settle this once and fore all so politicians can concentrate on social, economic issues and the enviroment.

KingKaramazov
Honorary Member
Honorary Member
Posts: 1216
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 12:12 pm
Location: Boston, MA
Contact:

Re: Why so down on Belgium?

Post by KingKaramazov »

Party politics kill democratic ideals.

Belgium sounds like a very sad and complicated example of that.
"Why are some people all grasshopper fiddlings, scrappings, all antennae shivering, one big ganglion eternally knotting, slip-knotting, square-knotting themselves? They stoke a furnace all their lives, sweat their lips, shine their ey

Post Reply