Expatica news

Should Flemish vote for Walloons?

15 February 2007

BRUSSELS — Because the voting system in Belgium is tied to the so-called “provincial voting pools”, the Flemish cannot vote for the French-speaking politicians and vice versa.

This means that politicians at all levels are accountable only to their own language community, while their decisions affect everyone. It is the fundamental requirement in a democracy that a politician should be accountable to the whole of society, not just part of it, says political scientist Kris Deschouwer from academic think tank Pavia.

The Pavia group suggests that at the federal elections an all-Belgian pool of politicians should be presented to elect 15 candidates to the Belgian Parliament  – nine Dutch speakers and six French speakers. Candidates in the national pool can then conduct their election campaigns across the whole country.

Belgians will then be able to cast two votes – one for the provincial pool and one for the national one.

Speaker Herman De Croo supports the suggestion. “This is an old idea of my own”, he said. Christian Democrats (CD&V) find the idea unrealistic, however, as the political parties are also created only within their language communities. Besides, Belgium has had an all-national voting system before, but it was abolished decades ago as inefficient.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news