Belgium's Political Crisis - Keep it or Break it? 11 replies

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masked_marsoe VIP Member

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16th April 2005

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#1 11 years ago

Even if Belgium doesn't interest you, there's a proper topic at the bottom.

Belgium has gone more than 150 days without a new government after the last elections, breaking the previous world record (also held by Belgium).

The reason?

The main fight is over the rights of the Francophone minority living in Flanders and further devolution of powers to the regions. The dispute has come to a head over the issue of a special bi-lingual electoral district around Brussels, which would give either side the advantage.

But the underlying rift is one that goes back to the foundation of Belgium in 1830. The country is divided linguistically/ethnically into two rough halves - a French-speaking Wallonia, and a Dutch-speaking Flanders.

Recent polls say between 40% and 60% of the population don't expect Belgium to last out the next 10 years. Of course, the country also has some rather strong ties to the EU. And if they cannot divide one electoral district, imagine the trouble over dividing one nation into two.

For the rest of us, on a generic level, is a large, multi-ethnic state a good idea, or is a smaller (regional?) nation-state a better option?

Is the entire issue invalid because of immigration?

Is nationalism, internationalism, ethnic/religious identity, or tribal/familial identity the best way to organise humanity?

Take modern examples - Belgium, Iraq, Somalia; countries that struggle to be nations, because of underlying communal tensions. Is there a solution to be found in forming new nations?




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#2 11 years ago

Short term it makes the most sense to split people apart based on ethnic, racial, and religious lines, in my opinion. It prevents people from being in contact with people that have animosity towards, and thus would reduce warfare worldwide, I would think.

However, ultimately be need to teach people how to be tolerant of each other if we want to get anywhere as a species. I think eventually the world could be one nation, and still maintain religious and ethnic differences, by simply teaching tolerance.




homo sine domino

 

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#3 11 years ago

Forming countries on an ethnical or religious basis is bad. If any, I would suggest forming countries based on political principles.

Large nations always have the problem of having many (in numbers, not percental) discontent people. The larger a group becomes, the more difficult it is to find a consensus.




Aeroflot

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#4 11 years ago

The definition of 'ethnic' according to Dictionary.com: [INDENT] Belonging to or deriving from the cultural, racial, religious, or linguistic traditions of a people or country. [/INDENT]If a country is to be formed, it needs to be internally sound, meaning all the cultures, races, religions, and languages are in harmony with each other. Since all those features of ethnicity are possible sources of conflict, the perfect state would feature people who are of one culture, race, religion, and language. It's really not practical to divide up all countries into little mini states based on single ethnicities, so internal tension will be inevitable. It seems that the best course is to study the history of a specific region of the world and then divide up the region based upon that study. Ethnic groups which are very different from each other and have a great history of conflict should be given their own separate states. Groups which share common religions or languages may be allowed to share a state.




homo sine domino

 

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#5 11 years ago

Aeroflotte;4030458The definition of 'ethnic' according to Dictionary.com: [INDENT] Belonging to or deriving from the cultural, racial, religious, or linguistic traditions of a people or country. [/INDENT] [/QUOTE]I was thinking more in terms of folk, when I said ethnical.

Aeroflotte;4030458If a country is to be formed, it needs to be internally sound, meaning all the cultures, races, religions, and languages are in harmony with each other. Since all those features of ethnicity are possible sources of conflict, the perfect state would feature people who are of one culture, race, religion, and language.

For those who prefer monotonous lives and are intolerant - yes.

Though you are forgetting that one major source of conflict, if not the biggest, are political policies. The fundamentalist christians, the conservatives, the fundamentalist muslims, the liberals, the democrats, the communists and last, but not least the anarchists. =p

If all of them had their own community, there would be no problems regarding internal politics. While culture, race, religion and language are sources of conflict in this world, those are not necessarily sources of conflict for tolerant groups. (In)terolance is inseparably connected to one's political policy.[QUOTE=Aeroflotte;4030458]It's really not practical to divide up all countries into little mini states based on single ethnicities, so internal tension will be inevitable. It seems that the best course is to study the history of a specific region of the world and then divide up the region based upon that study. Ethnic groups which are very different from each other and have a great history of conflict should be given their own separate states. Groups which share common religions or languages may be allowed to share a state.

I don't quite understand why it is best to group people based on their origin, rather than similarities in political goals.




Stark98

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#6 11 years ago

well i live in belgium, in the Flamish part, pfff actually we the "young people, students" dont give a damn actually. Jokes are being made in the magazines etc. Everyone wants the best, but they keep working at each other.




SpiderGoat

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#7 11 years ago
masked_marsoe;4030174Take modern examples - Belgium, Iraq, Somalia; countries that struggle to be nations, because of underlying communal tensions. Is there a solution to be found in forming new nations?

Lol, you're comparing Belgium to Somalia? Many western European countries are having the same struggles: Spain (Catalonia), Great Britain (Scots) and France (Bretoens) for example.

And the different polls are highly inaccurate. What does seem to be clear is that it's a large minority which wants the country to split.

As for me, I want BHV (that's the district you were talking about) to split. It's unconstitutional, and they'll stop nagging about it next election when it's solved. Plus, there won't be new elections if they don't find a solution... [Thanks to the judgement of one of our courts.] Spliting, I wouldn't like. Plus, that would create way too many problems.




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#8 11 years ago

I am Belgian from Flanders as well, and I would prefer to split up and maybe unite with the Netherlands to combine the harbor of Antwerp with the one of Rotterdam. The reason why I prefer to split is because I don't like a country where there are 2 official languages. Everywere I go I see all kind of stuff in French: when I open a broshure of a supermarket, a part of it is being written in French which really annoys me. French is being thought in every school, while it isn't as much spoken as other languages like Spanish or English, English is also being thought at school, but not as much as French, wich I find absurd because as you all know, There are more english speakers then French speakers. Secondly, Flanders is richer then Wallonia, so Flanders gives each year lots of money to them, by splitting up, we could lower taxes.




Rikupsoni

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#9 11 years ago
oliver_eazy;4034916 The reason why I prefer to split is because I don't like a country where there are 2 official languages. Everywere I go I see all kind of stuff in French: when I open a broshure of a supermarket, a part of it is being written in French which really annoys me. French is being thought in every school, while it isn't as much spoken as other languages like Spanish or English, English is also being thought at school, but not as much as French, wich I find absurd because as you all know, There are more english speakers then French speakers.

I hear you. Finland is maintaining a despicable unnatural bilinguality, only 5 % of the population speaking Swedish. They try to use a lot tax money, put Finnish-speaking pupils to Swedish-speaking schools and so on. They even have to force this tiny minority language to every student as a mandatory school subject.

No wonder The New York Times has called the Swedish-speaking Finns "the world's most pampered minority" (In Finland, a battle of the tongues - International Herald Tribune)

One language, one nation. :bows: ;) It would be definately good idea to split, it is already proven many times multilingual communities can't work.




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#10 11 years ago
Rikupsoni;4034925One language, one nation. :bows: ;) It would be definately good idea to split, it is already proven many times multilingual communities can't work.

What about Switzerland?




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