Monday, January 24, 2011

Belgians Send a Message

On Sunday more than 34,000 people attended a demonstration in Brussels to demand that politicians get off their butts and give us a government. Shame! on you politicians, stop behaving like children! This non-political rally was organized by five youths who were disgusted that Belgium has been so long without a government, in fact approaching the record set by war-torn Iraq! This is ridiculous and there is no excuse. As a non-political rally, the organizers asked people not to carry Belgian flags or signs with political slogans or messages -not everyone obeyed that. Black-yellow-red dotted the crowd which was much bigger than expected. From the Facebook and Twitter campaign over 20,000 expressed support so they thought 10,000 to show up for the demonstration but 34,000 came from both language communities, all ages and social backgrounds to support this message: enough is enough! Their slogan was, "Shame. No government, great country". I could get behind that. Also, for a non-political demonstration, which organizers went at lengths to be clear was not aimed at the Flemish nationalist party, some could not resist making their feelings clear abour Bart De Wever.

Speeches heard were mostly just calling for the government to be responsible and stop playing this game of cards with the future of the people, even the life of the country. It was a greater success than anyone expected and it is good encouragement to see so many and diverse people coming around to support government accountability and, I think, the unity of Belgium. I don't think that message can be ignored, political or not, these tens of thousands of people showed up to demonstrate that they love their country and want to preserve it. Some politicians seemed to get the message, others have tried somewhat to downplay the significance. Alexander De Croo of the Flemish liberal party said this was a clear expression of the will for Belgium to continue and that the end of the country is not about to happen. The N-VA yet said that while they share the concerns of the people, they also believe the people want a good government, not just any government and that the recent elections were a strong message other words they interperet this to please them in their goals. The Christian Democrats also said that this should not be taken as an excuse to act hastily.

The people, I think, might like a little haste or at least a little sign of urgency on the part of the elected leaders. After 225 days I doubt anyone is including moving too fast among the things they are most worried about. People at the demonstration said much the same sort of things. They are having to face challenges and make tough decisions in their lives, but the politicians have an all-or-nothing attitude and that they are putting their own interests ahead of the good and welfare of the people and the country. I cannot see there being any argument for that, that is clearly obvious and is also clearly obvious I think where the problem lies. No one wants new elections right now, and I would not say that, I would want new elections if there could be new parties and new leaders (or maybe if the people would vote for some of the smaller unity parties) that could clear out the whole tired mess of these same old names and slogans, clear away the accumulated rubbish and really do the job of governing the country. But, I go on there I will only upset myself and today is a good day, Sunday was a great day of sending a clear signal to the government and shows the people care about politics and the future of Belgium! Vive Belgique Unie! Vive l'roi!

1 comment:

  1. Shame on the politicians, indeed. But I'm glad this protest occurred. There ought to be more them.