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Arnauts, Laurent

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Le Journal du Mardi - Belgium | 05/06/2007

The electoral conundrum in Belgium

Legislative elections will be held in Belgium on June 10th. Laurent Arnauts, director of the weekly, regrets the great complexity of the local electoral system. "Voting in our country, at the end of the day, has more in common with poker than with rational thinking ... . Our proportional ballot should indeed allow the political world to better embrace the diversity of opinion more subtly and allow the majority of ideas to distinguish themselves, ideally by announcing alliances before the citizen's vote. But in practice, so long as public opinion and politicians in the north and south of the country continue to evolve in an autonomous fashion, without any political debate together, with a lack of federal parties, of media addressed to the nation as a whole and of a national constituency, debate belongs at best to a sort of 'primary' election ... The fate of a political organisation largely depends on the performance of its alter ego on the other side of the linguistic border. ... Even when their programmes are very divergent and even completely opposed !"

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