“Forming a government” for dummies

Today, we are close to form a government in Belgium. Maybe close isn’t the right word, but we are heading the right direction. So what is the problem then?

From now on, the Belgian political leaders are talking about going into the ‘final round’ of forming a government. It took them almost a full year to get this far.

The next step in the process is finding someone who wants to lead the formation and a prime minister. The Dutch Nationalist side wants the French socialist side to take responsibility but they don’t really want to. This makes the Dutch side quite annoyed. So not taking responsibility or trying to ignore it makes Standard & Poor think about declining the rating about Belgium. They set the deadline at mid-2011. S&P think a financial crisis is not that far away.

So far the political parties only spoke about the reformation of the state. In other words, changing some fundamental things. Next step is forming the actual government. Is it going to be national minded government with a liberal or more social partner. In the French part the socialist party will have to choose a partner as well. They have the same choice as the national party in Flanders. The most important thing are the subject that are going to be handled. Financial laws for the regions, job market, healthcare, all very critical subjects that need to be controlled in a good way.

When the formation is complete and the parties agree on all the subjects, Belgium has a new government. Hopefully they try to find a compromise instead of blowing up the government and organise new elections. Belgium has fundamental problems that need to be solved. The two options are clear. We could reunite with the French part or we could split up even more. For the moment, both choices seem quite impossible.

What doesn’t seem impossible right is the fact that we could have a new government who manage our country again. On short term that sounds a plan, but on long term there is much work to be done.


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