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Author Topic: NVA Dominates Elections in Belgium  (Read 737 times)

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Offline Renegade VileTopic starter

NVA Dominates Elections in Belgium
« on: May 25, 2014, 04:40:01 PM »
Greetings all,

This isn't likely to be a subject of note to most of you, but I find it might be interesting to know of something that happened in this little country I call home.
Belgium is a country that is essentially a combination of two halves, Walloonia and Flanders, with the latter being the Dutch speaking part I live in (very simplified explanation of an overly complicated arrangement). Coinciding with European elections, we had our elections for the Flemish parliament and Federal parliaments. Results show a 30% domination of Flemish Nationalists in Flanders, and federally. Currently, they are going to have more representatives in both parliaments than all other parties. While Belgium's politicians have proven quite resilient to accepting more autonomy, it's becoming harder and harder for parties such as NVA to be ignored.
What could this mean? At the very least, more responsibilities delegated to the local governments of both halves, Brussels and the German part in the East. NVA has also shown an interest in turning Belgium from a monarchy into a confederacy with a president, which will further change the country from two different cultures chained together, into a cooperative. Further into the future, it may also result in a split in the country as a whole; though the latter seems highly unlikely to me as too many people still have a stake in keeping the country as is.

Just wanted to share this for those who may take interest. I can give more details on it all on request, but I did not want to post a wall just to report on a small speck on the globe.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2014, 04:42:03 PM by Renegade Vile »

Offline Oniya

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Re: NVA Dominates Elections in Belgium
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2014, 06:00:19 PM »
Out of sheer unadulterated curiosity, what sorts of positions does the NVA have on major issues? 

Offline Renegade VileTopic starter

Re: NVA Dominates Elections in Belgium
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2014, 06:20:16 PM »
The major issues they usually comment on are mostly related to problems currently faced in Belgium. Chief among these are the so-called "Community Tensions" (loosely translated), ridiculously high taxes to make up for a horribly corrupt social security system (something a lot of parties are starting to agree on as it's bankrupting the country), which matters should be the responsibility of local government and which belong to the federal (in an effort to reduce overhead and red tape) and where Belgium, and other nations, should stand within the European Union.

They're a nationalistically tinted party, meaning they are very pro-emancipation of the Flemish and Dutch cultures, though not to the extent of preaching any form of hatred against others. Belgium has a long history of severe discrimination against the Dutch-speaking half due to a whole slew of complicated reasons; reaching back to the World Wars. As such, a lot of Flemings tend to cling tightly to their cultural identity, instead of the national. A lot of Belgians do not identify as Belgians, but rather Flemings and Walloons. The two are very different. The south follows a French model with large socialist and liberal tendencies, while the north is more of a mix between progressive and conservative with a model that follows the Netherlands. These two clash easily and many matters in Belgium end in stalemates or very complicated compromises that have resulted in this tiny country being so complex in just about anything we do. It's been engineered as such because the politicians just couldn't agree on anything simpler. The issue has been growing for about two decades now and more and more people are either opting for separatism or confederalism, or at least more delegation to local governments. NVA supports the latter two greatly, while some members have also been outspoken for the former. It's why a lot of people in Belgian are keeping a close eye on developments concerning Ireland's bid for independence, as well as Catalonia's and parts of Italy. Precedents like that could be useful for those with such agendas.

Next are the taxes, which have been artificially raised to unprecedented heights to keep popularity among voters (odd, I know). The costs of social security and the fact that the government is such a lumbering mass of red tape, have become astronomical and unaffordable in the current economical climate. Most of the parties of the old guard (which NVA does not belong to) have been trying to salvage matters on the Flemish side, with mixed results, but the south has a tendency to want to close their eyes and pray it goes away. Instead, the federal government has continually raised taxes and tithes to have the middle class pay, while the upper class remains relatively untouched, and the lower classes retain the social security structure. The problem there is that, in the current economy, the middle class is getting poorer and poorer and before long, they won't be able to afford the high taxes, which removes any form of income for the government. They already sold off most of their property years ago when the socialists were rampaging about, so they do not have that as a saving grace. NVA and a few other parties, mostly on the Flemish side, have proposed tax reductions, but also significant cuts in foreign expenses, social security and other aides. NVA has proven more radical in this, however, and I think you can guess that this does not make them popular among other politicians... I, personally, doubt they will pull this off to any satisfactory degree. Wages have always been high in Belgium, as have taxes.

Next is the further reduction of federal responsibilities. To support their idea of a confederacy, they want to try to delegate much more to the Flemish and Walloon governments, respectively, and leave the Federal to handle matters of great national importance, and anything to do with foreign policy. This would reduce overhead and prevent deadlocks on trivial matters, which happens right now all the time (Flanders and Walloonia once sat and argued over the colors of the license plates simply because research showed that black on yellow yielded the best visibility, but Walloonia called it discriminating towards them as those are the colors of the Flemish flag). I do not know if you were aware of this, but Belgium held the record for the longest number of days without a government because of a larger scale stalemate of that type. Needless to say, it would reduce the impact of the wildly differing opinions between the two halves and may make the whole actually workable.

As for the European Union, they are very pro, but in a different manner than most countries. They argue that it needs to function as a cooperative union, not a giant blob of nations smashed together for economical benefits alone. Each country should keep its identity, but should stand together in close relationship. This is point of skeptical contention as it could reduce the EU to nothing more but a glorified set of alliances. But I do not follow this side of their program much as I stopped caring about the EU a long time ago. It's a big bureaucratic mess and no one will be able to change that. Hence why the UK barely belongs to it, and is probably itching to leave. I don't see Germany sticking around too much longer either, as they are the only country in Europe that is still an economic powerhouse in many ways, and I think Chancellor Merkel can smell the profit she can make with returning to the German Mark instead of the Euro...

They have a point program of stances on a lot of major issues, but these were some of the focal points of the election due to them being hot points right now. Previous years it was all about the environment and feel-good projects to draw in voters, but now that their purse is starting to get a bit light, they suddenly focus on taxes and the like.
Politicians, can't live with them... Yeah, that's about it *laughs*.

Hope that wasn't too long of a ramble?

Offline Oniya

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Re: NVA Dominates Elections in Belgium
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2014, 06:28:47 PM »
Not too long - I read fast. ;D  And yes, sometimes politicians make things far more complicated than they need to be.  Here in the States, the different states have different license plate combinations (blue on white, black on yellow, probably a few others), which I think makes it easier for law enforcement to identify a plate's origin.  Compromise is something that I think politicians around the world need to work on.

Offline Renegade VileTopic starter

Re: NVA Dominates Elections in Belgium
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2014, 06:33:59 PM »
Very true. The problem here is that most compromises lean towards the federal and Walloon side of matters, because the Flemish politicians tend to buckle too soon. But then if they do keep to it, things get deadlocked entirely.
Personally, I do not think this country works at all. We have no historical or cultural ties with the southern half and since this country was fabricated to serve as a buffer zone, we do not have any national pride to call back on to make us feel where we stand and whether or not we do so united.
As an example, if the British national anthem is playing, almost every English person you see stands up and feels at least some form of pride or kinship. If the Belgian one plays, a lot of us can't help but think of a funny version we all know and love. On the flipside, if the Flemish or Walloon anthem plays, the atmosphere is far more like it is with the English. It's always a bit... jarring to see.

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Re: NVA Dominates Elections in Belgium
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2014, 01:27:08 PM »
There were a lot of surprising far right results in the European elections.  As someone who is not fond of the European Union, I think this greater sense of nationalism is wonderful.

For example, the National Front in France gained almost 25% of the vote, exceeding the UMP and the Socialist Party.  I do think that European countries have an obligation to preserve the cultural and ethnic heritage of their individual nations through immigration reform, albeit in a respectful, peaceful manner.  The current levels of EU and foreign immigration into European countries is unprecedented in scale.  However, in this day and age, the line between ethnic nationalism and so-called 'racism' is very small.  I expect to see greater social tensions in European countries in upcoming years.

Offline Renegade VileTopic starter

Re: NVA Dominates Elections in Belgium
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2014, 01:38:49 PM »
Very true. Here in Belgium, for example, the open borders are making it so we are allowing too many people in than we can even handle. Beyond mere sociological problems and whether or not it is racist or not, Belgium's ridiculous densely populated for its size and the uncontrolled influx (for reasons of drawing in votes by left-wing parties primarily) is starting to seriously tug and tear at the stability. Add to that the same tensions you have anywhere else where assimilation courses are really badly organized and do not help the immigrants find their way at all, and things will degrade from there.

While I'm fairly neutral on a lot of issues, I am not very fond of the EU either. Primarily since it's just become a cash cow for the wealthy and just another set of desirable positions and titles politicians can strive to add to their resume and get some more money for.

The social tensions you mention are only going to get worse, I'm sure. While "everyone equal" is a worthy ideal, "everyone the same" is folly. Humans are marked by their individualism and diversity, denying what makes you, you, is dangerous.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: NVA Dominates Elections in Belgium
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2014, 02:04:53 PM »
Couldn't agree more, Renegade Vile.  I have actually posted about the demographic changes in Belgium and the UK on these forums in the past.  I am willing to bet that immigration reform here in the US (naturalizing illegal immigrants) is also an effort to draw votes for left-leaning parties.

I'm just shocked at the reality Belgium is facing.  Much of the anti-Islamic sentiment we are seeing in European countries is not predicated on racism but on fears of ethnic and cultural displacement, I believe.

Offline Renegade VileTopic starter

Re: NVA Dominates Elections in Belgium
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2014, 02:17:17 PM »
You are very correct in that assessment. Violence and hatred against Muslims is very low here in Belgium, despite there being a great sentiment for making sure they do not force their ways upon us.
Especially several attempts at trying to get the Sharia instated (making them exempt from the regular court of law) or Islam turned into at least one of the state religions has always raised significant alarm bells. I'm afraid if parties continue to ignore this, it -will- turn into genuine frustration instead of worry. I don't think I have to tell anyone that frustration will lead to violence in the long run as it's happened countless times in the past...
I'd rather not see riots in the streets in a tiny country known for being boring. We like things boring. We want to keep things boring *chuckles*, it lets us do our jobs and sit back and relax.

Offline consortium11

Re: NVA Dominates Elections in Belgium
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2014, 05:22:33 PM »
As an example, if the British national anthem is playing, almost every English person you see stands up and feels at least some form of pride or kinship.

I'm not sure this is an entirely fair comparison... because England lacks a national anthem itself (although at times Land of Hope and Glory and Jerusalem are used) we've sort of adopted God Save the Queen (the UK National Anthem) as our own (see as an example most international sporting events where England, as opposed to the UK or Great Britain, is represented). A fairer question perhaps would be to see what level of pride or kinship are felt by Welsh or Scottish people when God Save the Queen is played... and I suspect its far less.

Offline Renegade VileTopic starter

Re: NVA Dominates Elections in Belgium
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2014, 05:26:46 PM »
I'm not sure this is an entirely fair comparison... because England lacks a national anthem itself (although at times Land of Hope and Glory and Jerusalem are used) we've sort of adopted God Save the Queen (the UK National Anthem) as our own (see as an example most international sporting events where England, as opposed to the UK or Great Britain, is represented). A fairer question perhaps would be to see what level of pride or kinship are felt by Welsh or Scottish people when God Save the Queen is played... and I suspect its far less.

You are absolutely correct, I should have specified, but I did mean any kind of anthem that inspires kinship along those lines. The British were just the first to pop into my head through unfair generalization due to my wife's nationality. It has become the first  to appear often lately *chuckles*. But you are correct, a better comparison could have been Americans and their anthem, for example.
Also note that the Scottish as in a position similar to the Flemish when it comes to nationalism, if not already a few steps further along the track.

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Re: NVA Dominates Elections in Belgium
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2014, 05:37:17 PM »
You are absolutely correct, I should have specified, but I did mean any kind of anthem that inspires kinship along those lines. The British were just the first to pop into my head through unfair generalization due to my wife's nationality. It has become the first  to appear often lately *chuckles*. But you are correct, a better comparison could have been Americans and their anthem, for example.

This is purely my opinion (not really substantiated with any facts), but I think the ultimate long-term goal is to promote immigration within the EU to decrease nationalism in each country over several decades.  While complete assimilation is certainly something we hope for and would like to see, we all know this is not the case, by and large.  Eastern and Central Europeans in UK, for example, still retain their cultural traditions, which is understandable.

By undermining each country's identity, efforts at greater centralization of power within the EU are naturally encouraged. 

Offline Renegade VileTopic starter

Re: NVA Dominates Elections in Belgium
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2014, 10:01:02 AM »
This is purely my opinion (not really substantiated with any facts), but I think the ultimate long-term goal is to promote immigration within the EU to decrease nationalism in each country over several decades.  While complete assimilation is certainly something we hope for and would like to see, we all know this is not the case, by and large.  Eastern and Central Europeans in UK, for example, still retain their cultural traditions, which is understandable.

By undermining each country's identity, efforts at greater centralization of power within the EU are naturally encouraged.

While there might be some of that reasoning behind it, the primary reason for the current state of the immigration laws, in my opinion, is simply because it is popular among many. It's the easy, media-friendly approach to take. Assimilation done right takes time and effort they'd much rather spend elsewhere, with all the resulting problems. The immigration is just a byproduct of the EU continually adding more and more countries before the once already in it have stabilized and all the kinks of the organization have been worked out. Just jamming more and more nationalities, and thus a whole slew of administrative overhead, without regard of the future is reckless and isn't likely going to yield good results. However, chances for short-term profit increase. And that is what it's usually about: money.

As usual, of course, short term thinking has lead to a lot of problems. Just look at the controversy surrounding what the EU is supposed to do about the massive debts and economic crises in Greece, Spain, Portugal and, to a lesser degree, Italy. Had they taken the time to actually account for these crises, the impact may have been lessened (or if they had chosen to listen to people watching the market when they warned of the crash being caused by greedy banks...). Here in Belgium, especially, our politicians are masters of thinking only up until the next election. Anything beyond is irrelevant.

Offline Oniya

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Re: NVA Dominates Elections in Belgium
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2014, 10:26:08 AM »
Here in Belgium, especially, our politicians are masters of thinking only up until the next election. Anything beyond is irrelevant.

I've noticed that with many of our US politicians as well.  ::)  I try to vote for the notable exceptions whenever possible.

Offline Renegade VileTopic starter

Re: NVA Dominates Elections in Belgium
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2014, 11:01:24 AM »
I've noticed that with many of our US politicians as well.  ::)  I try to vote for the notable exceptions whenever possible.

The truth comes from lady Oniya's lips, not a child's it would seem *chuckles*.
I try to do the same, but if they're not short-sighted, they're corrupt. It's classical 'pick your poison'.

Offline Neysha

Re: NVA Dominates Elections in Belgium
« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2014, 05:10:53 PM »
Have NVA forces reached the American embassy yet? Has the last US helicopter fled the country? How could the NVA violate the Treaty of Paris so flagrantly without a strong American response? It's seems like things have gone full circle... France conquered the NVA... now the NVA is at France's doorstep. It's just... it happened so suddenly I don't know how it could've happened...

*reads thread*

Oh wait... nevermind.


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Re: NVA Dominates Elections in Belgium
« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2014, 10:08:52 PM »
While there might be some of that reasoning behind it, the primary reason for the current state of the immigration laws, in my opinion, is simply because it is popular among many. It's the easy, media-friendly approach to take. Assimilation done right takes time and effort they'd much rather spend elsewhere, with all the resulting problems. The immigration is just a byproduct of the EU continually adding more and more countries before the once already in it have stabilized and all the kinks of the organization have been worked out. Just jamming more and more nationalities, and thus a whole slew of administrative overhead, without regard of the future is reckless and isn't likely going to yield good results. However, chances for short-term profit increase. And that is what it's usually about: money.

As usual, of course, short term thinking has lead to a lot of problems. Just look at the controversy surrounding what the EU is supposed to do about the massive debts and economic crises in Greece, Spain, Portugal and, to a lesser degree, Italy. Had they taken the time to actually account for these crises, the impact may have been lessened (or if they had chosen to listen to people watching the market when they warned of the crash being caused by greedy banks...). Here in Belgium, especially, our politicians are masters of thinking only up until the next election. Anything beyond is irrelevant.


I think the crises are based on  the fact that Europe is historically a very hostile place.  They aren't rioting because of immigrants. They're rioting because it's Europe.  Look at Greece. The National Schism , The Greek Civil War Of  1946-1949 , The Greek Military Junta of 1964-74. Immigration is just another scapegoat for the underlying problems  that plague that region. It's sort of insulting that The Middle East  is seen as the hotbed of violence when we've had two world wars and both of them started in Europe. Europe , quite frankly , is  a mess. It's always been a mess  ,  since the days of Julius Caesars marching across  the alps.

The French Revolution didn't happen because Muslims tried to institute Sharia Law.   People are looking at this through modern eyes way to much. Look at the history of the region and the countries in turmoil. They have long histories of tension within their borders.
The Spanish Civil  War Of The 1930s and The Dictatorship of Francisco Franco didn't have anything to do with immigration. It had to do with Franco trying to keep the Old Ways and returning control of Spain back to the Monarchy.



Does Immigration help stabilize the region? No.  But guess what? Nothing is going to help stabilize the region.  Greece has been fighting since the days of Alexander The Great and Gelo.  Keeping Greece Greek isn't going to  be able to  erase the history and the problems that  that history generates within Greece.



It's just as ridiculous as people who are anti-immigration in america. What is deportation going to do? Is it going to fix our debt? No. Will it make an impact on our debt?Maybe but it's not going to put  us in the black.  Is it going to  fix our problems with gay marriage and  gun control? No. Then what good is it? What is it going to do? Other then  get rid of people some people don't like.

Immigration and deportation is just a waste of time. Who cares? It doesn't matter.  It doesn't do anything. It's just an empty talking point for political pundits.



Offline Renegade VileTopic starter

Re: NVA Dominates Elections in Belgium
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2014, 02:55:30 AM »
I think the crises are based on  the fact that Europe is historically a very hostile place.  They aren't rioting because of immigrants. They're rioting because it's Europe.  Look at Greece. The National Schism , The Greek Civil War Of  1946-1949 , The Greek Military Junta of 1964-74. Immigration is just another scapegoat for the underlying problems  that plague that region. It's sort of insulting that The Middle East  is seen as the hotbed of violence when we've had two world wars and both of them started in Europe. Europe , quite frankly , is  a mess. It's always been a mess  ,  since the days of Julius Caesars marching across  the alps.

I never said that anyone was rioting over immigrants. I just claim that there will be violence if cultural tensions keep rising. As for Europe historically being a hostile place, that is only a half truth. The problem in Europe is mostly based on the fact that there are so many diverse cultures and ideologies packed into an area that is smaller than most other continents or subdivisions. No matter how you cut it, Europe is composed of countless countries, many of which are smaller than those in, for example, Asia, and somehow manage to have more voices and opinions at the same time; each happy to exclaim it over the ether.

I disagree strongly with your assessment that the Middle East is somehow less violent than Europe. Yes, we have had World Wars (in which nations from other continents happily partook as well, but let us leave that aside), but the reputation of being violent does not come from warfare. Open war in the Middle East has been relatively non-existent (save for those the US and the like have engaged in) for a while now, but make no mistake that before about 1800, and especially when the Ottoman Empire was rising, there was a lot of war and a lot of strife in those regions. Regardless, the reputation stems from clan and tribal conflicts, which are nearly constant. Many civilians in the Middle East have to fear for the day another civil war breaks out, because the possibility is always there. Just like in many African countries, peace it only somewhat kept because the rulers dictate law with an iron fist, but at the same time, dissidents are everywhere. Need I point out the constant bloodshed between Sunni and Shiite?

As for Europe being a mess... How? In what way? That's a very vague statement to make.

The French Revolution didn't happen because Muslims tried to institute Sharia Law.   People are looking at this through modern eyes way to much. Look at the history of the region and the countries in turmoil. They have long histories of tension within their borders.
The Spanish Civil  War Of The 1930s and The Dictatorship of Francisco Franco didn't have anything to do with immigration. It had to do with Franco trying to keep the Old Ways and returning control of Spain back to the Monarchy.

No one here stated that every conflict in history has to do with immigration and I also did not claim we were going to have some kind of revolution or civil war because some Muslims would like the Sharia Law. So I have no idea why you bring this up.

Does Immigration help stabilize the region? No.  But guess what? Nothing is going to help stabilize the region.  Greece has been fighting since the days of Alexander The Great and Gelo.  Keeping Greece Greek isn't going to  be able to  erase the history and the problems that  that history generates within Greece.

I did not mention Greek on the subject of immigration, I had already changed over to the economical woes Europe has been unprepared for because of their short-term thinking. Of course wars and conflict are fought over a wide variety of reasons, which almost never include ethnicity (although it can be used to justify things towards the people, if necessary). It's almost always money and power, that goes without saying. No one implied anything differently.

It's just as ridiculous as people who are anti-immigration in america. What is deportation going to do? Is it going to fix our debt? No. Will it make an impact on our debt?Maybe but it's not going to put  us in the black.  Is it going to  fix our problems with gay marriage and  gun control? No. Then what good is it? What is it going to do? Other then  get rid of people some people don't like.

I didn't say I was anti-immigration, though. I'm merely making the point that there is a problem when you let in more people than your country can actually support. Immigration can be a significant boon, culturally and economically, but one needs to keep it under control, especially if you're a tiny country like Belgium that already has the highest population density in Europe and perhaps the West as a whole (I cannot recall where we ranked there). We -cannot- physically and economically support the amount of people that have been flooding in, which is why our social security system is strained to the limit, almost unaffordable and is one of the hot button issues right now: what do we do when the money runs out? They can't raise taxes anymore, because the middle class is already taxed to the limit. They don't have any private property to sell for a quick buck because our idiot government from roughly 12 years ago already sold everything they owned to afford their business trips. Do you understand the difference there? Here, in Belgium, it is a major contributing factor to the national debt. And since I was speaking only about Belgium on the subject of immigration, I fail to see what the US has to do with it.

Immigration and deportation is just a waste of time. Who cares? It doesn't matter.  It doesn't do anything. It's just an empty talking point for political pundits.

I firmly disagree. While deportation must be something done on a case-by-case, which is rarely done, it is a very important matter when one regards the way a country works bureaucratically. A lot of people sneak over the borders here in Belgium, for example. They end up on the street, or living off of Social Security because assimilation isn't properly implemented and these people, who were promised every by robbing bastards who took their savings and shoved them in a car off to Europe, cannot find work because they don't speak the language or have any skills they need for it. Heck, my wife is from England and cannot even find work easily despite speaking English and having a working knowledge of Dutch already. Imagine the situation for someone who only speaks Chinese, for example. If people enter through legal means, these cases are caught much earlier and one can make decisions on whether or not to allow them through or not, especially in case they are criminals (I'm not saying immigrants are, but it's naive to think only nice people want to come here).

Don't forget that Deportation is, at least here, almost always applied only in the case of people who illegally came over to the country and purposefully (whether they knew it or not) bypassed the normal channels. In those cases, what are you supposed to do? These people have no documents, nowhere to go, social housing for them are already at capacity and there's no money available to expand, food has become very expensive and even people that do have jobs are struggling to pay those bills. I can go on.

Of course it won't help with Gun Control and Gay Marriage, what does that even have to do with anything? Deportation is a matter related to immigration, not national security or social law.

Offline Renegade VileTopic starter

Re: NVA Dominates Elections in Belgium
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2014, 03:00:05 AM »
Oh, on another note that's actually related to the topic *chuckles as he noticed how far he has deviated*.

Discussions to form the new government have begun. I wonder what the traditional parties will try to do to keep NVA out of parliament.
While I don't support the NVA, they do represent 32% of all Flemings in Flanders. If they still get ignored, than this farce of a democracy has gotten even worse than previous years...

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Re: NVA Dominates Elections in Belgium
« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2014, 06:09:28 AM »
I'm not sure this is an entirely fair comparison... because England lacks a national anthem itself (although at times Land of Hope and Glory and Jerusalem are used) we've sort of adopted God Save the Queen (the UK National Anthem) as our own (see as an example most international sporting events where England, as opposed to the UK or Great Britain, is represented). A fairer question perhaps would be to see what level of pride or kinship are felt by Welsh or Scottish people when God Save the Queen is played... and I suspect its far less.

I doubt there are many Europeans (yet) who would feel a potent sense of kinship and shared achievement, a lump in the throat when Beethoven's Ode to Joy ("An die Freude") is played as the EU official anthem. It sort of works better as the final of the 9th Symphony (renditions seem to be more exciting with a large philharmonic and a roster of great singers). For the record, I haven't seen any translations or prints of Schiller's lyrics in all these different languages handed out at European occasions when it could conceivably get sung - goes without saying that people wouldn't want to sing it in German...  ;)

Maybe we need another fifty years on that one.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2014, 06:13:29 AM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Oniya

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Re: NVA Dominates Elections in Belgium
« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2014, 06:52:51 AM »
I doubt there are many Europeans (yet) who would feel a potent sense of kinship and shared achievement, a lump in the throat when Beethoven's Ode to Joy ("An die Freude") is played as the EU official anthem.

Have to say, I'm not European, but I know I get a lump in my throat for the Glorious Ninth.  Especially with the full choral backing.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: NVA Dominates Elections in Belgium
« Reply #21 on: May 30, 2014, 07:07:00 AM »
Have to say, I'm not European, but I know I get a lump in my throat for the Glorious Ninth.  Especially with the full choral backing.

In full glory, all four movements (the Ode proper begins around 57'):



Bayreuth Festival Orchestra and chorus / Wilhelm Furtwangler (who was never a Nazi, and had actively helped Jewish musicians and others during the war, while he remained chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic)

Recorded live at the post-war reopening of the Bayreuth festival on July 29. 1951 - later issued on LP and CD

Soloists:
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, soprano
Elisabeth Höngen, alto
Hans Hopf, tenor
Otto Edelmann, bass

« Last Edit: May 30, 2014, 07:39:34 AM by gaggedLouise »