The Seventies and Eighties saw the rise of extremist parties like VU-Volksunie and Agalev. Both joined the federal government briefly, but dissolved right after that. The Nineties saw the rise of Vlaams Blok.
Look at the total percent of votes that went to the big three :
1985: 79%Some of these kartels are history today.
2003: 73% (including the Dutch-speaking socialist kartel)
2007: 70% (including several kartels)
The Naughties already made clear that many new and/or extremist parties (LDD, Ecolo, Vlaams Belang, Groen) might rival the election results of the big three (who are six now).
Too many parties will get around ten percent of all Belgian votes (including the six from the big three). Forming a government will become very difficult.
The upcoming elections of June 7th are European and regional (not federal!), but they will have an impact on the federal government. Many people expect federal elections in October 2009.
So what's the choice for the upcoming elections ?
My European vote might go to Bart Staes, the only politician in Europe to have a clue about open standards, and who also votes accordingly.
On the Flemish front:
- LDD wants smoking back in restaurants ?! No!
- Groen wants to halt nuclear energy ! No!
- CD&V the good old catholics, with this miserable failure?! No!
- Vlaams Belang is excluded by all other parties (except LDD?), this gives them some sympathy. But they lack a real program, and get lots of votes from racists. No!
- N-VA has Peter Dedecker, but they are too Flemish extremist. No!
This leaves only OpenVLD (the good old liberals) and SP.a (the good old socialists). One could vote for blue integrity and experience ? Or one could follow Pieter and vote for red charm and beauty ;-)