Recently, Belgium set an unusual record: they’ve waited the longest to establish a government. 250 days, this February 18th, beating out Iraq. But since Iraq took forty days after deciding on a governmental model to actually get people established in office, some argue that’s the real record Belgium needs to break. And it probably will, given how things are going.
Listening to a news story about protesting students stripping to their underwear in an attempt to motivate politicians to form a government already, I had to ask myself: what do they actually need a government for?
From Time’s story on the subject, we learn what I suspected was the case: Belgians really don’t need a nationwide government.
However, the absence of a government makes little difference to day-to-day life in Belgium. Many state functions, from education to welfare, have already been ceded over the years to regional and community governments.
The task is taking so long because there’s no urgency… so why bother doing it at all? Some misguided sense of nationalism?
People make my head hurt, some days…