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Belgium liberals

  1. Nov 9, 2004 #1

    GENIERE

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    In Belgium, how do the liberals, aka socialists, compete with their right leaning political foes? They don’t worry about it; they simply have their Supreme Court declare them illegal. Now the largest and fastest growing political party in Belgium has been declared illegal. Among its sins is the wish to separate from the French dominated and French speaking provinces. Wonder why? In this ruling, the court determined “…freedom of speech had its limits…”? Clever people these liberals.

    So the scandal ridden socialist government finds a way to remain in power.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 9, 2004 #2
    You are uninformed. The "sin" of this party is racism.
     
  4. Nov 10, 2004 #3

    vanesch

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    This party you're defending (Vlaams Blok) is a neo-nazi party, has denied the holocaust and wants to instore a kind of Apartheid. For instance, one of their party programme points is to instore a tax on all companies who hire people of an Arab etnicity. The reason it is so successful is that it plays on a nationalistic theme of the Flemish community, and they have a clever communication scheme mixing religious moral values, nationalistic patriotism and flat racism.
    BTW, if I want to go onto their website http://vlaamsblok.be/index.shtml,
    the firewall over here denies access to "hate speech cites".
     
  5. Nov 10, 2004 #4
    Moreover, the party has the right to go on under another name, without the racist theme. AND they have been forbidden after a long and democratic fight, by Belgian's highest courts, and not by socialists, communists or liberals or any others haunting G. in his/her dreams. BTW, Belgium's premier is NOT a socialist, though there are socialists in the government.
     
  6. Nov 10, 2004 #5
    Americans like to label people as 'liberals' and 'conservatives' and such, it helps them forget that they're descriminating against people, as opposed to lifeless entities

    edit: ok that was a bit extreme but I still don't like how north americans are labelling everyone by inproper terms. Plato save us!
     
  7. Nov 10, 2004 #6
    Some of the information presented here is not 100% right:

    - There is no such thing as a "suppreme court" in Belgium. It's called "Cassatie", and only judges on whether "lower" courts have proceeded according to the correct juridic principles
    - It was the court of appeal in Ghent that condemned the "Vlaams Blok" against of violation on the anti-racism laws
    - The court case was not initiated by the left wing party SPa, but by a separate institution called "the centre for equal rights", also known as the "Centre Le Mann"
    - the condemnation has nothing to do with the separatist points of the "Vlaams Blok"
    - As far as I know, the Vlaams Blok as a party has never negated the holocaust. They are smarter than that.

    Some clarifications: the court said that the right of free speech does not necessarily allow people, or organizations, to systematically discriminate or put foreward as main reason groups of people. However, it clearly affirmed the right of everyone to speak up about all issues and to put them on any agenda.

    The Vlaams Blok is lead by a small group of intellectuals who are very strong in communication, opportunism and demagogy.
    Dealing with them or debating about them is very difficult because:
    - their public communication is not in line with their own program
    - public discussion tends to over-react on issues
    - they do act on actual / existing problems which were negated by left wing people
    - they constantly twist the reality / facts in their favour, no objective discussion is possible

    I hope this makes the whole discussion a bit more balanced.
     
  8. Nov 10, 2004 #7
    They're Republicans! :tongue2:
     
  9. Nov 10, 2004 #8

    GENIERE

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    QUOTE=vanesch]This party you're defending …[/QUOTE]

    I defended it? Hardly, I would oppose much of its policies. What I would defend is its right to exist and the right of the citizen to vote their conscience. Each of the 1,000,000 voters who cast their ballots for the party’s candidates could be criminally prosecuted for their actions. Fortunately voting is secretive; at least the government says it is. France censors the Internet? Interesting. Burn any books lately?
     
  10. Nov 10, 2004 #9
    I defended it? Hardly, I would oppose much of its policies. What I would defend is its right to exist and the right of the citizen to vote their conscience. Each of the 1,000,000 voters who cast their ballots for the party’s candidates could be criminally prosecuted for their actions. Fortunately voting is secretive; at least the government says it is. France censors the Internet? Interesting. Burn any books lately?[/QUOTE]

    Nonsense exposed again. Fast forward to the French? :biggrin:
     
  11. Nov 10, 2004 #10
    BTW, Leo, I did not write the "supreme court". Your explanation is correct, but let's keep it simple, shall we? Try to explain Belgium to these people if they don't even make a difference between liberal, socialists and communists.
     
  12. Nov 10, 2004 #11
    Supreme court was in the 1st message of the thread.

    Just wanted to make a point that we don't generally divide the world in "Good" vs "Evil", "Republican" vs "Democrat", and so on and so on.
    The first message in this threat was merely based on these somewhat simplistic polarisations.

    In Europe, we tend to put a tidbit more nuance in public debate. And I mean a tidbit.

    Greetz,
    Leo
     
  13. Nov 10, 2004 #12

    vanesch

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    I vaguely remember something of the like, but it was not an official party statement, but people connected to the VB. I think they got convicted in 2000.
     
  14. Nov 10, 2004 #13

    vanesch

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    However, what WAS an official party statement at some time was quite funny:
    They proposed a law that any "Arab wanting to return to the desert" had the right to a tent, a bag of food and a one-way airplane ticket paid by the state.
     
  15. Nov 10, 2004 #14

    vanesch

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    Yes, these are different views. I'm not of that opinion, I think not "all statements and viewpoints are born equal". I think that people who studied an issue, and are capable of balanced statements about the issue make on the average better quality statements than the moron which never understood much about what happened around him but has "strong opinions". Democracy gives both voices the same strength and that's where things can go wrong, especially when there are smart bastards around who play on the sentiments of the big majority of simplistic minds. Don't forget that Hitler was elected democratically.

    So putting in some holding back on the toxic nonsense political candidates are allowed to spill is a good thing IMHO.
     
  16. Nov 10, 2004 #15
    I don't think that the Vlaams Blok ever dinied the holocaust officially. Also keep in mind that this party is convicted for statements that were made more then a decade ago. In between the programme and "reathorica" has changed and is still changing. They do know that they are gonna have to change their content if they wanna participate in democracy...

    marlon
     
  17. Nov 10, 2004 #16

    vanesch

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    I guess I was wrong on that point then. I had a vague souvenir on the issue but I'm maybe mixing things up. Sorry if that's the case.
     
  18. Nov 10, 2004 #17
    Some of their members are revisionists, but of course they use the argument that they are not responsible for every individual member's opinion. Kind of like the KKK is not responsible that some of their members don't like blacks. There was (and probably still is) an iddylic small cafe in Antwerp where these thugs gathered and on one occasion I ended up there late one evening, unsupecting. They had old SS songs on the jukebox and overhearing their conversations, it was clear that tyhey did not DENY the holocaust. They were PROUD of it.The danger of these groups is that their leaders (De Winter and co.) wear respectable suits and in combination with a general aversion against mainstream politics, seduce the less intelligent part of the electorate. The Keep it simple system. Apparently even in the US there are people who fall for this demagogy.
     
  19. Nov 10, 2004 #18
    This is a classic argument yet it is false and sipmle in nature. Not everybody that votes for the VB is stupid. Lot's of people that graduated at universities all over the country vote extreme right so it is not just the marginals...Besides do you really think that the average voter of the socialist party is a potential Nobel-Prize winner??? Just look at what the socialist party stands for and who they defend. Also, lot's of voters of the SP and PS in Wallonie were swing voters towards the VB because of some kind of political unhappiness...

    marlon
     
  20. Nov 10, 2004 #19

    GENIERE

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    Indeed, in the US, voters with the least education overwhelmingly vote for a Democratic candidate, on a average of 8 to 1. Republican voters enjoy a + 5% margin of those having a baccalaureate degree. For reasons I am unaware of, voters with advanced degrees heavily favor the Democrats. It's a step function, quite strange.
    The term was used in all the press releases I read.
    Incorrect, the world is becoming increasingly polarized including the EU members. I don’t think it’s necessary for me to inform you of the increasing animosity of many EU countries towards their Muslim émigrés.
    Elitist representation of democracy, a view I share but try to suppress.
    I had to read that sentence twice. I took a stone from the Berlin Wall and kept it as a souvenir as well as a board from an ancestor’s home in Italy. To me objects are souvenirs, not memories. Just struck me funny.
     
  21. Nov 10, 2004 #20
    MArlon, that only shows that even higher educated people are sometimes guided by hate more than by reason. BTW, do you have any information on the correlation between education and political behaviour?
     
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