In addition to having invented "French" fries,* not to mention claims that the country doesn't even exist, Belgium now has a new and perfectly delightful accomplishment: they haven't had a government for over 249 days, beating the previous record-holder (Iran, which has been without a sane government for... Aw, gee. Divide by secret police, add the Ayatollah, carry the Shah: pretty much forever).
Belgium's legislature(s) has got so tied up in knots that there's nobody in charge; it's a remarkably complicated federal system with a (mostly) parliamentary structure; at the Federal level, the representative body is bicameral and that's a simple as it gets -- indeed, Belgians are having trouble working it out, so don't expect me to explain it in a blog post. A hasty read suggests a great deal of decentralization; add in a King as Head Of State and I've got to wonder if Belgians even need the top layer of government they've been doing without for 250 days already?
...That's a question only they can answer and whoever does it had better be convincing in three languages. In the meantime? Here's to you, Belgium, for proving that civilization can work even without high-level meddlers!
(Meanwhile in Brazil, they've elected a clown to Congress. Hey, we've got dozens of 'em in ours here in the States!)
* So back when people were callin' 'em "freedom fries?" A perfect chance to put things right, had anyone bothered. But noooooo.
YANKEE RADIO TOOL KIT, #106
4 weeks ago