Belgians Celebrate Setting No-Government Record

Saturday, February 19, 2011
Citizens of Belgium have no trouble poking fun at themselves or their government, which gave them plenty of reason to celebrate this week as the country broke the world record for longest time without forming a government.
As of February 17, Belgium had gone 250 days since the election last year that left no political party in clear control. With politicians unable to form a coalition government, the Belgian people watched as their European nation passed Iraq, the previous record holder (249).
The mockery began even before the record was surpassed, with a senator calling for the spouses of politicians to withhold sex until the political parties agreed to work together.
Once the record became theirs, large crowds gathered in cities to share servings of the national dish, chips (fries), and free beer.
In Ghent, 249 young people—one for each day without a government—planned to strip to their underwear this weekend as part of an open-air dance to congratulate “our wonderful politicians.”
Citizen Simon Vandereecken told The Independent: “Okay, we may be an invented country, and a bizarre country, but Belgium does stand for something. At our best, we represent a willingness to accept cultural differences, a wry tolerance, a capacity to make fun of ourselves, to overcome antagonisms and to live together.”
It is worth noting that although it took Iraq 249 days to agree on a coalition government, it was another 40 days before that government sat down to work.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Belgians 'Celebrate' 249 Days of Indecision (by John Lichfield, The Independent)
Sex Strike Urged in Belgium (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


Dirty-Johnny 7 years ago
If only we could get that in the U.S. 250 days without Gub'ment could do us all some good.

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