Municipal and provincial elections in Belgium

A very quick and summary update on the municipal and provincial elections in Belgium, which get more and more complicated what with all the “cartels”. The general idea is one of power consolidation for the ruling parties, with the Christian Democrats and Flemish nationalists the big winners in Flanders and the Socialist Party getting away nicely in the Walloon provinces.
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Battle Royal

A long time ago, in a year already far away, some commenters were mentionning a recent poll showing that Ségolène Royal was now leading the race to become the socialist party nominee for the 2007 French presidential election. One salient finding of the poll was that she was supported by a plurality of both French voters (36%) and socialist sympathizers (48%).

At this point, even casual observers of the French political scene would to tempted to ask : just who the hell is this Ségolène Royal I have never heard of? Well, I’m glad you asked and I was preparing to bore you with a clumsily written and long-winded summary about the race for the Socialist party nomination and Ms Royal’s short but happy political carreer. But I’ve just found that Doug Ireland has already done it, albeit in a clear way, complete with color pictures, snarky criticism of the French press and the inevitable comparison to Hillary Clinton. So go read him and come back if you really want to know my opinion about Segolène Royal’s chances.
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Eta And The Spanish Elections

As someone who lives and works in Barcelona (capital of Catalonia, and formal definition in the eyes of the local nationalists of being Catalan), it is really rather frustrating to find that about the only time we make it to the European headlines (apart, of course, from when Bar?a wants to buy some world famous footballer like Beckham) is when one of the players in the greater-Spanish political arena – in this case Eta – wants to exploit some situation or other here to its own advantage. Outside of this context (and with, of course, the honourable exception of George Orwell) Catalonia is little heard of, and even less understood.
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