Chapter of Book
Pavia Group, voting, elections, constituency, Belgium
Law | Politics
The survival of the Belgian state is an important matter—and not just to Belgium. If, in the physical and administrative heart of Europe, groups that have lived together peacefully for nearly two centuries decide that they must part, what does that say about the prospects for more fragile, more recently constructed democracies? Partition and secession are generally bad answers to serious ethnic conflict, answers that usually have an array of negative consequences (Horowitz 2003). For this among other reasons, the proposal of the Pavia Group is to be commended. It aims to break the deadlock in Belgian politics and provide politicians with incentives to speak for the country as a whole, rather than merely for members of their own group. Furthermore, it does this by a method intended to affect politicians: attempting to change the mix of votes on which they rely for their election. This is a very good first step.
Donald L. Horowitz, A Federal Constituency for Belgium: Right Idea, Inadequate Method, in Electoral Engineering for a Stalled Federation (Kris Deschouwer & Philippe Van Parijs eds., Re-Bel e-book, 2009)