Belgium Waffles on the Need of Government
Do we really need government? That’s not an idle Tea Party-esque question in Belgium, where they’ve gone nearly a year without one:
Belgium tied Iraq on Tuesday for a very special world record: Number of days without a new government. (It’s been 289 days since the inconclusive June 13, 2010, election.) Has living without a government made any difference to the Belgian people?
Not really. It’s not quite accurate to say the country is without a government. In parliamentary systems like that of Belgium or the United Kingdom, the existing ministers remain in office when Parliament is dissolved in anticipation of an election. In the event that the elections are inconclusive, the ministers continue to perform their functions. They can’t undertake controversial new initiatives, because they don’t have a parliamentary majority to approve it, but they can accomplish administrative tasks.