Friday, May 15, 2009

A Flemish Republic?

Gentle Readers,

Please excuse my long silence. Work and home issues have prevented me from posting many of the projects I have been working on. Just for the record, these include articles on more famous Americans with Flemish ancestry, surprising industries that have significant Flemish contributions, and most important (at least to me) more anecdotes relating to the significant contribution of Flemings to the discovery and settlement of America (including some original research I have been working on for several years).

Source: based on the study of the think tank "In de Warande" and originally published at

In the meantime, one of the questions that has burned brightly in my mind for the past several years has been that of Flanders' political future. As regular readers are well aware, I am a U.S. citizen and therefore have no direct contribution to make at the voting station or on the campaign stump. But I of course have an ethnic tie and as many Americans do, look to my ancestral homeland with pride, affection, and concern for my ancestral cousins.

Source: based on the study of the think tank "In de Warande" and originally published at

In my day-to-day interactions with true Flemings (as opposed to Flemish Americans like yours truly) I have often been struck by the differences between their public positions and private convictions. Sometimes I have come away with the impression that a Fleming who ardently believed in independence during a private discussion believed his economic future was endangered should he express the same feelings in public.

Of course, I have followed the frequent polls of the various Flemish political parties, but I have not found that truly helpful for determing where everyone stands on the issues. Afterall, one might vote for a party for other reasons than their stance on independence. So I have, with the kind but unknowing assistance of the folks at Linked In, created my own poll:

If your passions dictate so, please kindly vote. I am truly interested in the result.

With that as the backdrop and in the interest of full transparency, I feel I should at least declare where I stand. If it has not been obvious in my earlier postings, I believe the Flemish best served by a state where one person=one vote and where self-determination can be exercised without the endless distraction of this issue for the electorate. For the record, I am not affiliated with any Flemish or American political party.

The polls are open. As is often said here in Chicago: vote early and vote often!

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