If “that government is best which governs least” then the Belgian government that failed to take office on 13th June 2010 and that has still not, as of today’s date, been formed, must be the best government that any modern western country has ever had.
With two discordant major parties, split on the basis of the languages – French and Flemish – that they speak, neither with a majority, and with 10 minor parties, none of whom are prepared to make an alliance with either, the Belgians have had to make do with a caretaker government, empowered only to take out the garbage and keep the boiler running.
Are the Belgians suffering? Apparently not: benefits are being paid, the citizens are being protected, education and health care are being delivered, the economy has not collapsed, civil war has not broken out.
The Belgians seem to have achieved something that I have always longed to do. They have not sent their MPs to Parliament to do things, they have sent them to Parliament to stop the Government doing things.