One year after the elections: the PTB-PVDA has the wind in its sails


Almost exactly one year after the elections, a new poll was conducted in Flanders (the northern part of Belgium. The PTB-PVDA continues to grow: from 2.8 % in 2014 to 5.6 % last year and 8.2 % according to the latest survey [conducted only in Flanders - note: in Brussels and Wallonia, in the various elections of 2019, the PTB-PVDA had obtained between 12.3 and 14.6%].

Peter Mertens

In the field the PTB-PVDA is more active than ever. Many people see and appreciate this, on at least five levels:

1. We act. Not words, but deeds. With our 250 health professionals and doctors for the people, active in the neighbourhoods, active in screening in nursing homes, ordering masks and distributing them to other care centres.

2. We are THE health care party. Having just arrived in the federal Parliament with our 12 newly elected deputies, we marked the occasion by voting in October for an Emergency Health Care Fund, which provides a much-needed breath of oxygen for the health care sector. Our proposal had long been decried as populist, but fortunately we did not give up.

3. Many people respect our honesty and candor. Our elected officials live on a working man's salary. We have sent workers like Gaby Colebunders (former shop steward at Ford Genk, son of a miner who recently fought for miners' pensions) and Maria Vindevoghel (former airport cleaning staff and trade-unionist, currently involved in the struggle at Brussels Airlines) to Parliament. We started a debate by proposing to abolish severance pay for parliamentarians (which was rejected by all other parties). We have proposed that every member of Parliament in the country contribute half of their April salaries to the fight against the coronavirus. That was also rejected, but our MPs did it anyway.

4. We are the only national party that continues to put the unity of the country on the agenda. From the outset we have denounced the absurdity of dividing health care competences over nine different ministers. We are the driving force behind the idea of re-federalizing health care.

5. Since the beginning of the corona crisis, we have put the protection of workers' health, income and jobs at the centre. Applause is good. Protection is even better. And we know where to go and look for the necessary funds: our proposal to introduce an exceptional corona tax on multimillionaires is supported by 76 % of the population.