For the federal elections of 2010, De Mensen produced The Vote of Flanders for the main commercial television station in Flanders, VTM. In this program, the opinions of the people in the street, politicians and famous Flemish people were expressed.

Goedele en Stef will take the time to talk about the most important themes of the elections. How will the community question be solved and how soon should the electoral district Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde be split? Since the incident in the justice of the peace court safety and legal matters are high on the agenda as well. And who is going to pay for the pensions of the ageing population? How will unemployment be tackled?  The starting point of the program is the question how these themes affect the lives of the man in the street in Flanders.        

Who suffers from an electoral district that has not been split yet? Who in Flanders has already personally experienced that the law system is flawed? And what does one have to do to get a job? 

In 1999 the socialists introduced the first white rabbit: Patrick Janssens who worked in advertising before that. Since then, there have not been any elections that didn’t star white rabbits anymore. In The Vote of Flanders white rabbits get a  chance to express their opinions.   

Which white rabbits?

Siegfried Bracke, a former journalist, will be the person heading the list of candidates for the Chamber in East-Flanders for the N-VA. Rik Torfs, ecclesiastical jurist and television figure, has recently chosen a political side as well. He’s second on the list of candidates for the Senate. And Groen! presents Eva Brems, professor of human rights and known from television, who will be heading the list of candidates for the Chamber in Leuven. 

In 2009 Anne De Baetzelier was the white rabbit of Lijst Dedecker. She did not get elected, but for the upcoming federal elections she is heading the list of candidates for the Senate. Open Vld introduces a white rabbit which they bred themselves: Gwendolyn Rutten. She is a member of the council in Aarschot but has never been elected on a federal level yet. Now she’s campaigning for herself and promoting herself as a blue rabbit, as blue is the political colour of Open Vld.  Also Selahattin Koçak has never gone any further than the council level. He is alderman for public works, buildings and festivities in Beringen for the sp.a. Now he’s fourth on the list of candidates for the Senate. And although the name Barbara Pas probably does not sound very familiar, the youth chairwomen for Vlaams Belang can’t really be considered as a real white rabbit. She has had her seat in the Chamber since 2007 and is now second on the list in East-Flanders.  

The wood and the trees

Goedele and Stef form a unique combination: emotion and empathy on the one hand and political expertise and journalistic wit on the other hand. Goedele is de political laywoman who talks to the man in the street and poses sincere questions about the upcoming elections. Stef helps the viewers to see the wood through the political trees. 

Goedele looks for people with real problems. She lets them tell their story in person and share their emotions. On the basis of that personal story, a statement is formed and submitted to the politicians by Stef Wauters. He then asks for their opinion on that statement and tries to find out how the politicians would solve the problem of the man in the street. Stef leads the lively discussion while Goedele draws the story of the common man into the conversation. 

The Vote of Flanders

Not only the opinion of the white rabbits is discussed in The Vote of Flanders. In between the discussions of the politicians, famous Flemish persons from the media, sports and culture also get a say. They too explain their point of view. What does Tom Waes think for example about priests that are paid with public money? What is Kadèr Gürbüz’s opinion about a general smoking ban in pubs? And does Eline De Munck want an independent Flanders? By means of short and powerful statements, Flanders comes down on one side or the other. 


Channel: vtm
Genre: Talk
Broadcasting Period: 2010