Monday, July 14, 2014

Belgium, scouting, beer, a better world

Hi,

Can you tell which country would fit on a stamp? That's my country. But let's not make things difficult, I come from the land of beer, chocolate and waffles. In that order. Still don't know? Okay then, it is bordered with France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom (just a stone's throw away). Yep, you guessed right, it's Belgium!

I'm the proud father of a little angel named Alice. She is 17 months old and makes me smile every morning. So much happiness in such a small body, there must be magic involved. :-) I work as a web developer and a translator (Russian-English-Dutch into French) and I love learning new things.

I'm also a scout. Belgians love scouting actually. And scouting has a purpose: making the world better by contributing to the education of young people. Did you know that a scout makes his best to do a good turn every day? That's our contribution to this world. Small streams make large rivers.

I decided that I should contribute to making this word a little better. Starting with my city. So in 2012, I was a candidate at the local elections for the second time. And I was elected to the Municipal Council, as a councillor for the minority. Did you know that voting is compulsory in Belgium? More than a right, it is your duty as a citizen to cast your vote at every election.

Despite that, one citizen in five − of those old enough to vote − did not vote at the local elections in my city. And out of the remaining four, only two voted for the party of the Mayor. I wish that fifth citizen had voted, this would have changed a lot!

I often hear people saying that voting has no effect. That it's always the same people coming back and back again after every election (and some people use much harsher vocabulary to describe these). But I'm the living proof that one vote can change everything. In my party, one of the candidates − already a municipal councillor − got one less vote for her than I got. I was elected, she was not anymore. Since then, many people told me they cast the vote that made a difference.

I wish you to make a difference and make the world a bit better.

Greetings from Belgium!

Christian
listservians[AT]chmat.be
Andenne, Belgium


PS − Should you come and visit Belgium, then try any beer you want (we have more than 900 sorts). My favorites are Kwak, Leffe and CuvĂ©e des trolls.

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