Sex Ban to Force Belgian Government Formation?

Via the BBC:  Sex ban suggested for Belgian coalition negotiators

Socialist senator Marleen Temmerman said after a week of a similar sex ban in Kenya in 2009, a government was formed.


It is now 241 days since the elections, and Belgium is fast approaching an unofficial world record.

Apart from Somalia, it is reported that only Iraq has taken longer (249 days) to form a government.

"I call on the spouses of all negotiators to withold sex until a deal is reached," said Ms Temmerman in an article for a Belgian newspaper. "Have no more sex until the new administration is posing on the steps of the Palace."

She said if politicians’ partners followed her suggestion, the "palaver" of coalition-forming would be resolved quite quickly.

Well, desperate times and all that…

Of course, it also occurs to me that the Belgian experience might convince some small-government conservatives to push for a switch to a parliamentary style government in the US.  After all:  no formation of a cabinet in 241 days (and going) beats a measly ol’ US-style government shutdown any day, yes?

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. DC Loser says:

    Sex? A better bet for the Belgians is to ban consumption of beer and cigarettes until they have a government.

  2. Ben says:

    I never thought that I’d see the plot to Lysistrata actually played out in real-life … amazing.

  3. MSS says:

    Hee hee

    You may be on to something: The Independent pointed out today that spending was lower than expected last year because there was no government to initiate any new spending!

    (The Independent article is quite informative in its overview of the Belgian situation, as well as quite entertaining!)