11 times the size of Belgium. How about “the size of Germany”?

Here is a perfect example of the mysterious allure of Belgium as a unit of measurement.

“Today is the start of my listening tour across the Barwon electorate. The gravity of the task ahead is not lost on me. This electorate is the largest in New South Wales, covering more than 40 per cent of the state. It’s eleven times the size of Belgium.”

  • This is a quote by Roy Butler, a politician in Australia, about as far from Belgium as you can get.
  • It is published in a local Australian newspaper(the Nyngan Observer)  whose readers are not likely to be familiar with the size of Belgium.
  • The area in question (the political district of Barwon)  is very nearly the size of Germany, while Belgium is 11 times smaller.

WHY DID HE CHOOSE TO COMPARE IT WITH BELGIUM INSTEAD OF GERMANY?  That is the issue that motivated me to start this web site many years ago.