Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Election time in Denmark

by JakeS Wed Oct 24th, 2007 at 04:45:21 PM EST

Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen called a parliamentary election today, to take place on the thirteenth of November this year. Cue campaign-mode from every political party (OK, that started in September already, but the government stumbled over a tax issue (the conservatives wanted tax cuts pretty desperately by then, and the Popular Party didn't, which meant major cat-fight in the government and no election for another month)).


This election follows hot on the heels of several scandals and 'bad stories' for the government, such as the revelation by retired CIA officials that Denmark does indeed know about the secret American torture centres and their kidnapping program, and have done so for quite some time.

Additionally, not even a month ago, the government intervened pretty heavy-handedly against counties that raised taxes beyond what they had 'agreed' (that's newspeak for 'been dictated'), casting a revealing light on the priorities of the current government vis-a-vis the discussion of tax cuts vs. government services...

Oh, and the government started the withdrawal from Iraq earlier this year, claiming that the Iraqi government had asked us to leave, and told us that they were ready to take over security duties. When asked whether this was correct, the Iraqi government essentially replied 'huh? That's not what our notes say.'

On the other hand, he had to call elections within the next six months or so, and that would put elections squarely within the timeframe both of overenskomstforhandlingerne (the labour market negotiations) (in spring) and the ratification of the Union constitution (in winter, probably).

Almost all of the professional tea-leaf readers analysts say that there is a realistic risk that overenskomstforhandlingerne are going to break down, resulting in a general strike, and the Constitution is either going to get rammed through parliament, which would be massively unpopular, or run a very real risk of being turned down by the electorate, which might do Bad Things to the incumbent government if the general election is too close by.

All in all, the timing probably couldn't have been a whole lot more in favour of the current government than it is.

The government is leading in the polls, but I don't know by how much off the top of my head, and with a brand new party in the mix, I'd be more than a bit careful with the polls anyway. Besides any half-competent opposition should be able to forge the last half-year of incessant scandals into a winning hand. Unfortunately, I wouldn't be surprised if they manage not to...

Update: In the comments I implied that the Christian Popular Party usually supports the right wing. While this is historically true, I have learned today that they have decided to align themselves with the Social Democrats in this election for the first time ever. It is unlikely to mean a whole lot in practical terms, but it brings the image of rats leaving a sinking ship forcibly to my mind... When not even the ex-anti-abortionists support your position, you're on ethically shaky ground. Not that ethics has ever been a big issue in politics...

- Jake

Display:
Any chance of a more right-wing move a la suisse... getting the racist and xenophobic territory of the ultra-right... or more chances of a centered right or a left-wing win?

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed Oct 24th, 2007 at 04:54:48 PM EST
Yes and no.

The tea-leaf readers claim that the stars say that the xenophobes are going to be marginalised. OTOH, the price of that may be that we get the Reaganite New Alliance. I'm not actually sure that's a favourable deal...

If we get a leftist majority, it's going to be very leftist, if I'm doing my own tea-leaf-reading correctly. The Social Liberals are going to take a pounding, methinks, so if we do get a left-of-centre government it'll likely be a pure S (Social Democrats) or S-and-weak-R (Social Liberals) with heavy dependence on SF (Popular Socialists) but that may be just wishful thinking on my part...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Oct 24th, 2007 at 07:23:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Right and Left Neck-and-Neck in Denmark: Angus Reid Global Monitor

What party would you support in the next general election?

 

Oct. 13

Sept. 14

Aug. 18

Left, Liberal Party of Denmark (V)

26.5%

27.3%

27.8%

Social Democracy in Denmark (SD)

24.4%

24.5%

25.6%

Danish People's Party (DF)

14.4%

12.9%

12.8%

Conservative People's Party (KF)

9.0%

7.9%

8.9%

Socialist People's Party (SF)

8.9%

10.1%

9.5%

New Alliance (NA)

6.9%

5.0%

4.0%

Radical Left-Social Liberal Party (RV)

6.6%

7.2%

7.0%

Unity List-The Red Greens (EL)

2.3%

3.0%

2.9%

Christian Democrats (KD)

0.4%

0.9%

0.7%

Minority Party (M)

0.4%

--

0.2%

Centre-Democrats (CD)

0.2%

0.4%

0.3%

Source: Catinét Research / Ritzau
Methodology: Interviews with 1,059 Dane adults, conducted from Oct. 8 to Oct. 13, 2007. Margin of error is 2.7 per cent.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Oct 24th, 2007 at 05:02:27 PM EST
JakeS, could you give your opinion of the smaller parties (say starting with KF), with some specifics?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Oct 24th, 2007 at 05:05:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ask and ye shall receive:

V - the Liberal Party started life as a peasant party opposed to the large countryside landowners. By the time parliament had acquired enough constitutional clout for them to matter, though, they were overtaken left-ward by the Social Democrats.

They played a relatively minor role in Danish politics, until the Conservatives disintegrated in the early nineties, when they became the leading rightist party. They have ruled since 2001, where they won the elections by imitating Tony Bliar which they've continued to do, right up to and including getting us involved in Vietraq.

They are a neo-liberal party. They want tax cuts. They also want to make sure that as few people as possible realize the implications of this fact. They like to appear centre-right, and in the name of realpolitik, that's how they act, at least as long as they think someone's looking. As far as I can tell, they are pretty much a bigger version of the Conservatives, but they manage to hide it better, through ruthless top-down management.

Think British Labour, except these guys used to be right-wing, so they're a deal scarier than Tony Bliar and his crowd.

K - the Conservative Popular Party our second-oldest party, they started life as a get-together of major landowners and industrialists to combat the radical leftist tendencies of the Liberal Party (V).

The Conservative Schlüter(1) held the position of PM in the 80'es, but ever since his successor Hans Engel had an - ah - inebriated, car-mediated encounter with a concrete roadside support element (in plain English, he was driving under the (heavy) influence and crashed his car. Very publicly), internecine strife has driven it into relative obscurity.

The Conservatives are the minor partner in the current coalition government. It's a bit hard to figure out what their policies are, other than the fact that they like tax cuts. Rather a lot, in fact. Oh, and they think criminals should be put in prison. A lot. And, of course, that private businesses should be allowed a freer hand to do basically whatever they want. Even put up surveillance cameras looking over public sidewalks. But mainly they just want some tax cuts. I.o.w., your classic conservative party.

S - the Social Democrats. Think the German SDU. They used to govern the country back in the 20th century, and did so skillfully, but a combination of lack of media savvy and a disastrous failure to anticipate the influence of the Danish Popular Party after 2001 forced them into opposition. They did not take kindly to that fact, and have been attempting variously, and largely unsuccessfully, to 'triangulate,' rediscover their 'core values' and trying to figure out what to do with themselves in the 21st century ever since.

Politically, they're centre-left. Precisely how much centre and how much left depends on who you ask. And when you ask them. They want increased public spending, but they also don't want to raise taxes. Something Will Have To Give. My guess is that when push comes to shove, they'll raise taxes, but at this point in time, a guess is all it can be.

DF - Danish Popular Party a protest party who got big in 2001, primarily by objecting to the relatively liberal immigration laws we had back then (and in no small part through the then-current government's disastrous media handling of them). They have been a loyal government-supporting party since then - so much, in fact, that most people count them as part of the government, even though officially they are not.

Their only really major quarrel with the rest of the government is that they don't want tax cuts if they can help it. And certainly not for the rich. I've written more about their policies elsewhere in this thread.

SF - Socialist Popular Party. Think the German Greens, except without the corruption and scandals. Used to be a classic socialist party, but have become increasingly social democratic over the years (to the point where they are currently more social democratic than the Social Democrats.

Policy-wise, they're a classic social-democratic party. Priorities include unemployment benefits, education, humane treatment of immigrants, sustainable energy, etc. Probably the spiritual home of most ET'ers.

NA - New Alliance the Tax Cut Party par excellence, their only really substantial political proposal so far is a flat tax of forty-ish percent. No word on where they're going to find the money. I have a bottle of beer that says it's going to be either public spending or Bushist Borrowing.

Other than that, their policies are borderline reasonable (mainly lifted from R, though).

R - the Social Liberal party traditionally a true centrist party, they have had few true agendas, mainly involving educational policy (I will leave it for another time whether those policies were good or not).

Their classical constituency was teachers, which very much shaped their outlook. Their narrow focus and relative disinterest in fiscal policy permitted them to sell their votes to the highest bidder, and the bids could get exceedingly high (they were part of both the last Schlüter government in the 80'es and the Nyrup (S) government in the 90'es).

Post-2001, though, they lost that position, because the current government has a stable majority with the Danish Popular Party. This caused them to take a turn to the left on 'values' questions, such as education and the treatment of foreigners, but - freed from
close co-operation with the Social Democrats that shaped them through the nineties, they have taken a distinctly rightwards turn on fiscal policy, advocating supply-side-ish taxation schemes.

KD - the Christian Popular Party (they style themselves Christian Democrats now, BTW, though I still refer to them by their old name). They're not going to make the 2 % cut, unless all the tea-leaf-readers are completely off this time.

I don't know much about their policies, other than the fact that they supported Schlüter, at least most of the time. They dropped their anti-abortion stance earlier this year (or late last year, can't recall), so I don't actually think that they have any policies left... Except that they don't like gay marriage and think that we shouldn't privatize the state church, and I'm not even sure about the last point.

CD - the Centre Democrats. They didn't even make it to the ballot this time, and frankly, good riddance. Another protest party started back when the TV was new and exciting and offered a new platform for politicians to use.

Their main agenda back then was to represent the new middle class (Villa, Volvo, Vovse(2)) and to combat undue left-wing bias in the state-sponsored Danish Broadcasting Service (and on the last score they actually had a point back then). To their credit, they realised that the latter point was becoming increasingly ludicrous after the TV monopoly was broken by TV2.

Like the Christian Popular Party, they were largely killed off by the mid-nineties, due to a combination of their charismatic founder dying and virtually every other party doing the Villa, Volvo, Vovse thing... They then began an increasingly contrived (and increasingly hopeless) series of PR stunts and rapid policy changes in order to find a new niche and avoid oblivion. They failed.

Ø - Unity List is a get-together of all the small communist parties whose acronyms used to take up more than half the letters in the alphabet.

Today they're your run-of-the-mill far-left party. Their members range from reasonable people you can actually have a discussion with, even though their agenda is somewhat radical, through anarchist crackpots to orthodox communists. The reasonable ones seem to be in the majority, though.

They recently hit a fairly major road bump by deciding to run an orthodox moslem (so orthodox, in fact, that she doesn't shake hands with men) far enough up the ballot that she might actually get elected. The Danish communists have traditionally been fairly skeptical of all things religious, so that by itself was sufficient to raise more than a few hackles.

It did not make things better that she went public with statements that suggested that she didn't categorically oppose the death penalty, Sharia law or attacks on Danish troops in Vietraq. Whether she's an actual fundie or just doing a good imitation of one is hard to judge, though, because the party leadership quickly gave her remedial 'media training,' which is newspeak for teaching her to lie and dissemble almost as well as the rest of our politicians.

M - Minority Party an aptly named party. I've yet to get the foggiest idea about what their policies are, other than the fact that they are a leftist party that was started in protest against the influence of the Danish Popular Party.

An Aside: The Conservatives are usually referred to as K, not KF, to avoid confusion with KD, who were formerly know as KF. The Social Democrats are usually denoted simply as S, and the Social Liberals as R.

(1)Conservative PM in the 80'es - closest thing to a Danish Ronald Reagan, but without Reagan's charm.

(2)House, Car, Doggie

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Oct 24th, 2007 at 09:48:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This should be a diary in its own right, part two of the series on the Danish Elections.

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 03:59:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, I thought that too, but only by the time I had finished writing it and by then I couldn't be bothered to write an introduction and a conclusion and post it in a proper diary format.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:49:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It doesn't have to be today.

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:08:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
S - the Social Democrats. Think the German SDU.

SPD. (CDU is Christian Democrats.)

Think the German Greens, except without the corruption and scandals.

Huh!?

NA - New Alliance the Tax Cut Party par excellence

For the record I note that party founder Naser Khadir has been mentioned on ET before: February 2006 (posing as representative of the silent majority of Danish Muslims in the cartoons controversy), again (discussion on whether he'd take Pia's place), May 2007 (party founding), and again (tax cuts).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:37:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
S - the Social Democrats. Think the German SDU.

SPD. (CDU is Christian Democrats.)

Of course. My bad.

Think the German Greens, except without the corruption and scandals.

Huh!?

The Greens had a fairly major scandal blow up in their faces just after the last German election vis-a-vis unregistered financial support and American torture prisons. SF has never been part of a government coalition, and they don't have any rich friends, so they have never had those problems.

For the record I note that party founder Naser Khadir has been mentioned on ET before: February 2006 (posing as representative of the silent majority of Danish Muslims in the cartoons controversy),

This is largely where he's believed to have achieved the popularity necessary to start up a new party. He was the only politician who didn't make a total arse of himself at the time.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 08:27:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Greens had a fairly major scandal blow up in their faces just after the last German election vis-a-vis unregistered financial support and American torture prisons.

Hm. Maybe I fail to remember another one, but the three-four scandals involving inappropiate money and the Greens: the bonus miles affair, the two affairs involving PR adviser Hunzinger, and the visa affair all predate the 2005 elections.

Of these the visa affair was most serious, but that involved failure to address corruption at the visa issuing offices of the foreign ministry rather than money taken by Green politicians (and the scandal was staked by the CDU with a faint whiff of xenophobia, considering that the decree that opened the way for this corruption was created to fast-track some acute cases, say someone's urgent need for hospital treatment).

From the context, I suspect you mean the Hunzinger-Fischer affair, about a cheque for €10 thousand in 1998. This affair was created by Hunzinger himself, who claimed in a 2005 interview that this was fee paid to soon-to-be foreign minister Fischer personally for a talk before industry leaders, while the Greens declared that it was booked as a normal party donation. The truth is probably halway, at any rate, note that Hunzinger is close to the CDU and has earlier been sentenced for giving false testimony.

For scale, note that almost all donations to the German Greens come from the public office holding members of the party itself.

I agree that the other issue, whether and how much foreign minister Fischer knew of American torture prisons (more precisely: the kidnapping and torture of Germany residents), is more serious. But I note that the questions now more concentrate on the then interior minister Schily and the then leader of Schröder's chancellery, current foreign minister Steinmeier. Also, this is more a Fischer issue than a Greens issue, as the Greens participated actively in pushing for clearing up the cases (Masri, Kurnaz).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:14:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect that you're right about the Hunzinger-Fisher case being the one. I'm a bit fuzzy on the details (it's two years ago, after all), I just remember some Very Bad Stories in a usually very reliable source (DRP1 - Orientering). Fisher's name certainly was mentioned a lot.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:21:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pollsters differ -- so here is another:

Social Democrats Barely Ahead in Denmark: Angus Reid Global Monitor

What party would you support in the next general election?

 

Sept. 27

Sept. 13

Aug. 30

Social Democracy in Denmark (SD)

26.6%

26.2%

24.6%

Left, Liberal Party of Denmark (V)

26.1%

27.8%

27.5%

Danish People's Party (DF)

12.7%

11.2%

14.0%

Socialist People's Party (SF)

10.7%

11.4%

9.5%

Conservative People's Party (KF)

8.3%

8.7%

8.1%

Radical Left-Social Liberal Party (RV)

6.4%

5.6%

6.2%

New Alliance (NA)

5.8%

6.3%

5.7%

Unity List-The Red Greens (EL)

2.6%

2.1%

2.5%

Christian Democrats (KD)

0.5%

0.6%

1.2%

Centre-Democrats (CD)

--

0.1%

0.5%

Source: Megafon / TV2
Methodology: Telephone and online interviews with 1,341 Dane adults, conducted from Sept. 25 to Sept. 27, 2007. Margin of error is 2 per cent.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Oct 24th, 2007 at 05:06:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Quick and dirty rundown on translating party names to position/tribe/ideology

Left, Liberal Party of Denmark (V) - Liberals (european), so on the right. (Confusing, ain't it?)

Social Democracy in Denmark (SD) - Soc Dem, Left

Danish People's Party (DF) - nationalist/rascist, far-right

Conservative People's Party (KF) - Conservative, right

Socialist People's Party (SF) - socialist, left

New Alliance (NA) - This would be the new party then? I dunno anything about them.

Radical Left-Social Liberal Party (RV) - Socialliberal, centreleft

Unity List-The Red Greens (EL) - Green Left

Here is the result of the election 2005:
Danmark - Wikipedia, den fria encyklopedin

Parti % Mandat
Venstre 29 52
Socialdemokraterne 25,9 47
Dansk Folkeparti 13,2 24
Konservative Folkeparti 10,3 18
Radikale Venstre 9,2 17
Socialistisk Folkeparti 6 11
Enhedslisten 3,4 6
Kristendemokraterne 1,7 0
Centrum-Demokraterne 1 0



Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Wed Oct 24th, 2007 at 06:07:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Checked New alliance on wiki:

New Alliance (Denmark) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

New Alliance (Danish: Ny Alliance) is a Danish political party, founded on 7 May 2007. Its founding members are Naser Khader (MP), Anders Samuelsen (MEP) -- both former members of the Danish Social Liberal Party -- and Gitte Seeberg (MEP), a former member of the Conservative People's Party. It is the country's first new major party in the past decade.[1]

New Alliance (Denmark) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

New Alliance considers itself a centre party, "taking the best values of social liberalism and social conservatism".[5] The meaning of the latter is the same as compassionate conservatism in English-speaking countries (not to be mistaken with the morally right-wing social conservatism of US politics).

By using these two terms, New Alliance has positioned itself mid-way between the former parties of the three founding members. Social liberalism is, of course, the official ideology of the Social Liberal Party, whereas "social conservatism" is a term sometimes invoked by members of of the Conservative Party who stress the support of welfare society, such as New Alliance co-founder Gitte Seeberg.

So they would be centre, or centreright then? Or is their self-description wrong for any reason?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Oct 24th, 2007 at 06:09:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They seem to be liberal but to the right of Radikale Venstre and to the left of Venstre. So, Centre?

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 24th, 2007 at 06:56:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not as measured by their fiscal policy, they ain't. They favour Polish-style flat-tax, and they've not said a peep about how to finance it, so judging by their fiscal policy so far, they're the right-most party on the ballot, their own propaganda notwithstanding.

A note should be made on the Danish Popular Party (DF). They are certainly xenophobes (I think racist is putting it a bit harshly - although they certainly do have outright racists among their members, the body of the party does not strike me as such), but they are not extreme-right in the fiscal sense of the term. It's an odd-duck party.

Their primary constituents are poor-ish elderly people; imagine an old granny who's worried about whether her next social security check will cover the next month's expenses, and what all those strange furrin'ers and their strange ways are going to do to 'her' country.

Another note should be made regarding the translation of 'folkeparti' - I prefer the translation 'popular party' to the tranlation 'people's party' since the latter carries - ah - unfortunate connotations in English...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Oct 24th, 2007 at 07:33:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I figured Danske Folkeparti consider themselves as nationalist, and their critiques consider them racist, but then again I guess the most outlandish stuff from Danske Folkeparti carries more easily over the waters.

I think it is not unusual for the xenophobic parties (or simply ugly parties as Sven named them) to also promote better services. And lollipops and ponies for all. Like in the good old days. Before furreigners messed it all up.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Oct 24th, 2007 at 07:55:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep. Also, while maybe not in Scandinavia (and the Anglosphere), elsewhere right-wing didn't automatically mean free-marketista. The right was very much statist, only its goals weren't the implementation of solidarity across society or helping the poor, but maintaining power by keeping to certain means and/or preventing a revolution with bread & circus.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 02:34:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe you could do us a political compass for Denmark?

As for the translation of Folkeparti... In fact 'Volk' (as in the Swedish SVP) or 'Folke' (as in the Danish DFP) seems to me to carry a more negative connotation than either "People's" or "Popular" does in English, unless one forgets about European history pre-1945. Yes, I know the Danish Parliament is called the Folketing and 'Folke' can be a totally innocent word in Danish, but if the Folkeparti's name has negative associations they are deserved. You just have to look at their platform.

As for "People's Party", that is the standard translation (see the European People's Party), hence the Konservative Folkeparti can be correctly translated as Conservative People's Party. And the term is becoming more negative courtesy of  some of its key members such as the Spanish neo-Franquist Partido Popular. The DFP is definitely to the right of the CF so it needs a name that sounds even more rightist than "People's Party", which English unfortunately doesn't have.

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 03:50:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As for the translation of Folkeparti... In fact 'Volk' (as in the Swedish SVP) or 'Folke' (as in the Danish DFP) seems to me to carry a more negative connotation than either "People's" or "Popular" does in English, unless one forgets about European history pre-1945. Yes, I know the Danish Parliament is called the Folketing and 'Folke' can be a totally innocent word in Danish, but if the Folkeparti's name has negative associations they are deserved. You just have to look at their platform.

Whether that is true or not (and I agree with you that it is at least partially) is largely irrelevant to the translation, IMO. "Folkeparti" does not carry those connotations in Danish, so it would be inaccurate to translate them as such.

If you translate "Folkeparti" as "Volkspartei" or "People's Party" you should do it across the board, IMO, which means that you would be attaching seriously dubious connotations (that are not attached in the Danish version of their names) to a number of parties that are legitimate, democratic parties, whatever you may think of their political views.

As you rightly point out, our parliament is called 'Folketinget' which in direct translation - if we assume that 'folke-' translates as 'people's' - would be 'People's Council' - certainly an ominous name for a legislative body.

More to the point, though, in Danish 'folke-' has always carried connotations of 'anti-elitist' rather than nationalist or (necessarily) populist. So semantically it's closer to 'popular' than to 'people's.'

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 08:19:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To an American ear, "People's" anything sounds communist - People's Glorious this, and People's National that.

While there was the populist movement in the late 19th century, it's not a term that generally has much resonance in American history, so the most familiar usage is that of the good ol' Evil Empire.

by Zwackus on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 08:22:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How about Fatherland Party instead of People's or Popular? That is the sort of term which might appeal to nationalist right-wingers and which has negative connotations in English (since Hitler).

I am not sure if Fatherland is a concept used in Denmark. Motherland, which is the sort of equivalent term the English use of their own country, does not have the same negative vibes.

Alternatively perhaps volk/folke could be sort of translated by the American term Homeland (as in Homeland Security) - which is also acquiring negative connotations in English (at least in the UK).

Of course these suggested translations loose the connection to the people of the nation that seems to be in the original.

As ever you can either translate a term literally or try to get a sense of the flavour of it, without being able to get a precise equivalent.

by Gary J on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 09:38:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Folketing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Members are elected in accordance with the principle of proportional majority.

Folketing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Parties must pass the threshold, 2 % of the national vote, to gain any seats. A party below the threshold will, however, be able to be represented by way of district seats if it is very strong in one region. This has happened for the German minority party and in very rare cases for other parties.


Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Wed Oct 24th, 2007 at 06:13:15 PM EST
Let's see...right-wing governments stumbles in a) Denmark b) Sweden c) Finland.

At this rate, the Nordic countries will be back to Social Democratic governments within a couple of years...except for Iceland. I blame the weather.

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde

by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:20:55 AM EST
Tell me more about b and c!

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:43:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, you've probably seen a couple of diaries here on ET on the myriad of scandals the Swedes have been generating  (I can go look for them if you'd like), what with two ministers resigning within days of taking office and most recently the minister of defense resigning over disagreements about budget cuts for the Swedish military.

As for c, the Finnish government has been bungling negotiations with the health care workers union to the point that when minister of finance was asked what his reaction would be if someone died as a result of the failed negotiations, he replied that "People die every day". Then there was the whole government secrecy thing regarding the Stasi archives and in general and the minister of defense going to the US holding a speech about the evil Russians...

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde

by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:57:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes I remember the earlier scandals in Sweden, I missed the minister resignation now. But did those suffice to heavily hit the new government? (Say, what are the polls? Wait don't bother, I'll goo look on Agnus Reid.)

Same question about the nurse protest, which I also remember: did that seriously hurt the government? On the Stasi archives thing, you remind me to read your diary from back when I hadn't had the time...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:31:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think there's been a poll, since Persson stepped down as chairman of the SDP earlier this year, in which the Swedish centre-left opposition hasn't led by a fairly decent margin. Not to worry, though, they still have some time to screw it up!

As for Finland, the conflict is on-going, but the media has been less than kind to the government. What the final verdict will be remains to be seen, but the longer it drags on, the worse for the government...

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde

by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:55:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think there's been a poll, since Persson stepped down as chairman of the SDP earlier this year, in which the Swedish centre-left opposition hasn't led by a fairly decent margin.

Indeed -- latest example via Agnus Reid:

Opposition Enjoys Positive Trend in Sweden: Angus Reid Global Monitor

What party would you support if a general election were held today?
  Oct. 2007 Apr. 2007 Nov. 2006
Opposition Parties (Centre-Left) 53.3% 53.8% 51.2%
Workers' Party - Social-Democrats (S) 42.8% 44.1% 38.9%
Environmental Party - The Greens (MP) 6.2% 5.4% 6.6%
Left Party (Vp) 4.3% 4.3% 5.7%
Governing Alliance (Centre-Right) 42.2% 41.4% 43.8%
Moderate Rally Party (M) 22.7% 24.3% 25.5%
People's Party Liberals (FpL) 8.4% 5.4% 6.3%
Centre Party (C) 7.2% 6.3% 6.7%
Christian-Democrats (KD) 3.9% 5.4% 5.3%
Source: Sifo / Svenska Dagbladet
Methodology: Telephone interviews to 1,905 Swede adults, conducted from Oct. 1 to Oct. 11, 2007. No margin of error was provided.

Not to worry, though, they still have some time to screw it up!

Ah yeah, the centre-left disease...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 08:24:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The current leftwing lead in Sweden is nothing to worry about.

It is due to some scandals (which no one will remember come election), necessary but unpopular policy changes (which the soc dems will not change back if they would win the next election) and the fact that the opposition in general and the social democrats in particular has hidden from the media for the last year. As soon as they start to actually promote their own policies, their support will plummet. Not because they have bad policies (they have) but because their new chairman is an absolute idiot who is completely out of touch with the voters.

And if they, by some absurd event, would win the next election, I'm fleeing for the Continent.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 09:58:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Seems to be a cyclical thing. Every once in a while, the SDP loses an election, and the opposition gets to have the car keys for a couple of years. After they've driven the car into a ditch, the SDP is re-elected, but instead of pulling the car out of the ditch, they say "you know what...why don't we take the bus?"

Also, being an idiot has never precluded anyone from having a successful career in politics...

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde

by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:48:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am interested in the election timing.

Recent UK general elections have been held in the spring or early summer. I believe the last one as late as November was in 1935.

When Gordon Brown was teasing us all about a late October or early November election, there was some comment that it would be difficult to campaign and turn out voters in the evening.

Traditionally in the UK we regarded 9.00pm as the cut off point for canvassing voters, but I have noticed increasing reluctance to answer the door after dark over the years.

Was there any feeling in Denmark that it would be better to postpone the election until the spring, when the light would last longer?

by Gary J on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 10:04:43 AM EST
Perhaps. I'm not that intimately acquainted with the electioneering techniques. But even if there were, postponing it would have been A Seriously Bad Idea for the government, due to their more than merely possible run-in with an unpopular EU treaty and spring-time labour market negotiations that many people are willing to bet money will end in a general strike.

I haven't run the numbers, but I am of the general impression that our politicians avoid calling elections in spring in the years where the labour market negotiations take place, to avoid an - ah - emotionally charged climate around election time (the government calls the timing of the elections, and labour conflict is usually ended by rather heavy-handed (and usually unpopular) government intervention, so it makes sense for the government to avoid it).

At any rate, I don't think our political parties go door-to-door. That would probably lose them more voters than it would gain them, as door-to-door propaganda is associated (at least to my mind, and I think to many others' as well) rather heavily with snake-oil salesmen and Jehovah's Witnesses.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 04:37:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]