IS THERE SOMETHING ROTTEN IN THE STATE OF DENMARK?
Denmark, like Sweden, has seen it's political scene dominated by the Social Democrats. Their
tax pressure is huge - only Sweden tops it among the OECD countries - and their welfare state
covers most areas.
At their latest election things changed a bit. The social democrats lost the election and a new
centre right government consisting of the Liberal party (Venstre) and the Conservative party (Konservativt
Folkeparti) was formed, ruling with the parliamentary support from populist Danish People's Party
(Dansk Folkeparti). Now, with a new election to be held at the 8th of February, the coalition looks
certain to stay in power. But still there is something rotten.
I'm not talking about the critized immigration laws that this government has implemented, though they
are indeed nothing to celebrate. Instead, it's the economic policies that have been a let down, and things
aren't likely to change after this election. When a centre-right coalition brags about how they've increased
the number of people employed in the public sector, you know something is wrong. And things doesn't get better
when the government's main promise consists of ensuring that they won't cut down on the welfare state.
As Svenska Dagbladet's editorial page points out, even the Social
Democratic newspapers seem happy, with Politiken merrily writing that Fogh (the PM) wins as a Social Democrat.
Is this a development that we're like to see in Sweden as well? And is it necessary to move leftwards in order
to win an election in Scandinavia? We've already seen the Swedish conservatives making strides towards the centre
under the leadership of Fredrik Reinfeldt, and at the same time the polls suggest that their popularity, along with
the popularity of the entire opposition alliance has increased.
I'd still like to think that election victory can be achieved without turning into Social Democrats. The problem has
often lied in the presentation and the lack of confidence; not in the ideas. The presentational problems still remains,
but the confidence among the more liberal minded in Sweden has increased of late. Much still needs to be improved
to show voters that there is a good alternative to the Social Democrats, but the 2006 Swedish election is there for
Finally I should point out that though some things are indeed rotten in the state of Denmark, some things have also
improved quite a lot with the regime change. Foreign policy is the most notable example.
Comment this article