Monday, 28 October 2013

Election time! Left. Right. Left, left, right!

There are Danish local and regional elections coming up on 19 November.  (KV13 - for the media savvy.)  And how do I know this?  Because our local newspaper's debate pages are suddenly full of letters from caring, would-be politicians who are up in arms about local issues.  And overnight every lamppost in Denmark has been adorned with pensive/smiling/serious/concerned faces! 


Now, I'm Scottish and have always been a socialist at heart.  (Yes, yes, I've heard the old joke before.  "If you're not a socialist at 20 you don't have a heart.  And if you're still a socialist at 5o then you don't have a brain!" )  So, in theory, I should be voting for the Danish party "Venstre".  "Venstre" in Danish meaning "left".  Um, no!



Venstre are actually one of the centre-right parties.  But a teeny wee bit more to the left than Konservative (the Conservatives).  But still right-wing, in the grand scheme of things.  Confused?  You will be!  ;)  So perhaps I should be voting for Radikale Venstre (Radical Left)?  Um no, they're also slightly to the right!  But a lot more left than right, if you see what I mean?  If you're an old-school socialist, then you'll probably want Socialdemokraterne (the Social Democrats, Labour).  That's the party who currently has Helle Thorning-Schmidt at the helm.  Yes, that Helle.  Neil Kinnock's daughter-in-law and Denmark's first female Prime Minister.

Now, with so many different parties in Denmark, it can be rather confusing working out exactly where to put your 'X'.  But I'll try and give you a run down of the major players and a general idea of where they stand on the left-right divide.  Though, as is often said about politicians in Denmark: Man har et standpunkt til man tager et nyt.  One has a view/stance/belief until one takes a new one  ;)



Okay, take a deep breath...

  • A - Socialdemokraterne (Social Democrats, Labour)

  • B - Radikale Venstre (centrist, Radical Left - which, despite the name, are to the right of Socialdemokraterne)

  • C - Konservative (Conservatives, Republicans)

  • F - Socialistisk Folkeparti (Socialist People's Party, green party, more left-wing than Socialdemokraterne)

  • I - Liberal Alliance (Classical Liberal Party, centre-right)

  • O - Dansk Folkeparti (Danish People's Party, right-wing, populist, nationalist)

  • V - Venstre (conservative-liberal, centre-right, despite their name)

  • Ø - Enhedslisten (left-wing, communist)


.

The elections take place on Tuesday 19 November and - selvfølgelig - I can't predict which parties are going to come out on top.  But I can tell you that many people will be having "valgflæsk" ("election pork") for dinner that night!  Yep, flæsk (fried belly pork) has become a real election night tradtion.   Why so?  Because "valgflæsk" is slang for all the lofty promises that policitians make during elections...  Want to cook up some flæsk for Election Night?  I walk you through how to do it right here



Have a marvelous Monday - whatever you have on your plate, whatever you stand for!

 Diane :)

 

 

10 comments:

Martin said...

Yes,and don't forget that everyone with a cpr nr can vote not just danish citizens..So if you have the yellow health Card you're ready to go...Voting in local elections is in my opinion,even more important than voting in the national elections(where only citizens can vote)..The reason is that Denmark is quite a decentralised country and the decisions by your local and regional councils often impact your daily life far more directly than decisions taken at a national level..Roads,healthcare and hospitals,care for the elderly,building projects,childcare,schools,sports and leisure facilities etc,etc are all under the auspices of your local or regional governments..No taxation without representation was the rallying call of the american revolution..Well,you're paying the(very high)taxes so why not have a say in how your money's spent!

Martin said...

correction:you must have had permanent residency for 3 years inorder to vote in local/regional elections.

Eva said...

@martin: That is not true. I got my valgkort/stemmeret years before I got my permanent residency

Martin said...

@Eva:I mean that you must have been permanently resident in DK for 3 years..

Lene Hansen said...

Hi Diane,
Thanks again for an inspiring blog :-) though I think that Enhedslisten will probably claim that they are not communists.
Wishing you a nice election day :-)

Diane said...

Hi Lene! Yep, it's difficult to define all those parties - maybe that's why the politicians sometimes party-hop themselves? ;) Enhedslisten are a merger of the former socialist workers and communist parties...that's why I wrote that. Have a nice weekend! :)

Guillem said...

Thanks a lot, Diane!
I am a spanish guy in Denmark and I was totally lost about those things.
I vote left wing parties, but it looked that everybody here was left-winged! But of course I know it is not like that, so your article, which I found just Googling different words, it has been very helpful to me.
Nice to meet you!
:)

Diane said...

You're welcome, Guillem. Happy Election Day!

Lilia said...

I think I am too stupid to understand danish politics, but I would be delighted to eat this delicious food of your Diane! XD
Wish you a great day!!!

Rennie said...

"Hvem kan stemme?
For at kunne stemme til kommunal- og regionalvalg, skal man være fyldt 18 år og have fast bopæl i kommunen/regionen. Herudover skal man enten

være dansk statsborger,
være statsborger i et EU-land, Island eller Norge eller
have haft fast bopæl i Danmark i de sidste 3 år forud for valgdagen."

http://www.ft.dk/Demokrati/Valg%20og%20afstemninger/Regional-%20og%20kommunalvalg.aspx

The two students from Romania (an EU-country) who are living in my house got "stemmekort", just like me. One of them came to Denmark two months ago. He told me he supports left-wing politics, and was therefore going to vote for Venstre.