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!