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Denmark

Fallout from the Danish general elections - Why the ruling parties failed

Friday, 16 September 2011
The Danish general elections has finally been concluded and the verdict it known. The government of   Prime Minister Lars Rasmussen is now giving way to a new set of people to manage the country.

But the just ended Danish election was not just a normal civic democratic activity where after a period of 5 years people go and vote, but this time, it carried several issues along with it. Among them are to preserve what the Danes think in their way of life and to boot out a government that was already getting tired, arrogant and sleepy.

Prime Minister Lars Rasmussen however, still remains a very strong man but he needed the support of dooms day leaders in the other parties to remain strong and continue with this drive. But the Danes had become tired of poor economy, embarrassment from anti immigration radical right wing parties and the way the Danes were being perceived aboard after the Mohamed cartoon incidence and the continued anti Muslim rhetoric.
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There was the need to turn a new leaf and start afresh even if those coming in are not as liked and loved as some of those going out.
Prime Minister Lars Rasmussen is aware of this and found it okay that he lost and immediately told his followers that he called and congratulated Helle Thorning-Schmidt.
“I've called and congratulated her and that she now gets the chance to form a government.”
The Prime minister knew that he would not be able to make it, especially, after the last straw – conceding to the Danish People party’s demand to implement a new border control within  the EU even though that was not considered the right thing to do.

New Prime Minister – a woman
One of those aspects of change which the election carried was to change the face of Danish politics and its politicians – some who have been there for 10 years. Never before had a woman ran the country which is also considered a model for gender egalitarianism in the Scandinavia and the world.

Helle Thorning-Schmidt is the woman who’ll become Denmark's first female Prime Minister in the coming days. But there were nervy moments before arriving at this position for her party; the Social Democrats perform woefully at the polls.

The party did its worst elections in over 100 years and thanks to the other smaller parties in the red coalition shall she leap to the big job. The party therefore has the chance to correct itself where ever it made itself unelectable during its time in the opposition. Probably it had to do with their calls that the rich would be forced to pay more taxes.

Other factors that could have contributed for the poor show of the party could also be attributed to her weak leadership, or her gender - there was still nothing that was noticeable when Thorning-Schmidt spoke to her supporters as the election results were clear:
“This evening, the Danes have decided that Denmark should change blades. Dear party friends, we did it! Thanks!”
The final distribution of seats in the Danish Assembly of choice (change since 2007 in parenthesis):
Social Democrats: 44 seats (-1)
Radical Liberals: 17 seats (+8)
Conservative Liberal: 8 seats (-10)
Socialist People's Party: 16 seats (-7)
Liberal Alliance: 9 seats (+4)
Kristendemokraterne: 0 seats (0)
Danish People's Party: 22 seats (-3)
Liberal Party: 47 seats (+1)
Enhedslisten: 12 seats (+8)

This gives a distribution of seats between the blocks at 89-86
In the Faroe Islands is the distribution of seats between the blocks 1-1. In Greenland results where still not clear on the night of Friday.
Thorning-Schmidt will now get the help of the left radical Enhedslisten party, left-liberal Radical and Socialist People's Party.

The last government’s too much focus on immigration – became embarrassing to the Danes. Denmark become known as the EU country which was sensitive to the issue to immigration not only against people coming from out of the EU, but also EU citizens and Nordic citizens even though the Nordic countries though existing agreements are allow to live and works in members countries as freely as it was theirs.

The Danish people party went as far as endorsing radical anti immigration ideas including supporting the Swedish far right party, the Sweden Democrats during the Swedish election last years. But the Danish people’s party fell gracefully from power and lost its roles as a power broker.

Therefore, the thesis that far right parties grow during times of economic hardship needs to be reviewed as can be seen of the contrary in Norway last week during their local elections and now in Denmark

Today also the Danish economy is in crisis and economic issues are central. While Sweden is growing at an alarming rate, Denmark has stagnated and grows similar to stagnant countries such as the UK. It has started hurting the Danes – their pride and self esteem. Danish ‘total solution to immigration’ or the “foreigner issue" had to some extent started to affect the reputation gained internationally.

Rightwing government was against the immigrants, the EU, experts of various kinds. Now they've realized that a knowledge-driven country such as Denmark can not do without experts.

Fatigue is another factor that drove the government to the leeward side. People after ten years with the same tired faces wanted change. That, combined with the economic issues is believed to have affected election results the most.
By Scancomark.se Team


Key Danish Facts
Official Name Kingdom of Denmark
King Margrethe II
Prime minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen
Population 5.5 Million
Capital City Copenhagen
Monetary Unit Danish Krona (DK)
  1dk = 100 ore
Domain Name .dk
Int. Dialling Code +45
Official Language Danish
Religion Christianity
Main stock market Name NASDQ OMX OMX  Copenhagen 20
Internet Speed 4.7 Mbps (2009)
Vital Links
Statistics Denmark
OECD data on Denmark
Denmark and UNICEF
International Energy Agency Denmark
Gateway to Denmark
Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Danish Exporters

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