Thursday, March 09, 2006

Cartoons start landslide to the right in Nordic Politics

The cartoons case has started a landslide to the right in Nordic politics, opinion polls in Denmark, Norway and Sweden show. The anti-immigrant Danish People's party will get 17-18 per cent if there were a general election now to the Danish Parliament. That is up from 13 per cent. In Norway the Progress party, "sister party" to the DPP in Denmark, stands to gain several percentage points as well, making it the large political party in Norway. In the latest poll, the Progress Party (Fremskrittspartiet) would get nearly 32 per cent of the vote. Even in Sweden, which does not have a party corresponding to the progress of People's party, the right advances, so the Social Democrats would not come back in government positions if there were an election.

Political scientists explain it by "value politics" having an increasingly important role in electoral politics in the nordic countries. The cartoons issue is not politics along the traditional left - right ideological dimension. It divides the electorate in new ways. It is called new politics or "value politics". Left-right is no longer about equality or inequality but about the quality of life in a broader sense. In this kind of value politics the Danish People's party and The Progress party are to the right. Their voters are mostly lower educated segments, whereas the "left" in the value politics of immigration and "clash of civilizations" recruits its adherents from the more highly educated layers of society.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's evident that the rising popularity of the populist right, far right or whatever you want to describe them in Denmark and Norway has a connection to the cartoon clash (which might have been forgotten by the next election) but I think your idea of the Swedish right wing gaining because of it is very far-fetched! I'm sure it's nothing to do with the cartoons. Also here in Finland the co-ruling social democrats show some downslide in the most recent poll. That's absolutely nothing to do with the cartoons, yet I'm happy with the development here.

1:17 PM  

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