Sunday, March 12, 2006

Denmark: Voter landslide to the right after cartoons case

(Source for poll: Politiken March 12th)

The cartoons case has shed blood in Danish politics. The right wing, anti-immigrant Danish People's party advances in its share of total votes about 4 per cent, according to opinion polls. Elections to parliament are held every 4 years or more frequently in case of lacking parliamentary support behind the government in office, or if the prime minister decides to dissolve parliament and call for an election.

The uproar over the cartoons seems to have left a large number of voters insecure. Embassy and flag burnings have made an impression on Danish voters. In situations of insecurity people often gather around the government and the prime minister. That does not seem to be the case now. The DPP is, however, the parliamentary support party that delivers the parliamentary majority to the government. Even though the two ruling parties, Conservatives and Liberalists, lose votes, the overall governmental majority is strengthened.

Leader of the pro-immigration Radicals Marianne Jelved criticizes the prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen in today's Berlingske Tidende. By talking about "separating the sheep from the goats" he is making divisive politics. She compares it to divide and rule policies made by Soviet governments before the fall of the Berlin wall. The PM's "divisive speech" about sheep and goats has antagonized broad segments of the business community and the electorate. Anders Fogh Rasmussen seems to have lost his usual "feel" for welfare consensus. He is used to being known as the liberalist turned into "closet social democrat", which has secured him backing from the centre of electoral politics. Marianne Jelved is an experienced old fox in Danish politics. She has before with considerable success cast herself in the role of "shadow PM". She eyes a chance to make in-roads into broad segments of the conservative-liberal electoral base, that want the cartoons crisis solved in a peaceful way. Furthermore the social democrats that are traditionally the alternative, are weakened by bewildered leadership at the moment. By attacking Anders Fogh Rasmussen head on, Mrs. Jelved casts herself in the role as leading opposition politician.

Note on party politics: Social democrats: Centre social liberal, mostly working class and public employees. Radicals: Centre social liberal, higher social class and educated segments of voters, pro-immigration, pro small business. Conservatives: Right of centre, employers, higher level employees. Socialist Peoples Party: Green-socialist, public employees, some skilled workers, students. Pro 3rd World and pro-immigration. Danish People's Party: Anti-immigration, unskilled working class, pensioners. Liberalist Party (Venstre): Traditionally liberalist, free marketeers, business interests, voters traditionally from farmers, today broad layers of population, turned centre under PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Unity list: Mixture of hard core marxism and ecological views. Students, educated layers, trade unionists.

More information on political parties at parliamentary website.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Cosmic D. , would appreciate your opinion , evaluation on an existing situation. Is it not true that the Danish Parliment under the leadership of Mr. Fogh, made an official declaration of war against Iraq, when that government rushed to please Bush ? Is it not true that Denmark was the only nation involved in the "Coalition of the bribed and coereced" that made an official declaration of war ? Against a nation that posed no threat to the frikadella kingdom ? If this is true, would it not be that in a leagal sense, all of the war crimes committed by the USA and Great Britian in this atrocity against humanity, would be Danish responsibility ? could the government of Anders Fogh, be leagally held responsible for the crimes, since the only one who declared war was Denmark ? I hope you can offer some facts on this question. It is quite relavant in the grand scheme of things, and is perhaps one of the movitvators for the total disregard for Geneva conventions, renditions, illegal weapons etc...

6:24 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Duck said...

The British government got backing in the House of Commons, the American in Congress, and the Danish government in Folketinget,the Danish parliament. Perhaps some of the small countries from Central America that participated did not get backing in theire parliaments.

6:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All well and good but, an official declaration of war ? That was not issued by the Congress in DC. And as far as i have been able to find out, niether from the toadies in England. "backing " from a cowed parliment, is not packing the same weight as an official declaration, which would be after the Neurenberg principles, the greatest crime, unprovoked war. Denmark is as far i can see guilty of unprovoked war. That the brunt of the fighting is done by the Yankees is not relevant , IMHO. Danish complicity and guilt is revelant.

6:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Given your acessment that the shift to the right is substiancial, that would beg the question, IF Anders Fogh were to step down, if elections were held and the Nazis gained as you say so strongly, would the prime minister be Pia K ? What other likely candidate would you put forth as a possible p m if Fogh were out ?

7:46 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Duck said...


I do not think it is the question of the war's declaration or not that is most important when considering legality/illegality. It is not "modern" any longer to declare wars. It gives it some legitimacy in the popular hinterland that a vote has been taken in parliament. Externally, when you say the Iraq war was illegal, it is because it is against the charter of the United Nations. Resolution 1410 about Saddam's compliance or non-compliance of inspection by UN WMD inspections was not sufficient legal basis for starting the way,- even though the Americans have tried to assert the opposite. In 2004 Kofi Annan also said that the war was against the UN charter.

7:49 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Duck said...

The pattern of Danish politics may shift very rapidly. The DPP gain in votes is probably a temporary one. On the other hand DPP will move further to the centre in order to keep the gain. It is going into a competition with the Social Democrats, who have also developed in a more xenophobic direction, for the welfare votes and the welfare profile.

After an election that would give gains to the centre and left, the leader of the Social Democrats or Marianne Jelved would be likely candidates for the PM post.

7:57 AM  

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