Morning Briefing – Tuesday, October 29

The Copenhagen Post’s daily round-up of the front pages and other major Danish news stories

Electoral image is everything
While the political poster remains an important element of election campaigns, increasingly few of them carry a political message. That, according to election analyst Robert Ormrod, of Aarhus University, is a sign of the political times. With voters paying so little attention to local politics the candidate’s image itself has become the party’s message. According to Ormrod, parties use older candidates to convey a message of continuity, while younger candidates reflect parties are ready for change. Parties also used candidates with facial hair to indicate a candidate was more cerebral or friendly, while clean-shaven candidates indicated that a candidate was ready to take action. Previous studies have confirmed that voters cast their ballot for candidates who appear to have characteristics they wanted to see in a politician. – Kristeligt Dagblad

SEE RELATED: Posters cause conflict as campaign season begins

Economy, not party, shapes political landscape
Once the electoral dust settles after the November 19 local election, you can expect local councillors to abandon much of the sharp partisan rhetoric of the current campaign. Studies show that in times when the economy is struggling, there is a much greater willingness among politicians of even diametrically opposed parties to collaborate. Local councils often feature unorthodox coalitions, such as Socialdemokraterne and Venstre, but that tendency has only strengthened since the 2009 election as councils have been forced to cut back on just about everything. Election analysts expected the apparent lack of differences between parties would cement voter turnouts that traditionally are about 25 percent lower than national election turnouts. – Berlingske 


A census of the entire (Danish churchgoing) world
After long rejecting a proposal to count the number of churchgoers, the nation’s bishops have now agreed to do so. The decision comes as part of an on-going discussion over whether parishes that have less than 200 members should be combined with another parish. “We’re constantly seeing stories that our churches are empty,” said Rev Karsten Nissen, the bishop of Viborg, “We’d like to help sort out what’s fact and what’s fiction.” Nissen, whose diocese has already begun its census, predicted the number of people using the church throughout the week would be higher than people expected. In addition to using the census data to determine whether churches should be closed, dioceses say the information could also be used to help make more people aware of church services. – Jyllands Posten

SEE RELATED: Church struggling with empty pew syndrome

Firms facing hiring troubles
Businesses could be running headlong into a hiring shortage in the coming years. Data from Arbejdsmarkedsstyrlesen, a labour regulator, show that in 14 out of the 19 classified industries in Denmark more firms were reporting hiring problems than last year. Just two industries had fewer firms reporting hiring problems. In total, firms had to give up trying to find employees for 9,400 positions in 2013. In 2012 the number was 5,100. Labour market analysts warned that the situation was a bellwether, but that there was time to adjust before the situation led to the same kind of overheating that plagued the job market at the height of the economic expansion of the 2000s. Unions said the types of positions that were going unfilled were primarily for skilled labourers. – Erhverv & Økonomi

SEE RELATED: Government promises reforms to attract skilled foreign workers

Editorial Excerpt | Open your eyes
There is every good reason to take the current crisis [over revelations of US spying on European leaders] and its causes seriously. There is also reason for Denmark to do everything it can to contribute to finding a way for the trans-Atlantic partnership to move past the situation. This is why it is so worrisome that Denmark has started by choosing an ostrich-like strategy of sticking its head in the sand. […] There could be two reasons why the prime minister and the justice minister can guarantee us that they have no reason to believe they have been bugged. First: they might actually know anything at all. […] Second, they might know far more than they want to tell, because Denmark, just like our close European allies have a wildly complex partnership with US intelligence agencies.  Politiken

SEE RELATED: More questions than answers on Denmark's place in NSA scandal

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