Party profile: Socialistisk Folkeparti

SF says the party stands firmly on the left and is fighting for a greener, healthier Copenhagen

As Copenhagen’s second largest party, Socialistisk Folkeparti (SF) is heading into the local elections committed to its green and welfare-based agenda. Spearheaded by Ninna Thomsen, Copenhagen’s current deputy mayor for health and care, the party’s manifesto for the upcoming election focuses on the health and wellbeing of the city’s residents.

SF says that it will continue to work for a greener, healthier Copenhagen, and the party takes a lot of credit for the city’s bike paths and green spaces. In this year’s city budget negotiations, SF secured a significant improvement of the city’s busiest bike routes as well as money for a new bike-sharing programme.

“The amount of cars in the city creates noise, air pollution and congestion problems,” said the city’s deputy mayor for technical and environmental affairs, Ayfer Baykal (SF). “That is why SF is committed to making it attractive for more people to take their bike into the city.”

The SF platform states that Copenhagen must lead the way towards a sustainable society. This applies to transportation, CO2 neutrality, adapting to climate change and the responsible management of resources. SF’s plan would see Copenhagen grow economically and in population without overtaxing city resources and polluting the environment at the expense of future generations.

READ ALSO: Party profile: Dansk Folkeparti

No tax cuts promised here
While other parties are talking about tax cuts and trimming services, SF remains committed to the idea of a strong welfare state, saying in its platform statement that it “chooses welfare over tax cuts because we know in times of crisis that anyone could find themselves out of a job”.

“SF is a socialist party that uses its influence to move city politics to the left,” said Thomsen. “We will focus on the city’s children, employment, the environment and equality. We must be careful that Copenhagen does not become two cities: one for the wealthy and affluent, and one for people who hit the bottom due to unemployment, abuse, poor health and homelessness.”

SF also wants money to go to ensuring that Copenhagen’s older residents have the healthcare and rehabilitation that they need.

“I want the city to provide an even greater degree of help to combat the loneliness that so many elderly people face each day,” Thomsen said.

She has suggested activity centres where the elderly can come into contact with others and participate in things such as community cooking classes.

Less smoking and drinking
Thomsen is not afraid to take controversial stances on health issues and is on record as saying that she would like to make Copenhagen a smoke-free city by 2025.

The aim of her plan is that by 2025, only four percent of the city’s citizens should be smokers – a significant drop from the 21 percent who currently smoke.

Thomsen is also a major crusader in starting a dialogue about what she considers the unhealthy drinking culture in both the city of Copenhagen and Denmark as a whole.

“Our high consumption of alcohol is a problem that very few dare talk about,” she said. “I think it needs to be discussed: especially the implications it has for children who grow up in abusive families and are taught that a party is only a proper party if alcohol is flowing freely.”

Thomsen wants to see money allocated to help those who are trying to break the cycle of abuse and assist children who grow up in families suffering from addiction.

“In Copenhagen, 15,000 children grow up in families with alcohol problems,” she said. “They need help and support as soon as possible.”

Left is the way forward
Thomsen and SF remain convinced that the left is the best direction for the city to turn to help those who need it most, protect the environment and generally improve the quality of life for everyone in Copenhagen.

“We will continue to be a strong and distinctive voice at City Hall – a real left-wing party that makes Copenhagen a city that can be an inspiration to the rest of the country and the world,” said Thomsen.

Factfile | Ninna Thomsen
Party: Socialistisk Folkeparti
Age: 37
Years on the City Council: 8

• Environment
• Strong welfare state
• Quality of life
• Elderly care
• Child care

Next week: Party profiles of Liberal Alliance and Enhedslisten, plus a look at the lesser-known parties that are also vying for votes