Party-switchers should leave parliament

Survey finds that voters want consequences for recent party turncoats

Politicians who can’t decide on a party should leave parliament, agree two out of every three Danes according to Jyllands-Posten newspaper.

A survey asked 944 people if they thought party-switching should force politicians to give up their seat in parliament, instead of taking it with them to the new party.

While 67.5 of the respondents answered they agreed with the statement, 20.7 percent said they disagreed and 11.8 percent were undecided.

Jumping ship a common practice
Party-switching has been unusually common lately – most particularly due to an exodus of notable politicians from Socialistisk Folkeparti. Ida Auken jumped to Radikale while Astrid Kragh and Ole Sohn turned to Socialdemokraterne.

Whether the party turncoats should be allowed to take their seat with them is a constitutional matter.

So far, the constitution states that a politician is only bound by their conviction and not by any regulations, which is interpreted to allow party-switching.

Voters confused
A SF member of the European parliament, Emilie Turunen, jumped to Socialdemokraterne last year and she understands why switching may confuse voters.

"To be honest, I understand that some may think 'what's going on here?' when a politician switches party," Turunen told Jyllands-Posten. "But I also think I would have been really unreliable if I had stayed because SF changed its course during my term."