Bid and overbid

Thorning-Schmidt has her own game


The election campaign started a long time ago. Everyone knew that September 2015 was the latest it could happen, and it has just been a question of waiting. Only the PM alone had the prerogative to decide the date, and she has been enjoying it fully.

But at least now, at last, it’s on. So get ready for a dogfight as 179 MPs battle for their seats!

What’s she playing at?
The speculation is already in overdrive. The polls indicate a safe ride for the blue parties, so why has Helle Thorning-Schmidt bolted so early and not waited until after the July break to declare. That way she could stay in office as long as possible and hope for a white rabbit to pop out of the magician’s hat and change the odds.

But then again, right now she’s enjoying the best polls she’s had for a long time – with Socialdemokraterne commanding maybe as much as 26 percent. The blues might have it, but if she’s the largest party, she’s entitled to first option on establishing a government with a majority – or as we have become used to – with no majority against it.

Potential Achilles heels
The PM has already come out fighting. She’s declared the financial crisis to be over and committed some 39 billion kroner to welfare – a somewhat daring attitude for someone accused so often of making broken promises.
Meanwhile her rival, Lars Løkke Rasmussen (Venstre), has on his side preached about household economy and no increase in public spending. But can he keep the lid on the till when Dansk Folkeparti is claiming its pound of flesh for its support?

No vote, hope floats
Since most of our readership is not entitled to vote for who sits in Parliament, they can sit back and hope for political development.
With them in mind, let’s ask three questions that will probably not be issues in the general election, but really should be for the good of the future of this country.

Three burning questions
Can we expect any party to propose English as this country’s official second language? Now taught in first grade and spoken widespread, why are our politicians so fearful of change? Denmark will gain a competitive edge if an unnecessary language barrier goes away.

Can we expect any party to propose the liberalisation of cannabis, like in Colorado and Uruguay, and to end the futile fight against Pusher Street? The courts served year-long prison sentences to the barons of weed dealing earlier this year, but the word is that Pusher Street is still in business, only now the prisons are fuller and the police force are failing to solve even more burglaries.
Can we expect any party to propose an immigration policy that addresses the need to fill the demographic gap left when Danes grow older, breed fewer children, but still want a welfare society? The hospitals are already staffed by immigrants, and industries are busy recruiting technical expertise from all over the world. If we welcome immigrants and refugees instead of repelling them with bureaucracy, 24-year rules and professional barriers, it will be faster and better.

We hope to be proven wrong, but given how this is the time for bidding and overbidding, there may still be hope.