Tuesday, November 19, 2013

election day in denmark

it's election day in denmark. we vote for the municipal and regional representatives. i say we, because even i, as a non-citizen, can vote in the municipal and regional election. there are a lot of parties in denmark - left (which is actually right), conservative, the danish people's party (dansk folkeparti - they're just a shade to the left of nazis), social democrats, socialists, radicals, a left party called enhedslisten, which wants to send denmark into an ecstatic state of fourierian utopian socialism.

i have a pretty clear idea from the national level, what each party stands for, but it gets a little murky and diluted at the municipal level. and tho' you'd think the regions are between national and municipal, in denmark, they're not (basically all they decide about is the hospitals), they're really a third tier. DR, the national media outlet, has a quiz you can take to determine who you should vote for (there are so many candidates and you can only vote for one, so it's hard to know what each individual might stand for). the candidates were asked to the take the quiz as well and then the results match you with the ones whose answers were the most like yours. here are my results:

they illustrate nicely how far the local politicians are from their national party lines. i come out as most in agreement with someone from enhedslisten, which is at the far left of the spectrum on the national level. tho' i am not an advocate of utopian socialism, i could possibly be inclined towards their thinking, so the result isn't that surprising. what is, however, surprising, is that the candidate i'm next most in agreement with is from venstre, (which tho' literally left, is actually right), the second most right wing party in the country. on the side i least agree with, it doesn't surprise me that at the top is a member of dansk folkeparti, the party which has done all they can in the years i've been in denmark to capitalize on fear and demonize immigrants. what is surprising is the place in that column of a member of enhedslisten - that means that their two candidates represent the opposite ends of the spectrum in our local election.

the person that i was planning on voting for doesn't even make either list, which leaves me a bit in doubt. she is, however, one of the few i've actually spent time talking to about the issues, so perhaps that should count for more than the results of some media quiz.

tho' there is generally high voter turnout in denmark, people are saying they will stay home from this election. i personally think it's because there are too many candidates and people feel they can't get their head around it to know who to vote for (i know i feel that way). however, i do intend to exercise my right to vote. i think it's important and i'm grateful that i'm legally allowed to do so, despite not being a citizen. what happens in my municipality (which is more like a county in american terms) affects me, so i'm pleased that i have a say.  with so many candidates, the election can be decided by just a few votes, so it might even be that my vote actually counts.

i'll have to do some more thinking before i go in and tick that box later today, but i know already now that it's not going to be a member of dansk folkeparti. i never did like their politics, but last week, their "equality spokeswoman" spoke out against a toy store catalog that had featured boys playing with girl toys and vice versa, saying it was "perverse." that level of perverse thinking will definitely not be getting my vote. nor will anyone from venstre, whose national leader is in trouble (again again) for flying first class to the tune of 700,000 kroner in his capacity as director of a dodgy environmental organization (GGGI). not to mention at a more local level, one of the politicians from venstre declared in a neighboring municipality that "it's over with approaching the municipality in english."

i imagine i'll land somewhere in the middle and probably vote for the woman who seemed sensible and intelligent when i spoke with her a few weeks ago, even tho' she's not a member of the party i most identify with (radikale). sometimes you just have to go with your gut.

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