Fogh Rasmussen made two speeches at the Liberal Party convention during the weekend. A transcript of his Sunday speech – or perhaps performance is a better description – is available as a pdf document here.
Some quick notes:
- Before the convention, there was a disagreement over whether the new Liberal programme should contain explicit mention of “christian values”.
- In his Sunday speech, Mr. Rasmussen called for a reform of the wage system covering public employees. At present, the system is more or less based on a seniority principle, but Mr. Rasmussen wanted it replaced with a performance-based system.
- Another controversial proposal called for the introduction of fees for visiting local GPs and casualty departments.
The best way to summarise the debate is that the party leadership is trying to hold on to the blue collar voters which the Liberals captured from the Social Democrats in the 2001 and 2005 elections and to keep the working relations with the Danish People’s Party in the parliamentary arena, while the party members and especially the conference delegates wanted a more clear-cut Liberal profile in economic and social policies.
By the way: Sweden has applied individually set wages in the public sector since the early 1990s and has fees for using all kinds of health care. Back in 2000, I had to pay – if only 200 SEK – before the hospital would fix my broken arm. A visit to the local GP will set you back 100 SEK.