I managed to miss the introduction but the programme was a fairly relaxed affair focusing on environmental policy and social services. Party leader Villy Søvndal’s competences as a flexible but still (from a SP point of view) principled politician were obvious. Not a bad performance.
Just in case anybody wonder: The Bald Avenger is not yours truly’s sinister alter ego but Henrik Qvortrup, former media advisor to Anders Fogh Rasmussen and presently editor of the illustrated weekly “Se og Hør” and regular political commentator on DR TV.
Anyway, Mr. Qvortrup today entered the campaign with a dramatic story accusing Ny Alliance-leader Naser Khader of hiring moonlighting carpenters for work on his house. Khader has rejected the story in – well – pretty strong words and has presented documents to prove that VAT and taxes were paid for the work. This is all what we political scientists would call a classical valence issue – Mr. Qvortrup responded to Khader’s remarks by questioning his stability and ability to handle a political crisis.
My question: Were Liberal party workers involved in any way in this story?
In other news: Education policy – has SD left the agreement with the government or not? Quid pro quo to the Social Liberals for accepting central parts of the present immigration policy?
Tonight the Socialist Party has its party political broadcast on DR1. Party leader Villy Søvndal has a problem with counting the number of care facilities he has visited but his party is set for its best result for more than 15 years and is (as I see it) hoovering votes from the Social Democrats, the Unity List and the Social Liberals
Meanwhile in Sweden: A wet night out in the company of a journalist costs the deputy secretary to the Prime Minister her position.
Free advice to Lars Løkke Rasmussen re your interview in Deadline on DR2 Tuesday night: Implying that your voters are easily deluded is not a good campaign strategy. Hinting that a Lib-Cons-DPP majority is still possible is a much better idea.
In the news: The Social Democrats hint that they could break the agreement on school policy with the government and replace it with a new agreement with the Social Liberals in case of a change in government. Unusual.
Had the opportunity to read Børsen’s interview with Kristian Jensen. I’m still wondering if he tried to scare ex-Liberal voters from changing to NA or sending a test-balloon on tax policy even though the PM reiterated the government’s commitment to the tax
Very little campaign reporting in the free papers. The only campaign advertising came from the Liberals who try to address public sector-employees.
Fun fact of the day: I happened to meet Mogens Lykketoft who was campaigning on Amagertorv and got a Thorning-Schmidt flyer from him. No discussions or inside dope from the SD campaign, though ðŸ˜‰
Did you note how Ny Alliance brought ethnic diversity into their election broadcast on Monday night in a very subtle way? Also: All of the candidates presented were dressed in white. (Some might want to point out that a number of NA candidates have proven their political innocence – and not for the better).
The Liberals are jittery due to the steady loss of votes in the opinion polls: The Tax Minister – otherwise a man with true Liberal credentials – managed to put the tax moratorium into doubt. That is even worse than swearing in church. (Although economists like the idea).
Celebrity candidate of the day: Paula Larrain – a former news presenter on DR TV – runs for the Conservatives. Fun and games because Larrain may or may not have tried her luck with NA. Or vice versa.
Some would argue that the Conservative leader Bendt Bendtsen’s accident (he hit his head while entering his campaign bus and needed some stitches at the local hospital) was deeply symbolic.
The Conservatives launched an environmental policy programme and leading Conservatives discussed cooperation with the Social Liberals and New Alliance as a positive alternative to the Danish People’s Party. Needless to say, the DPP leadership was not happy.
The Liberals launched a de-bureaucratisation programme for welfare sevices and care and were promptly attacked by the Social Democrats. SD made advances to NA.
To me, the Unity List’s presentation on DR TV Sunday night came across as a bit unfocused. But I could be wrong. And presentation programmes screened at 10 PM may not have any big impact on the campaign.
The Socialists still look very strong in opinion polls – but this is partly off-set by a lacklustre SD performance.
Paul Krugman points us to some dismal figures on US political reporting:
In all, 63% of the campaign stories focused on political and tactical aspects of the campaign. That is nearly four times the number of stories about the personal backgrounds of the candidates (17%) or the candidates’ ideas and policy proposals (15%). And just 1% of stories examined the candidates’ records or past public performance, the study found. (Source: Journalism.org)
I don’t think it is quite as bad in Denmark (yet) but reflections on the subject are invited.
Just some fast notes from Saturday’s campaign. Mostly about the centre parties.
Social Liberals drop demand for the scrapping of the 24-year rule
This one no doubt hurt a lot of SLP faithful as the demand for the scrapping of the 24-year rule (which means that both members of a married couple have to be over 24 to be allowed to stay in Denmark) was one of the ultimatums posed by the former leadership. The problem was that the Social Democrats after an agonising process accepted the present government’s policy and insisting on scrapping the 24-year rule would only have reopened deep wounds within that party.
Potential effects: Makes a SD – SLP – SP coalition look more credible. Disgruntled SLP voters now only have the Unity List as an alternative. The move could see UL safely over the threshold.
Note: Marianne Vestager on YouTube (I can’t watch it on a dial-up connection)
Ny Alliance wants the government to resign and force new formation negotiations
A classic chicken game out of Politics 101: NA wants to increase its political weight, the government to tie NA into supporting the government before the election.
Potential effects: A question of nerves. Look no further than 1987 when Poul Schlüter played truth or dare with the Social Liberals, or 1975 which turned into a month-long formation crisis. If NA gets to hold the balance, we could be in for a potentially unstable government, depending on Anders Fogh’s reaction.
I have no intention of making this into a photo-blog but I found this poster interesting: The Social Liberal Party has traditionally had Denmark’s most boring posters (a “B” on a blue background) but this poster is so ingenious that it only reveals what candidate and which party it promotes at the second or third glance.
(Candidate: Morten Helveg Petersen, Party: Social Liberals)
In other news: Much about Ny Alliance which seems set to determine the majority after the election, Anders Fogh went jogging with a bunch of kids and there will be no grand duel between the Social Democratic and Liberal leaders.