Quite a lot, I’d say. Here are some scattered ideas:
1. Agenda-setting and framing. The use of commissions by (especially) centre-right governments to frame issues in the long run have been noted for a long time now. Yesterday’s agreement has its roots in the works of the Welfare Commission and the Labour Market Commission whose ideas were originally rejected by the government. I am sure Torben M. Andersen and Jørgen Søndergaard have toasted each other yesterday evening.
As a prominent colleague wrote: “As a member of a commission you look like an idiot. But you are a useful idiot”.
2. Bargaining strategies. One year ago, Lars Løkke Rasmussen was nick-named “The Substitute” and pundits commented endlessly about the frustrations of Margrethe Vestager who was bordering on irrelevance. I seriously doubt that anyone would say that now. Both Løkke and Vestager faced some very difficult medium- and long-term challenges but both have seen their bets returned in a big way. Reconstructing Løkke’s (and Claus Hjort Frederiksen’s) and Vestager’s choices along the way ought to yield quite a few polsci papers.
Some other thoughts:
3. The end of “contract politics”? Well, maybe. The Social Democrats have been playing a defensive game since 2005 and their success (since when did 28 percent of the vote become a success for the SocDems, by the way?) rely heavily on the weaknesses of the Liberal Party. The developments in the Danish economy since 2008 has helped the opposition (and may very well continue to do so), but the question is if yesterday’s agreement will be a game-changer on the electoral arena.
4. Similarly, the SocDem-SF economic plan relies on “birds on the roof-top” while the retirement reform has clear effects for identifiable groups. Obviously, the SocDems hoped that not being specific about costs would bring them new votes. The question is if the visible costs of the retirement reform will harm the Liberals and the Danish People’s Party.
5. As I noted in an earlier post, the trade-off between cuts to the Early Retirement Benefit and the introduction of border controls as the price demanded by the Danish People’s Party was a no-brainer. At the same time, I doubt that the SocDems and SF will use the prospect of more open borders in an electoral campaign. The EU is not a vote-winner in Denmark.