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Question: Will Iceland and Norway ever join the EU?
Iceland, but not Norway   -14 (13%)
Norway, but not Iceland   -10 (9.3%)
Both   -31 (28.7%)
None of them   -53 (49.1%)
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Total Voters: 108

Author Topic: The Great Nordic Thread  (Read 75125 times)
CrabCake
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« Reply #850 on: February 27, 2016, 09:32:59 am »
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The Danish political structure seems like, utterly unworkable at the moment. Neither the red or blue blocs make much cohesive sense - I still think we could see a grand cooperation between two of DPP, SD and Venstre is in the cards after the next election.
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ingemann
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« Reply #851 on: February 28, 2016, 04:27:48 pm »
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The Danish political structure seems like, utterly unworkable at the moment. Neither the red or blue blocs make much cohesive sense - I still think we could see a grand cooperation between two of DPP, SD and Venstre is in the cards after the next election.

I doubt it will happen, through DPP-Venstre coalition are the most likely. SD and Venstre will not enter a grand coalition again short of national emergency, until either everybody who remember the SV goverment are dead or if Venstre complete change into another party. SD and DPP are also unlikely to enter a coalition at this point. DPP need to prove themselves first to be more than populists. But what can happen is a SD one party government, which closely cooperate with DPP.
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Diouf
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« Reply #852 on: February 29, 2016, 07:11:50 am »
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Farmer-son to calm agricultural tensions - MEP called home as Minister for Higher Education and Science

The PM has announced how he will replace the recently resigned Minister for Environment and Food Eva Kjer Hansen. Esben Lunde Larsen, a farmer-son from Western Jutland, who has been Minister for Higher Education and Science until now becomes Minister for Environment and Food while the Liberals´ now only MEP, Ulla Tørnæs, will come back to become Minister for Higher Education and Science. Tørnæs has previously been Minister for Education and Minister for Foreign Aid. Morten Løkkegaard will return to the European Parliament to replace her there; and he will in turn be replaced by Jakob Engel-Schmidt as an MP.

Lunde Larsen is generally regarded as a talented young (37) politician, but his first months have been plagued by accusations of plagiarizing, primarily himself, in his Ph.D. and attacks due to his strong Christian faith. Additionally, he has been in charge of plans to cut university spending, which has led to predictable outrage from especially student organizations, which are well-trained in arranging protests. Tørnæs also has strong links to agriculture as she is married to a pig farmer. She is experienced, but not very charismatic. She failed in her attempt to become mayor in Holstebro after the 2013 local elections, and led a less than impressive campaign as lead candidate for the Liberals in the 2014 European elections.

Lunde Larsen has been a big proponent of the new agricultural package, so there will certainly not be a new line. When the agricultural package was adopted, he wrote "It is amazing that we for the first time in decades have had a break with the environmental tyranny, which Danish agriculture has been subject to by the political and the enviromentalorganizational left wing. It is a good day for Denmark, agriculture and the environment". This is not neccessarily a problem, the agricultural package was just accepted by a majority in Parliament, but if the Conservatives become even more bullish on their green branding, then there might be problems like with Kjer Hansen, although he will probably be more careful to keep better relations with the other spokepersons.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2016, 02:08:29 pm by Diouf »Logged

Diouf
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« Reply #853 on: March 16, 2016, 07:36:00 am »
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Who should be the next Liberal leader?

A poll by Norstat for Altinget shows that deputy leader and Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen is not the most popular choice to succeed Lars Løkke Rasmussen as Liberal leader. Only 17 % of the Liberal voters preferred him, while 34 % wants Group Leader Søren Gade and 28 % Minister of Immigration Inger Støjberg. 6 % prefers Minister of Justice Søren Pind. Løkke has not made any comments signalling that he will resign, but his low personal approval ratings and the Liberals' poor polling numbers make the question float around. This was intensified after Jensen's recent comments that his goal is to become leader, even if it requires an contested election, unlike the last two times where the deputy leader have become leaders without a contest.

Jensen could perhaps have become leader in 2014, where a new range of scandals and a terrible EP election results plagued Løkke Rasmussen. Parts of the party was ready to remove him, but at the last second he and Jensen stroke a deal to keep the peace and involve Jensen more in the leadership of the party. Before that deal, there had been a dramatic course of events with strong rumours that Løkke would resign, but then support Gade in a contested election against Jensen.

Gade is a staunch Løkke supporter, and would be seen as a straight continuation of his line, but he has stronger approval ratings, and is from Western Jutland, down to earth and therefore seen to be more in line with the party members. He would fit very well with the current political line in the Liberals with moving state jobs away from Copenhagen, more emphasis on agriculture than environment, and more options to build attractions close to the coasts. Unsurprisingly, he is therefore least favoured by the Alternative voters, but generally the most popular. 25 % of all voters see him as the best successor.

Støjberg is currently Minister of Immigration, and personifies the tough line on that question. However, she is often more focused on emotion that substance in explaining her policy choices, and I think many in the parliamentary group would be afraid to see her in a wide-ranging policy debate one-on-one with the Social Democrat leader. She is the preferred successor among DPP-voters.

Jensen is also from Western Jutland, but is seen as a more pro-European, pro-Internationalist person than Gade. However, his pious life-style and his activities in local sports clubs still gives him a folksier vibe than Løkke and his expenses scandals, but his Foreign Minister role and pro-EU stances might blur this kind of appeal. After his last minute pull-out from the battle versus Løkke in 2014, many see him as not strong enough to be the leader. However, with his current position as deputy leader and his decision not to throw the party into further chaos in 2014, I still see him as the frontrunner. Best liked among Red-Green, Alternative and SPP voters, however, which tells a bit about why he might not be the perfect match to the Liberal members. The left-wingers probably hope that he will be a bit less tough on migration, refugees etc, but I wouldn't expect any significant change there.

Pind was one of the young liberal lions who were shut out during Fogh's reign, but was promoted once Løkke became leader. He is quite tough on crime as Minister of Justice, which has made him rather popular. However, he has a somewhat weird personality and strikes a strange note a bit too often. I think too many would see him as too big of a risk to take.

My preferred choice would probably be Jensen, and then hopefully Sophie Løhde as the new Deputy Leader, but I could easily live with Gade as well.
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Helsinkian
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« Reply #854 on: March 19, 2016, 12:32:35 pm »
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Finland gained a new political party this week, as the National Whiskey Party was added to the party register after gathering the necessary 5,000 signatures.

The Whiskey Party originally profiled itself as an opponent of restrictive alcohol policies. Specifically it was inspired by a case in 2014, when the state officials prohibited a whiskey expo from using the word "whiskey" in its name, because Finnish law does not allow the advertisement of hard alcohol in public.

However, right after succeeding in getting registered status, the Whiskey Party is considering changing its name, admitting that "the name is a deliberate marketing gimmick". The party says that it "opposes all unnecessary regulation, bureaucracy and state nannying", and that "Liberal Party" is one possibility for a new name.

http://yle.fi/uutiset/whiskey_party_gathers_needed_signatures_whiskey_was_offered/8753786
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CrabCake
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« Reply #855 on: March 20, 2016, 02:03:41 pm »
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A poor ally of the Polish Beer Lovers Party! (RIP)
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Diouf
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« Reply #856 on: April 18, 2016, 06:58:59 am »
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An image to illustrate the Social Democrat strategy for winning back power in Denmark; win back voters from DPP and Liberals by adopting a very tough line on immigration and justice policies, but being perceived as more competent and economically fair. The right-turn on immigration will cause voters to leave the party to join those red bloc parties with a laxer migration policy, which will not hurt the bloc.
The numbers are percentage of the total electorate. Numbers are from Gallup and Altinget.dk

« Last Edit: April 25, 2016, 08:55:48 am by Diouf »Logged

Diouf
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« Reply #857 on: April 24, 2016, 02:58:15 pm »
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It is now no longer only voters which leave the Social Democrats to join the Alternative. In the first defection of this parliament, the Social Democrat MP Pernille Schnoor joins the Alternative. She believes that the Social Democrats are no longer humanistic enough in refugee and immigration questions and denounces the party's former Finance Minister Bjarne Corydon's comments about making Denmark a so-called competition state instead of a welfare state. The 49-year old Schnoor was very much a quiet backbencher; she didn't even have any spokesperson roles. This is her first term in parliament; previously she taught brand ethos and marketing management at Copenhagen Business School.
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ingemann
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« Reply #858 on: April 25, 2016, 10:51:30 am »
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It is now no longer only voters which leave the Social Democrats to join the Alternative. In the first defection of this parliament, the Social Democrat MP Pernille Schnoor joins the Alternative. She believes that the Social Democrats are no longer humanistic enough in refugee and immigration questions and denounces the party's former Finance Minister Bjarne Corydon's comments about making Denmark a so-called competition state instead of a welfare state. The 49-year old Schnoor was very much a quiet backbencher; she didn't even have any spokesperson roles. This is her first term in parliament; previously she taught brand ethos and marketing management at Copenhagen Business School.

Maybe she should have come to this conclusion a little earlier, the competition state was not something which came after last election, it was there already before she was elected. 
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Diouf
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« Reply #859 on: May 04, 2016, 04:17:36 am »
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New Red-Green frontwoman



The Red-Green Alliance has changed their political spokesperson today as 32-year old Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen (left) resigned from that post and was replaced by 31-year old Pernille Skipper (right). The Red-Green Alliance does not have a party leader, so the political spokesperson is the party's most important post; the one who participates in party leader debates etc. This change has been widely anticipated because Schmidt-Nielsen won't be able to run for parliament at the next election due to the party's rotation principle. In fact, if the 2015 election had been a few weeks later, she would not have been able to run in that election.

Schmidt-Nielsen emerged on the scene in 2007, when she ran for parliament for the first time. The Red-Green Alliance was struggling to hit the threshold, but Schmidt-Nielsen was considered a great talent and received the party's safest seat in Copenhagen and was asked to participate in the final leader's debate. Still unknown to most at the time, Conservative leader Bendt Bendtsen famously asked her to bring him some coffee believing she was a runner. After the election, she soon became a household name, and her great abilities led the party to, for the first time, choose a de facto leader in 2009, the political spokesperson role. As SPP started moving to the right to prepare to enter government, the party suddenly had a wide path to play in. In 2011, the party tripled its seats from 4 to 12, and she received the second-highest number of personal votes (47.000). However, the centre-left government was clearly a disappointment for Schmidt-Nielsen and the party, who was relatively often reduced to outside critic as the government made important economic agreements with the centre-right parties. It did look like the government's unpopularity would at least give them an incredibly good election result with polls showing them above 11 %. But as the 2015 election neared, the Social Democrats rebounded in the polls, the Alternative emerged as a competitor and some of their voters stayed at home due to disappointment with the red bloc's time in government ("It doesn't even matter whether red or blue bloc will win"). So they only grew a bit to 7.8 % and gained two seats, while Schmidt-Nielsen's personal votes even dropped slightly to 40.000, still enough for third-best. It will surprise me if she does not continue her political involvement, perhaps most likely as a candidate in the 2017 local elections or 2019 European elections.

Pernille Skipper is a law graduate. She was heavily involved in student politics at both gymnasium (high school) and university level. She entered parliament in 2011 as lead candidate in Funen. She became spokesperson on justice and social issues, where she quickly established herself as a well-known speaker. She has played a key-role for the no-side in the two EU referendums since then, and her growing popularity and visibility has long made her a logical choice to replace Schmidt-Nielsen. She received more than 11.000 personal votes in the 2015 election, the second-highest Red-Green figure. As the party's political spokesperson, she will be the lead candidate in Copenhagen at the next election, where I think she will have good chances to repeat Schmidt-Nielsen's high voting figures. In the latest polling average, the party has grown to 8.8 %.
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Diouf
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« Reply #860 on: May 04, 2016, 06:16:52 am »
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Two other significant news today.

As a response to the no in the EU opt-in referendum in December, the Liberal government has made an agreement about the way forward. The agreement means that Denmark will apply for so-called parallel deals in three areas: Europol, Eurojust and Passenger Name Record. They have made a deal with the Social Democrats, the DPP, the Liberal Alliance, the Social Liberals and the Conservatives. The government wanted to apply for a parallel deal to join the common investigation cooperation, but since the DPP and the Liberal Alliance was opposed, this was not included. It has been important for the government to include those two no-parties from December in the agreement, so it doesn't look like yes-parties just proceeding with integration despite a no-vote. The otherwise pro-EU SPP and Alternative are not in the deal, because they do not like an agreement that only includes these kinds of crime and justice measures, where they might also have some concerns about privacy etc. They would have liked to join common migration and refugee policies as well. The Social Liberals probably share those concerns, but as the most pro-EU party and obsessed with "having influence" and being part of broad agreements, they joined the agreement anyway. The Red-Green Alliance is the only party opposed to EU-membership, so of course they are not a part of the deal; anyway they would probably have shared SPP and Alternative's concerns.

The 38-year old SPP group leader (chief whip-ish) Jonas Dahl retires as an MP to become the leader of a public hospital in Randers. He was Minister of Taxation for 1,5 months in the previous government just before the SPP left the government. He was among the few from the new, young SPP-guard that did not leave the party after its decision to leave the government. He will be replaced by 54-year old Kirsten Normann Andersen, leader of the Aarhus division of FOA, the Union of Public Employees. For a party in trouble, which is already somewhat seen as a one-woman party at the moment, it is bad news that one of the other known faces leaves politics. Normann is not very well-known, but she must have a good network and might improve SPP's chances to hold on to and improve their standing among their key group of public employees.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2016, 09:37:23 am by Diouf »Logged

ingemann
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« Reply #861 on: May 06, 2016, 03:07:35 pm »
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http://www.thelocal.dk/20160504/danish-school-rejects-muslim-students-over-niqab

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Danish school bars Muslim students from wearing niqab

An adult education centre in the northern Copenhagen suburb of Lyngby has told six female students that they can no longer attend classes unless they remove their niqabs, a veil worn by some Muslim women that covers most of the face but leaves an opening for the eyes.

.... As the story picked up steam in the national press on Wednesday, the school went to Facebook to explain its decision.
 
“Free and unhindered communication requires that we can see each other’s faces. Therefore it is not allowed to cover the eyes, nose or month while participating in lessons,” a post read...

... The six women who were told that they would not be able to attend future classes while wearing a niqab have been offered the opportunity to follow along via e-learning.

 School official Inge Voller told Metroxpress that the policy was not religiously-motivated.
 
“This isn’t a question of religion or ethnicity but on learning, as we are an educational institution. It’s about how to create the best learning and we believe you can do that best when you can communicate openly with one another,” she said...
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ingemann
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« Reply #862 on: May 06, 2016, 03:09:57 pm »
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http://www.thelocal.dk/20160506/danish-euro-mp-to-be-charged-for-millions-in-misused-funds

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Danish Euro MP to be charged for millions in misused funds

The European Parliament is expected to announce on Monday that Danish nationalist politician and MEP Morten Messerschmidt must return 2.9 million kroner ($450,000) to EU coffers.

 Messerschmidt has been found to have used the funds, via the MELD and FELD organizations of which he was chairperson, inappropriately.

The Danish People’s Party (DF) MEP also stands accused of unclear record keeping and withholding ‘fundamental information’, according to broadcaster DR.

The MELD and FELD funds were used to promote the profile of Messerschmidt’s nationalist Danish People’s Party, transgressing EU rules for their use...
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Helsinkian
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« Reply #863 on: May 11, 2016, 03:44:55 am »
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Alexander Stubb, Finland's Finance Minister and leader of the National Coalition Party, will face two challengers in next June's party convention: Petteri Orpo, Minister of the Interior, and Elina Lepomäki, MP. Orpo is not only seen as having a realistic chance of beating Stubb but he is becoming the favourite to win, as he has racked up endorsements and leads Stubb in an opinion poll conducted among the party's members.

NCP members feel that the party's policies are not sufficiently represented in the current coalition's actions, and they are also unhappy at Stubb's inability to grow the party's support. One could note, though, that the members of the Finns Party have more reason to complain on both counts, yet no one is trying to oust Timo Soini.
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ingemann
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« Reply #864 on: May 28, 2016, 06:20:49 am »
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Aarhus blocks plans for grand mosque

The sale of a plot of land for the construction of a grand mosque has been cancelled by Aarhus Municipality....

...“The Social Democrats have lost confidence in this specific project, because a number of the associations involved in it have been revealed to hold opinions which are incompatible with our democracy and legal system. It was therefore necessary to cancel the proposal,” Aarhus Mayor Jacob Bundsgaard told Jyllands-Posten.

In March of this year, a documentary series by television station TV2 used hidden camera footage to reveal imams at Aarhus’ highly controversial Grimhøj Mosque saying that adulterers should be stoned and that children should be beaten for not praying...

...The Social Liberals (Radikale) and the Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) parties were alone in voting against the cancellation of the building plans...

http://www.thelocal.dk/20160526/aarhus-city-blocks-plans-for-grand-mosque
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