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  The Great Nordic Thread
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Poll
Question: Will Iceland and Norway ever join the EU?
#1Iceland, but not Norway  
#2Norway, but not Iceland  
#3Both  
#4None of them  
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Partisan results

Total Voters: 153

Author Topic: The Great Nordic Thread  (Read 154040 times)
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CrabCake
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« Reply #350 on: October 01, 2014, 07:58:28 am »

So will he government fall to a vote of confidence, or is the departing party still giving supply?

(Also I thought the Greenland governing coalition contained the Inuit Party as well. Have they already departed?)
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politicus
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« Reply #351 on: October 01, 2014, 08:11:05 am »
« Edited: October 01, 2014, 11:11:53 am by politicus »

So will he government fall to a vote of confidence, or is the departing party still giving supply?

(Also I thought the Greenland governing coalition contained the Inuit Party as well. Have they already departed?)

Atassut still supports the government for the time being. It seems they will await the inquiry on Hammond's conduct. If the government falls they will likely be without any influence in the next 4 years, so they are clearly dragging their feet.

Partii Inuit left the government last autumn because of resistance to uranium mining being allowed (after a lot of internal strife).

To clarify: The two Siumut ministers who have left has done so as a protest against Hammond, not because they are involved in abuse of expense accounts themselves.

EDIT: There seems to be consensus among those in the know that Hammond will have to resign if the audit report released October 23 is as critical as the preliminary orientation from the auditers the Inatsisartut has received. If she has to go Siumut will try to elect a new PM, and will most likely be backed by Atassut, that fear an electoral defeat. But with a one seat majority for the two parties, you only need one maverick going it alone for this to fail.
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« Reply #352 on: October 01, 2014, 01:45:09 pm »
« Edited: October 02, 2014, 10:40:58 am by politicus »

Things are moving fast in Greenland.

Atassut has witdrawn their support for the government and demands an election to be called, so Hammond's government is now in minority in the Inatsisartut, even if the small Inuit Party with a single representative stays supportive.

Aleqa Hammond has stepped back as Chairman of Siumut (but not as PM) and the main board of Siumut has indicated that they are united behind Kim Kielsen (48) as acting PM while Hammond is on leave. Until an extraordinary congress can be called to elect a new chairman the party's Deputy Chairman Jørgen Wæver Johansen is in charge.

Parliament has been sent home and will according to its President not be reassembled until Tuesday, at which point an election will likely be called. But the opposition (incl. Atassut) demands an extraordinary meeting as soon as possible and they have a slim 16-15 majority.
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politicus
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« Reply #353 on: October 01, 2014, 02:18:54 pm »
« Edited: October 01, 2014, 02:24:57 pm by politicus »

The background for all this is that Siumut lost power in 2009 after ruling Greenland since the establishment of home rule in 1979 because the party was perceived as corrupt and nepotistic. They then regained power i 2013 on a populist anti-establishment campaign after promising to have changed their ways. Hammond's government has however been involved in several affairs in the old style (like giving her husband a juicy consultancy job, hiring a chief of her administration that had twice been fired for abuse of trusted funds and having her chief legal adviser fired and escorted out of the government building for not whitewashing an illegal hiring procedure etc. etc.) Add to this the exposure of a credit card abuse back when she worked for Greenland Tourism and you get a picture of someone who has always had a dodgy moral and a problematic relationship to trusted funds. So this seems to be the famous straw.. and her Siumut colleagues simply don't want to be seen as identical to the pre-2009 "Old Siumut" with its legacy of incompetence, camaraderie and petty fraud since this would be toxic for the party's future as the natural party of government in Greenland
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politicus
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« Reply #354 on: October 01, 2014, 03:11:54 pm »
« Edited: October 02, 2014, 07:57:31 am by politicus »

Acting PM Kim Kielsen has just announced that Greenland will be holding an election at November 28!  
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politicus
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« Reply #355 on: October 02, 2014, 08:45:27 am »
« Edited: October 02, 2014, 09:14:08 am by politicus »

Right after stepping down as NATO General Secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen launched his new  international consultancy firm Rasmussen Global dealing in lobbyism & communication and offering lectures, so he is doing a "Tony Blair light" instead of returning to Danish politics.

The front image on the consultancy page:


Conservative leader Søren Pape Poulsen (42) presented his Dominican boyfriend Josue Medina Vasquez (29) at the party's annual congress, so he has moved quite a bit since starting out claiming it was irrelevant whether or not he was gay. Not sure how a much younger Latino boyfriend will affect his image with Conservative core voters, though, even if Vasquez is not your traditional toy boy.

Vasquez is educated in international relations and the nephew of the Dominican President Danilo Medina. He is due to start a job at the Dominican embassy in Ottawa, so its going to be a long distance relationship.
 
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« Reply #356 on: October 03, 2014, 05:54:30 pm »

Weird that he's the nephew of a Dominican Liberation Party president but dating a Conservative. I was under the impression that the PLD was soft Chavez-y.
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politicus
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« Reply #357 on: October 09, 2014, 04:01:20 pm »
« Edited: October 11, 2014, 09:59:45 am by politicus »

Liberal Alliance leader Anders Samuelsen now suggests that all spontaneous refugees (=non UN quota) seeking asylum in Denmark should be send to Danish run and owned refugee camps outside of Denmark ("a little piece of Denmark" as he says), LA wants the government to negotiate deals with Jordan, Lebanon or Israel about selling plots of land for Danish run refugee camps to receive Syrian refugees. Israels ambassador declined to comment before there is an official request.. Deep silence from Jordan.

DPP has suggested this a few days ago (they said prefer Kenya.. which they got ridiculed for) and claims that the number of asylum seekers would drop drastically if asylum seekers could not actually get into Denmark

The Liberal leader Lars Løkke Rasmussen calls the proposal from Liberal Alliance "interesting". The moderately Libertarian LA has hitherto been seen as the most humanistic party on the Danish (centre-)right wing, but a cost/benefit approach to the matter has made them agree with DPP on this.

A total stop for asylum seekers on Danish territory will be a key DPP demand to support a coming Liberal government and with Liberal Alliance on board the pressure increases, many Liberals would probably also support this - not the Conservatives, but they are of no importance with the current poll numbers.

Social Liberal foreign affairs spokesperson Zenia Stampe says it reminds her of the idea from the 1930s of sending European Jews to Madagascar.

EDIT: The Liberal-Conservative government actually tried the external refugee camp solution back in 2004, when then Integration Minister Bertel Haarder (Lib.) tried to persuade the Kenyan government take Somali refugees from Denmark to a Danish run camp in exhcange for aid in developing their internal asylum system, but the Kenyans declined, so its all a bit "old hat".
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politicus
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« Reply #358 on: October 10, 2014, 06:20:01 am »
« Edited: October 10, 2014, 09:04:54 am by politicus »

Minister of Justice Karen Hækkerup has left the Danish government and is new CEO of Food and Agriculture after former Minister of Defence Søren Gade. She is replaced by SD no. 2 Mette Frederiksen and the SD "multitool" Chairman of their Parliamentary group and Nyrup era veteran Henrik Dam Kristensen is replacing Frederiksen as Minister of Employment.

Its a change from the SD right wing to the left wing on Justice, but it wont matter so close to an election.

The Red Greens call it a democratic problem, that a cabinet member switches directly to becoming CEO for a powerfull interest organization.

Losing one of her most popular ministers is bad news for HTS and yet another sign that many in the SD top don't think the government can get reelected. It will be interesting to see who the next rat to abandon the sinking ship will be.
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« Reply #359 on: October 16, 2014, 05:45:35 pm »

Today two new political actors emerged on the Danish political scene, one on either side of the political spectrum.



Despite its name, Nationalpartiet (the National Party) is a new left-wing party founded by three Pakistani immigrant brothers and their friends. Their main policy is "to defend the Danish values of tolerance, respect and openness". They argue that those values, which were so prominent when their parents immigrated to the country, are now under attack. The concrete policy proposals include removing some of the tight immigration policies like the rules regarding family reunification. In addition to that they have adopted a couple of classic welfare lines like "a higher quality in the schools" and "less bureaucracy, more warm hands".
The leader of the party is the 35-year old teacher Kashif Ahmad. He was surprisingly elected to the city council in Hvidovre municipality for a local list in 2013 which he had joined a few months before. 8 months after being elected he left the party and was criticized heavily by the remaining members.
The party will have a very hard time entering parliament. Practically they have to collect 20 000 signatures via a quite cumbersome process to even be on the ballot, and politically they have to fight not only the four existing centre-left/left-wing parties, but also the other new leftish party Alternativet, which have already collected 10 000 signatures and is led by the former Social Liberal Minister of Culture, and still MP, Uffe Elbæk


At the complete opposite end of the spectrum, Lars Hedegaard has decided to run as an independent. The 72-year old was originally a marxist historian, journalist and editor; he was a member of Socialistisk Arbejderparti (Socialist Workers Party) until 1982. However, in the last 10-15 years, he has been known as a quite prominent and radical islam-critic. Until recently he led the Trykkefrihedsselskabet (Free Press Society), which have focused mainly, but not exclusively, on the the perceived negative effects of islam on free speech in Denmark.
In 2009, he was charged with racism after being taped while making very offensive statements about what he called the ingrained role of rape, paedophilia and the oppression of women in islamic culture. He was acquitted as his statements were not intended to be made public.
In 2013, he survived an assasination attempt outside his home. The suspected assailant was caught in Turkey earlier this year, but last week it was declared that the suspect had been released again by the Turkish authorities, perhaps in a prisoner exchange with ISIS. This has received some attention, and caused a minor diplomatic problem between Denmark and Turkey, which is probably why he is making his candidature public now.
His proposed policies include a ban on muslim immigration and mosque building, re-introduce border controls, leave the EU and the undesirable UN conventions, privatize the national broadcaster DR, re-introduce discipline in the schools, and strict law and order laws.
Although Lars Hedegaard is a relatively famous face, it will be almost as hard for him to be elected. As an independent it is easier to run as he only needs about 200 signatures in the electoral region in which he is running. But he will need around 20 000 votes in an electoral region of around 600 000 voters to be elected, which will be difficult to achieve. He is supported by the small party Dansk Samling (Danish Unity), which is mentioned on the previous page, but his main problem is of course that most of his policies can be found (in a slightly less radical version) in DF who are set to have a very good election.
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politicus
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« Reply #360 on: October 16, 2014, 06:36:13 pm »
« Edited: October 16, 2014, 09:07:38 pm by politicus »


His proposed policies include a ban on Muslim immigration and mosque building, reintroduce border controls, leave the EU and the undesirable UN conventions, privatize the national broadcaster DR, reintroduce discipline in the schools, and strict law and order laws.
Although Lars Hedegaard is a relatively famous face, it will be almost as hard for him to be elected. As an independent it is easier to run as he only needs about 200 signatures in the electoral region in which he is running. But he will need around 20 000 votes in an electoral region of around 600 000 voters to be elected, which will be difficult to achieve. He is supported by the small party Dansk Samling (Danish Unity), which is mentioned on the previous page, but his main problem is of course that most of his policies can be found (in a slightly less radical version) in DF who is set to have a very good election.


Its a minimum of 150 signatures, not "around 200".

For what it is worth Hedegaard has stated, that he was raised in a Social Democratc family and still consider hiself to be "on the left" and in favour of the welfare state. He is on the opposite side of Nationalpartiet on immigration and most other value based areas, but not really on the socioeconomic scale.

As a curiosum Nationalpartiet in the form "Nationalpartiet Danmark" was the name of a far right party - started by breakaway neo-Nazis - which was active in the 90s and early 00s. So especially with the added "We are Denmark" slogan which is used as a kind of subtitle they are getting pretty close (which is probably partly intended as they want to redefine far right symbols, but still weird).
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« Reply #361 on: October 22, 2014, 02:13:11 pm »

Ten Kurdish men aquited for support of terrorism in the Copenhaghen City Court yesterday. They were accused of collecting 140 mio. kroner (roughly 25 mio. $) for PKK.
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« Reply #362 on: October 25, 2014, 10:51:29 am »
« Edited: October 25, 2014, 11:41:47 am by politicus »

The Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsons Progress Party is at a post-election low with 8,7% in a new poll in Fréttablaðið (down from 24,4% in the 2013 election), while their coalition partners in IP are at 30%+. The opposition would win 37-26 if those numbers were to hold. Bright Future, which was close to being Icelands biggest party a couple of months ago, is down to 10,6%, far behind SDA and also behind the Left Greens. For the first time since the election the two leftist parties are above 1/3 at 36,2%.

PP 8,7% 6 (-13)
IP 30,3% 20 (+1)

SDA 23,1%
Left Greens 13,1%
Bright Future 10,6%
Pirates 10,1%

Others 4,1%
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« Reply #363 on: October 25, 2014, 11:05:28 am »

Iceland has ... odd politics. Why is it the only country where Pirates have remained feasible for more than a year? Why does everyone still support IP? Why did Progress think it would be a good idea to campaign against Islamic immigration, in a country with pretty much no Islamic immigration?
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politicus
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« Reply #364 on: October 25, 2014, 11:41:06 am »
« Edited: October 25, 2014, 12:26:16 pm by politicus »

Iceland has ... odd politics. Why is it the only country where Pirates have remained feasible for more than a year?

Mainly because their leader Birgitta Jonsdottir has charisma and has proven to be a very capable politician. Its the classical one (wo)man populist party. The second reason is infighting among the Left Greens that would be the obvious alternative for many of their young voters.

Why does everyone still support IP?

Firstly, the centre-right is at 39% in this poll, so the overall picture is that the centre-left is solidly ahead. Secondly, 30% for IP is still low historically speaking (it used to be a 40%+ party). Thirdly, where else would conservative voters go? Especially with PP in crisis. The governments first 1,5 years in office has made it very clear, that IP is a more professional outfit and has far fewer loons than PP. Apart from one scandal involving leaks of confidential info from the Justice Department, all other "affairs" and gaffes (and there has been a lot) have involved PP politicians.  

Why did Progress think it would be a good idea to campaign against Islamic immigration, in a country with pretty much no Islamic immigration?

It wasn't a decision approved by the national party, but one made single-handedly by the lead candidate in the Reykjavik municipal election in a desperate situation where the party stood to be wiped out in the capital (and it worked..). PPs immigration policy (which is quite liberal), hasn't been changed afterwards.

PP is not in crisis because of the "Islam-stunt", but mainly because it is by now adamantly clear that their big idea of blackmailing foreign creditors to cough up with enough money to help out debt ridden Icelandic home owners was a giant bluff. On top of that you can add lots of small scandals, village idiot type gaffes and a clearly incompetent Foreign Minister + messing up the EU question with denial of a referendum and a stop to negotiations before they were finished (which satisfies their core supporters, but not all the new suburban and mainly centrist voters they got last time).
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« Reply #365 on: October 25, 2014, 11:42:41 am »

Iceland is an odd country so it should come as no surprise that it also has odd politics. Given the events of the past decade it's maybe not surprising that political life there has only got stranger. The Independence Party has deep roots; even in 2009 it could only be knocked down to 24%. It's difficult to truly kill a party that has a true social base, even if it disgraces itself spectacularly. This is obviously particularly true in a conservative society like Iceland.
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politicus
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« Reply #366 on: October 25, 2014, 04:04:11 pm »
« Edited: October 25, 2014, 04:16:19 pm by politicus »

The Independence Party has deep roots; even in 2009 it could only be knocked down to 24%. It's difficult to truly kill a party that has a true social base, even if it disgraces itself spectacularly.

The Independence Party having more members than all other parties combined with almost 10% of Icelandic voters as party members was certainly the main factor that allowed them to survive the crisis relatively unharmed, but there is also the sheer lack of a credible alternative on the right wing (which is still the case, since the rumoured pro-EU breakway party hasn't materialized yet).

Iceland is an odd country so it should come as no surprise that it also has odd politics. Given the events of the past decade it's maybe not surprising that political life there has only got stranger.

Even if Icelandic politics definitely still has its quirks the general trend has been towards normalization since the 2008-2010 rupture - where the citizens movement and joke parties challenged the system - most importantly with a new stable 6 party system replacing the traditional 4 party structure.

The pattern has been: old equilibrium-crisis-strong swing to the left-strong right wing correction in the 2013 election and now what seems to be a new equilibrium with 35-40% centre left, 35-40% centre-right and a social liberal party with 10-15% set to hold the balance of power if the numbers hold up. The only oddity in this party system is the Pirates, but having a populist party is relatively normal - Iceland's is just not of the common European right wing populist type - which reflects both its low level of non-European immigration and euroscepticism being a mainstream position already taking by (most of) the mainstream centre-right.

One of the last imbalances - the extremely weak left wing after the 2013 election - seems to be disappearing at the moment with the two traditional centre-left parties back above 35%.

... in a conservative society like Iceland.

As to Iceland being a conservative society I would say that Icelandic society exhibits its own peculiar mix of traditionalism, clientilism, nationalism, openmindedness, out of the box-thinking and very progressive attitudes and also combines rugged individualism and communal thinking in a way that is rather unique, but closer to certain parts of North America than continental Europe.
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« Reply #367 on: October 27, 2014, 11:58:53 am »
« Edited: July 22, 2015, 05:07:27 am by politicus »

The pro-independence part of the Faroese opposition (Progress Party and Republicans) wants the Faroe Islands to gain control over their foreign policy, this demand comes after several conflicts between Denmark and the Faroes, the latest over sanctions against Russia, which the Faroese government has declined to follow, claiming it is a trade matter and not foreign policy!

The current Faroese centre-right government contains both unionist and separatist parties and this motion puts the pro-independence People's Party under pressure since they fully agree with its content, while the Lawman's ("Prime Minister") Union Party is strongly against it. The motion will come up for debate in the Løgting in early November.

Apart from disliking that the Danish parliament implemented sanctions against Russia without consulting the Faroese government about possible economic consequences, they are also disgruntled about not being consulted regarding Danish participation in the ongoing air campaign against the Islamic State - getting formally involved in yet another military operation without being heard.

The most bitter conflict between Denmark and the Faroes stems from the EU ban on Faroese mackerel and herring export and landing last year, where the ban required Copenhagen to side with Brussels in the quota dispute and ban Faroese fishing vessels from entering Danish ports and stopping the islands export to Denmark. The Faroese feel that the Danish government was much too compliant towards EU and should have declined to implement sanctions against a part of its own state (and I fully agree with them...).

"Should the same country that recently imposed sanctions on us ask us to boycott Russia? That would be insane”

Lawman Kaj Leo Johannesen (UP)

http://arcticjournal.com/politics/1104/mission-torshavn

#the Progress Party is not centrist as the article says, but the most right wing party on the Faroes.

See https://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=199587.0 for the current parliamentary situation and position of the parties.
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« Reply #368 on: October 30, 2014, 06:40:06 pm »
« Edited: October 30, 2014, 07:00:40 pm by politicus »

The Red-Greens and SPP want Denmark to recognize Palestine and will put forward a motion in the Folketing demanding the government to do so next week.

In their 2011 campaigns booth SD and the Social Liberals promised to recognize Palestine, but have since backtracked with arguments that it would undermine the peace process if some EU countries went solo on this. Now that Sweden has done it this argument has weakened (it was never a good one) and the government is forced to either give in or break yet anoter campaign promise (well, it has already been broken, but at least they have had an excuse until now..).
Minister of Foreign Affairs Martin Lidegaard (SocLib) says "its pointlesss to recognize Palestine before we now whether such a state has any possibility of existing."

The Palestinian "state" got diplomatic status in Denmark in 2013 and their representative became an ambassador.
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« Reply #369 on: November 05, 2014, 09:12:51 am »

Another profile leaves Danish Parliament for private job



The former Conservative leader Lene Espersen has decided to leave the Danish Parliament to become the CEO of the interest group Danish Architectural Companies. She has been an MP since 1994, and quickly became one of the most popular MPs. In 2007 and in the last election in 2011, she was the Conservative MP with the highest number of personal votes, and in the 2001, 2005, 2007 elections she ranked 7, 8, and 6 respectively on the overall list of personal votes.

In 2001 she became Minister of Justice, and it was no surprise when she succeded Bendt Bendtsen as leader of the Conservatives, as Deputy PM and as Minister of Economic and Business Affairs in 2008. In the first years of her reign the party increased its popularity slightly, but then in 2010 she became Minister of Foreign Affairs after a major reshuffle. One of her first actions, or rather inactions, was to go a on a family holiday to Mallorca instead of participating in an Arctic 5 meeting in Canada. She was heavily criticized for this decision and her lack of an apology, and at the same time the Liberal Alliance, who was widely predicted to die off in silence, started a well-funded campaign to attack the government, and especially the Conservatives, for the absence of tax cuts and reductions in the public sector during their reign. This caused the party to drop from 11 to 6.5 % in the polls in a few months. By early 2011, the majority of the Conservative MPs had turned against her and she resigned as Conservative leader, but continued as Foreign Minister until the defeat in the 2011 election. As the Conservative group was reduced to 8 MPs, she has obviously still played a key role in the group. When the non-MP Søren Pape Poulsen became the new Conservative leader a few months ago, she became the party's politicial spokesperson, and thereby participated in the debates with the other party leaders.
With her resignation, half (4) of the current Conservative group will not be running at the next election which will lead to the long-awaited generational change in the party.
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« Reply #370 on: November 06, 2014, 10:14:23 am »

With her resignation, half (4) of the current Conservative group will not be running at the next election which will lead to the long-awaited generational change in the party.
She's not even 50.  Hard to believe she'd be considered part of the old guard of any party.
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politicus
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« Reply #371 on: November 13, 2014, 04:32:22 am »

With her resignation, half (4) of the current Conservative group will not be running at the next election which will lead to the long-awaited generational change in the party.
She's not even 50.  Hard to believe she'd be considered part of the old guard of any party.

Its a party headed towards irrelevance if they don't turn things around and as an ex-party chairman - and a flop at that - she is clearly a has-been.
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« Reply #372 on: November 13, 2014, 04:46:08 am »

With her resignation, half (4) of the current Conservative group will not be running at the next election which will lead to the long-awaited generational change in the party.
She's not even 50.  Hard to believe she'd be considered part of the old guard of any party.

Politicus is right, but there're also the aspect that she have had the political positions she could expect to get, she's a person who is on the way down not up.
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« Reply #373 on: November 13, 2014, 04:56:47 am »

There's also another aspect to consider - as far as "old guard" is concerned - that Nordic politicians are generally much younger than their American counterparts. Relatively few stay in top-level politics after the normal retirement age, and many leave long before that.
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« Reply #374 on: November 13, 2014, 12:48:49 pm »

Agreement on 2015 budget - now waiting for the election

Four persons in front: Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen - political spokesperson (they have no leader) for the Red-Green Alliance, Morten Østergaard - Deputy PM, Minister for Economic and Interior Affairs, and leader of the Social Liberals, Bjarne Corydon - Social Democrat Minister of Finance, Pia Olsen Dyhr - leader of SF/SPP

In comparison with last year's dramatic negotiations that ended with a deal between the government and the Liberals and the Conservatives, the budget talks this year were calmer and with a more expected outcome. The government made a deal with SF and the Red-Green Alliance, and from now on it is all really a matter of when the election will be called; the latest possible date is in September 2015.
The most important parts of the budget are the following:
In order to finance the increasing number of refugees coming to Denmark, they use 1 billion kr (130 million euro) which has been cut from the foreign aid and the 0.7 billion kr from the EU re-calculation of budget contributions. The government had originally planned a 2.5 billion kr cut in foreign aid, which made it possible for the Red-Green Alliance and SF to portray this part as a slight victory.
The introduction of a new temporary form of unemployment benefits for those who would otherwise have lost it due to the reform carried out by the previous centre-right majority plus the Social Liberals. The reform meant that you could not get unemployment benefits for more than two years. The new temporary form means that those who were about to lose their benefits with the new reform in 2015 will get benefits for an additional year; this new extra will be phased out during 2016 and 2017. Also the obligation to support each other financially for non-married couples living together will be removed, which means that a person's cash benefits can no longer be reduced or removed due to the income of their partner. This agreement was acceptable to the Social Liberals who can say that their reform is still in place, the Social Democrats can say that that they have made a temporary solution until a new benefit system can be created, while SF and Red-Green Alliance got something but will still be able to criticize the original reform severely.
Also slightly more funds have been distributed to a lot of different areas: health, more kindergarten employees, more home help for the elderly, ecology, nature, the fight against social dumping, and a new light railway in Aalborg.

This is widely seen as a pre-election budget with a number of measures which, expect for the cut in foreign aid, will probably satisfy many members and voters in the parties which made the agreement. Now the remaining question in this term is mainly when the election will be called. If the centre-left parties get a boost in the polls after this budget, they might call it very soon, but otherwise the most likely is probably sometime in the spring of 2015.
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