Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 04:10:51 AM EST
Today (technically yesterday as of this writing) Denmark held parliamentary elections. I have been remiss in covering this election for ET. Partly because I have had other things on my mind for the past month (the election campaign was, by one measure, three weeks long. By another it's been six months); partly because European events have held my attention; and partly because I got the urge to break things every time I turned on the TV from all the cargo cult economics being peddled.
Then I remind myself that election campaigns that revolve around subjects I know less well are probably equally loaded with sanctimonious bullshit. And that thought is just depressing.
But you came here to get some results and perhaps a little coalition poker. So here goes:
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss
As of this writing, the latest results are:
A: 44 (-1); Social democrats; PES (Schröderites)
B: 17 (+8); Social liberals; ALDE (Lib-Dem-ish; compulsive centrist disorder sufferers)
C: 8 (-10); Conservatives; EPP (Tories)
F: 16 (-7); Socialists; Greens/EFA (Social democrats)
I: 9 (+4); Liberal Alliance; Unknown, presumed ALDE (Glibertarians)
K: 0 (-);Christian democrats; N/A (I don't know, and they don't seem to either)
O: 22 (-3);People's Party; EFD (Ugly party)
V: 47 (+1);Liberals; ALDE (Neoliberal)
Ø: 12 (+8); Red-Green; GUE/NGL (Socialists)
You need 90 seats for a majority, because our Atlantic territories fill four seats. Which will, barring direct divine intervention, break down 3:1 in favour of the good guys.
Now, there's a couple of binding constraints on possible coalitions that pretty much obviate the usual coalition poker:
- A and F will form a government, with Ø support.
- V, C and I form the opposition.
- O can't make policy with A, because then A will hug them to death (also, O and A leadership hate each others' guts).
- B can make economic policy with V and C, but can't work with O at all. And then they don't have 90 seats.
If the new government is smart, it will sell everything - and I do mean everything
- else to B to keep them out of the economic policy. Giving B a veto on economic policy is a dead certain way to lose the next election. Also, get atrocious economic policy, but with a Schröderite PM I take that as the baseline from which improvements might be made, not a defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.
If the new government is dumb, it will either attempt to shortcharge B enough to break the coalition, and get massacred in the subsequent elections (this is what the wingnuts are already crowing about). Or they'll meet B halfway on economic policy, in which case we'll have 15 % unemployment in four years, and then we'll lose the election.
Promoted by DoDo
Nothing to see here, move along
[Edited 23:09 on 16th Sep.]
The second thing an election roundup usually has is an analysis of where voters went and for what reasons. I haven't seen any polling data on this, but I'll give you my impressions of this year's voter swings.
The red bloc is boring in that respect, because it's not the voters who move, it's the parties. Overall, the red bloc
gains two seats keep the same number of seats. On the upside for the left bloc, there turnout was unusually high (low turnout is disproportionally a problem for left-leaning demographics, so higher turnout should benefit the red bloc). On the downside, F has been leaking voters dissatisfied with their "pragmatic" stance on immigration policy to both the right-wing SocLibs and the left-wing red-greens.
On the right wing, things are a bit more interesting (and my tea-leaf reading is a lot less reliable). The ugly party loses three seats - if I had to guess, the Liberals picked those up. Partly because they've run a foreigner-bashing campaign in the last week up to the election, partly because it seems to be unhealthy to be a minor coalition party. The Conservatives took a pounding. My guess is that this is due to making overtures to the Social Liberals - the four seats the extremist glibertarians picked up come from the conservatives, as surely as the Sun will rise in the East later today. The rest of their losses are probably the same minor-party-in-coalition effect that hit the ugly party.
Overall, the right-wing coalition lost eight seats, which probably went to the Social Liberals, for reasons which I will not pretend to understand. I gave up trying to understand those guys an election and a half ago, because their electoral results behave like spring sale fads, and I was never any good at understanding those either.
So in summary,
The Good: The craziest parties suffered a net loss.
The Bad: The Social Liberals doubled, which will make it much more difficult to medicate their compulsive centrist disorder.
The Ugly: The Conservatives are really looking like they will go under. I would really rather have preferred them to survive, because there's only policy space for one far-right party on the political spectrum, and the glibertarians are flat-out insane.
Oops, she did it again
Or: How to piss away three full percentage points in three weeks.
This election was way too close. Three weeks ago, ABFØ had a comfortable 53-point-something per cent lead, which should translate to a twelve seat advantage (thirteen with the Atlantic seats). I'm not quite sure how the SocDem's managed to accomplish that feat, aside from the fact that the press is - to put it very politely - stuffed full of wingnut talking heads pretending to be "political analysts."