Election time – again! Left. Right. Left, left, right!

Dear Readers

Just taking a quick break from bumping off a nasty character – Col. Mustard, in the Library, with lead piping (The Mystery of the Missing Blogger…) – to let you know that this morning the Danish PM, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, announced a general election for 18 June 2015. Which meant that – selvfølgelig – by lunchtime, the scary faces were back on the streets! 😉


Now, as any Dane will tell you, there are a myriad of Danish political parties, and choosing where to put your ‘x’ can be confusing. So, to give you the gist of things, here’s a post I wrote for the local elections back in November 2013.  Political parties seem to pop up like mushrooms here (Just don’t mention the ‘Priest’s Penis’!) and this time round is no exception. New kid on the polticial chopping block is Alternativet (Å) who are a left wing ‘green’ party.

Happy voting!

Me? I’m already dreading the valgflæsk but looking forward to a very large portion of stegtflæsk on the evening of Thursday 18 June!

Diane 🙂


There are Danish local and regional elections coming up on 19 November.  (KV13 – for the media savvy.)  And how do I know this?  Because our local newspaper’s debate pages are suddenly full of letters from caring, would-be politicians who are up in arms about local issues.  And overnight every lamppost in Denmark has been adorned with pensive/smiling/serious/concerned faces! 

Now, I’m Scottish and have always been a socialist at heart.  (Yes, yes, I’ve heard the old joke before.  “If you’re not a socialist at 20 you don’t have a heart.  And if you’re still a socialist at 5o then you don’t have a brain!” )  So, in theory, I should be voting for the Danish party “Venstre“.  “Venstre” in Danish meaning “left”.  Um, no!

Venstre are actually one of the centre-right parties.  But a teeny wee bit more to the left than Konservative (the Conservatives).  But still right-wing, in the grand scheme of things.  Confused?  You will be!  ;)  So perhaps I should be voting for Radikale Venstre (Radical Left)?  Um no, they’re also slightly to the right!  But a lot more left than right, if you see what I mean?  If you’re an old-school socialist, then you’ll probably want Socialdemokraterne (the Social Democrats, Labour).  That’s the party who currently has Helle Thorning-Schmidt at the helm.  Yes, that Helle.  Neil Kinnock’s daughter-in-law and Denmark’s first female Prime Minister.

Now, with so many different parties in Denmark, it can be rather confusing working out exactly where to put your ‘X’.  But I’ll try and give you a run down of the major players and a general idea of where they stand on the left-right divide.  Though, as is often said about politicians in Denmark: Man har et standpunkt til man tager et nyt.  One has a view/stance/belief until one takes a new one  ;)

Okay, take a deep breath…

  • A – Socialdemokraterne (Social Democrats, Labour)
  • B – Radikale Venstre (centrist, Radical Left – which, despite the name, are to the right of Socialdemokraterne)
  • C – Konservative (Conservatives, Republicans)
  • F – Socialistisk Folkeparti (Socialist People’s Party, green party, more left-wing than Socialdemokraterne)
  • I – Liberal Alliance (Classical Liberal Party, centre-right)
  • K – Kristendemokraterne (Christian Democrats, religious conservative party)
  • O – Dansk Folkeparti (Danish People’s Party, right-wing, populist, nationalist)
  • V – Venstre (conservative-liberal, centre-right, despite their name)
  • Ø – Enhedslisten (left-wing, communist)


The elections take place on Tuesday 19 November and – selvfølgelig – I can’t predict which parties are going to come out on top.  But I can tell you that many people will be having “valgflæsk” (“election pork”) for dinner that night!  Yep, flæsk (fried belly pork) has become a real election night tradtion.   Why so?  Because “valgflæsk” is slang for all the lofty promises that policitians make during elections…  Want to cook up some flæsk for Election Night?  I walk you through how to do it right here.

Have a marvelous Monday – whatever you have on your plate, whatever you stand for!

Diane :)


Vote, vote? Yes, yes!

The election posters are back in town!  And so is the circus…  Co-incidence?  I think not! 😉

And this time – if you’re a fellow European – you’ve no doubt been caught up in the election ‘hoo-ha’ too.  I’ve seen people out canvassing on the streets in Sweden and posters on the streets of Paris.

So just who – or what – are we voting for this time?  The European Parliamentary Elections on Sunday 25 May.  Plus a Yes or No to the europæisk Patentdomstol(European Unified Patent Court).

I decided to go and vote yesterday by ‘postal vote’ at our town hall.  (When we had local elections in November, I voted at our local library.  And got some new library books at the same time! Read it here…Vote! Get books!)  Why did I vote yesterday instead of waiting until Sunday?  ‘Cos a) I’d rather be out having fun in the sun on Sunday and b) I have no doubts and am ready.  Yep, having worked for nearly 10 years as PA to the British Judge at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, you can guess where I put my cross!

Postal voting at our (majestic) town hall was quick and simple.

Just turn up during opening hours and provide some ID.  Receive your two envelopes and step into the booth. 

The first envelope contains a blue card where you write either the party ‘letter’, name of the party in full, or name of the candidate you want to vote for.  So, for example, you could write “A” (if it was the Social Democrats), or “Socialdemokraterne” in full, or could write “Jeppe Kofod” if you wanted to give a personal vote to a specific candidate.

There’s a list of party letters/names/candidates right there in the booth.  Confused by the plethora of Danish political parties?  I tried to simplify them here for you in…Election time. Left. Right. Left, left, right!

The second envelope contains a red card where you simply tick Yes or No.

Make your choices, close the envelopes, leave the booth and hand the envelopes to the council employee.  You then sign a form and they ‘post’ the votes for you.   And – should you change your mind – you can simply go and vote again and again…  Or wait until Sunday for your final chance.

I’ve voted.  Done my duty.  Time to enjoy the fabulous summer weather we’re having in Copenhagen and go do what I love most…daily swimming in the Danish sea, all year round!  Here I am, yesterday morning, after a lovely dip on the sensational south coast of sunny, sunny, sunny Sweden.  Yep, gotta love being a true European… 😉

Diane 🙂

Vote! Get books!

You can’t open a newspaper or turn on the tv or radio at the moment without being bombarded with the Danish local and regional elections.  Hey, even bloggers are doing it… 😉  Election Time! Left. Right. Left, left, right!

But I digress!  Anway, getting non-traditional voters (a.k.a. The Young) to get out of their seats is the new black.  I had to laugh when a student explained in a radio interview why he probably wouldn’t be voting: “Well, um, I’m at High School so I’m, like you know, um, reeeeally busy and might not, um, have time to vote on the day.”  Ha!  Well, Sonny Jim, there’s no need to wait until 19 November…

Think before you (don't) vote!

You can go along to your local council offices right now and vote there.  Or even, as I did yesterday, at the library!  Hold on a mo’ – have I told you about my love affair with Danish libraries?  Oh, yes, I think I may have done… 🙂

Anyway, the library has little booths all set up.

You don’t even need to bring your Valgkort (voting card).  Give the Librarian some form of id, ideally your sygesikringskort (national health card).  Or your passport or driving licence.  They’ll check you out on the computer and give you two envelopes. Exhibits A and B…

Into the voting booth you go.  Remember to close the curtain for more dramatic effect! Inside each envelope you will find a voting card.  There are three boxes to choose from. Either write down Bogstavbetegnelse: the letter that represents the party you are voting for (e.g. A, B, C, etc).  Or  Listebetegnelse (Partinavn): the full name of the party you are voting for (Socialdemokraterne, Radikale Venstre) .  Or Kandidatnavn: the name of the candidate you are voting for (e.g, Frank N. Stein, Frank Furter).  Confused by all the different letters?  Go back and read Election Time! Left. Right. Left, left, right!

Close the envelopes.  Take them out to the Librarian, who puts them in a special envelope and asks for your signature.  And off the envelopes go by Special Post.

And if you get home and change your mind about who you’ve voted for?  Well, you can go back the next day and vote again.  If fact, you can vote as many times as you like up until 18 November – only your final vote will count.  Then again, you can always just wait until 19 November, and head for the (busy-at-peak-periods) polls.  But, hey, if you’re a student, who knows how busy you’ll be that day? 😉

Happy Thursday.  Get voting!  Check out some good books!

Diane 🙂