Denmark is currently led by Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, who leads the party Venstre, which currently forms a minority right-winged government. The government is supported by the parties Konservative (the Conservative), Liberal Alliance, and Dansk Folkeparti, who all have a heavy influence on the policies, with the two first parties focusing on tax breaks for the wealthy, while the latter is a xenophobic populist party, fighting against Denmark taking in refugees and immigrants.
In Denmark, the Prime Minister is not elected, but is found through the support of the parties – basically, the person who gets the support from party representing a majority of members of parliament, gets to form the government. For the last twentyfive years, it has been a member of either Venstre or Socialdemokratiet, depending on whether the right-wing parties or the centre-left parties got the majority of votes at the election.
For the last week or so, however, the current PM has tried to expand the government, so it includes more parties – more specifically Konservative and Liberal Alliance. This would still make it a minority government, but a much larger one, meaning that he would have to find less votes outside the government when he wants to get new measures passed.
Unfortunately, it also means that the libertarian policies of especially Liberal Alliance will get a much more prominent position, as it will get a place in the government platform. Due to the continuing reliance on the xenophobic Dansk Folkeparti, it also means that the government platform takes an anti-immigration slant.
The new government platform can be found here – unfortunately it seems like there only is a Danish version.
The title of the platform is “For a freer, richer and more confident Denmark”.
Reading through the platform, I have a hard time seeing the “freer” part – there are mentions of creating new laws about logging of data for the police’s use, about restricting refugees’ access to Denmark, making it harder to get a Danish citizenship, making it harder to reunite families in Denmark, and about putting restrictions on religious preachers (this is aimed at Muslims), but there are nothing that actually makes Denmark freer in my opinion.
The richer part, is a bit better – there are a number of measures aimed at ensuring economic growth and that Denmark is ready for the future. There are, however also some measurements that probably will work the other way, among other the reduction of the top tax bracket.
It is well documented that giving tax breaks to the people who earn the most, is a bad way of creating economic growth. Public spending or funneling the money to the people earning the least, creates a lot more growth. The reason for this is, that public spending goes directly into the economy, as does money funneled to low-income people, since they spend their money on goods. People with higher income, uses the money for paying off debt or for savings, as they usually have their needs covered. Money spend on debt-payment or savings, doesn’t create growth.
The last part of the platform is about confidence – or rather it is about feeling safe (I had a hard time finding the right word). Here there are the usual measures about more police, stricter laws etc. that you would expect from a right-winged government.
All in all, no great surprises in the platform.
Since the government already was dependent upon the two parties, I don’t think the expansion will make any great differences. It will make the Prime Minister’s work slightly easier, as he will have to find fewer votes outside government in order to get things passed, but other than that, I can’t really see how this will create a difference.
The only positive thing I can say, is that the expansion of parties, also creates a bigger group of candidates for government positions. Given how abysmal some of his government members have been, this might be worth something. Unfortunately, some of those candidates are even worse than the current lot of ministers.