• Short Summary

    Denmark seems set for a period of less stable Government as a bitter and bizarre election campaign approaches its climax at the polls on December 4.

  • Description

    Denmark seems set for a period of less stable Government as a bitter and bizarre election campaign approaches its climax at the polls on December 4.

    For public opinion polls show the Danes are angry over high taxes and prices, disillusioned with their traditional party loyalties and likely to desert to new splinter parties in large numbers.

    After the General Election ten parties could be represented in the Folketing -- Denmark's Parliament -- twice as many as at present.

    And if the voters carry out their threat it would take a minimum of four parties to make up a majority coalition. Neither of the Socialist or the current non Socialist opposition blocs can hope to gain a majority alone.

    The man who caused the election could benefit greatly form the new political mood. Exhard Jacobsen left the Social Democratic Party, which had been ruling with a majority of one with the support of the People's Socialist Party. Without a majority, Prime Minister Mr. Anker Joergensen immediately called the election.

    Mr. Jacobsen, who had been a Social Democratic member of Parliament for 20 Years, was disillusioned by what he saw as increasing left wing influence in the party and he adamantly opposed a proposed taxation change which would have meant higher taxes on home owners. Erhard Jacobsen established his own party, the Centre Democratic party in November and public opinion polls claim 13 per cent support for it.

    Further deep inroads into the support of the established parties could come form the Progress Party founded last Spring by Mogens Glistrup, a millionaire lawyer who wants to abolish income taxes for those earning less than 4,200 pounds sterling (10,500 U.S. dollars) and to dismiss most of the country's 625,000 civil servants. The polls are predicting 14 per cent support for Progress.

    The desire for an election has been growing keener over the past ten months as discontent grew over rising food prices and the income tax structure which many believed imposed too heavy a burden.

    The election could bring and end to the brief political career of Prime Minister, Mr. Anker Joergensen. He was appointed only a year ago as successor to Mr. Jens Otto krag, and had never held political office before.

    The Social Democrats are now at their lowest level in public esteem since the First World War.

    SYNOPSIS: In Copenhagen -- a bitter and bizarre general election campaign is reaching its climax. It could fundamentally change Danish politics. Opinion polls show the Danes angry over income taxes and prices and threatening to vote on Tuesday for new splinter parties.

    One is the Centre Democratic Party founded last month by Erhard Jacobsen.

    The ruling Social Democratic coalition lost their one vote majority when Jacobsen resigned. First Jacobsen, and then resigned. First Jacobsen, and then Mogens Glistrup of the new Progress party put forward their views.

    The Centre Democrats are bitterly opposed to proposals for increased taxes on private homes. The party claims thirteen per cent support.

    Another live issue is the continued export of food to Arab nations while Denmark's oil supplies are in jeopardy.

    The voters have been saying Denmark should have and oil guarantee in exchange. In the run up to the election the energy crisis has been looming larger.

    The Social Democrat politicians are saying their experience is needed to cope with the energy crisis. But their electoral standing is at its lowest since the First World War. If the voters carry out their threat there could be ten parties in Parliament in place of the present five.

    Many Danes have blamed the rising food prices on Denmark's joining of the European Common Market. And with the increasing unpopularity of the Common Market has come growing distrust for the Social Democrats who supported entry.

    And a winter of Danish discontent could lead to a period of unstable Government.

    Observers believe the election will end the brief political career of Prime Minister Anker Joerqensen. After the votes are counted he might have to walk into the political wilderness

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