On Monday, while filming a report for Al Jazeera English, I met some of the candidates standing in next week’s local and regional elections here in Denmark. What struck me most was just how young they were.
Take Caroline – just 22 and already fully immersed in Danish politics. She was one of five taking part in a debate in Copenhagen’s Central Station, sponsored by McDonald’s. (See my earlier post about this global company’s involvement in the elections.)
These candidates really believe in the political system and in particular, working in a coalition. By their own admission, they often get on better with those in opposing parties, than those in their own.
I also met Kristoffer Beck, the Chairman of KU, the Conservative Youth party. I just had to get a photo of him standing next to the picture of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. This guy knows his stuff – even what’s going on in British politics.
But unlike the UK, it’s not considered ‘geeky’ for young people to be into politics in Denmark. Yes they’re worried about falling voter turnout, but with 65.8% of those who could, voting at the last local and regional elections, the figure looks pretty high.
Here people are actively encouraged to vote – even me. I’ve just had my voting card through, even though I’ve only been here for a few months. If I wanted to, I could cast an early ballot at a number of mobile polling stations. Really, there’s no excuse not to vote here. So I’ll be interested to see how many actually do.
- Danish ‘drive-thru’ Voting (alexfw.com)