Voting in my first Danish Election


My local polling station

It’s not quite Borgen I’m afraid, but I have just voted in Denmark’s local and regional elections.  In Copenhagen there are SEVEN mayors, not to mention all those councillors.  One though, the Lord Mayor, is the overall boss.  So the system is pretty different to the UK.

Once I’d handed over my voting card at a school set up as a polling station, I was given two long pieces of paper with so many names and parties on them, it was quite intimidating.

This country is all about coalition politics, but actually voting today was pretty simple.  I had to mark one cross on each paper – either beside a party or a candidate.  I must thank the Copenhagen Post for explaining to us foreigners eligible to vote, what each party stands for.


Candidates I filmed with last week

Still, even those on the right of Danish politics are on the whole pretty left.  With a huge welfare state to support and taxes to go with it, most parties back the status quo – hardly surprising when everyone has to work in coalition.

But there are differences – from transport to business; from the treatment of foreigners to spending the massive city budget.  In Copenhagen at least, much of this election has been about the bike verses the car.


Bike vs Car has become an election issue

Unlike say London, here the bike appears to take preference over anything else on the roads.  Now I’m a new convert to cycling (click here to see my previous post).  But many argue that Copenhagen’s love affair with the bike is to the detriment of motorists and in turn business.

I’m not sure if I will notice a difference in Copenhagen after these elections.  But I’m grateful that I at least had the chance to vote.


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  1. Here in Aarhus it was social services, schools and the elderly that were the hot election topics. And yes, those long ballot lists are quite overwhelming :-). Not to mention the politicking involved with choosing a new mayor, and the aldermen…

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