Introducing: Statskundskab Saturday

On Tuesday all the official DIS Bloggers gathered and met to talk a little about ways to improve and enhance our blogs. One of their suggestions was to create some sort of weekly posting tradition to help ensure that no one gets in a forgetting to blog kind of rut. Past Bloggers have included traditions such as “watercolor Wednesday” (show casing paintings from an art class) and “Typography Tuesday.”

I’ve been agonizing for two days over what I should make my posting tradition, running through a whole slew of ideas such as “Thankful Thursday,” “Translation Tuesday,” and “Music Monday.” However, my obsession with the Danish TV show Borgen (a political drama, supposedly very similar to the American drama “Commander in Chief”) has led me to try out the idea of “Statsminister Saturday.” With this tradition I have a motive to keep myself informed, continue obsessively watching a fantastic show (I’m not alone in my opinion, Salon  published a recommendation last May) and hone my political writing—a skill that will be extremely necessary in my future (hopeful) journalism career.

“Statskundskab” is the Danish word for Political Science; each Saturday I’ll summarize the current state of affairs in Danish politics from an American perspective, to the best of my abilities. Hopefully I can provide any prospective DIS students with a taste of Danish current events, heavily supplemented by my class discussions in Danish language and culture and the English language Copenhagen Post.

The current state of Danish politics is actually extremely interesting and dramatic. An entire party, the Socialist People’s Party has dropped out of the government, leaving the prime minister with 6 ministry seats to fill, she will supposedly announce who will be filling the seats sometime next week.

The departure of SF or Socialistisk Folkeparti is motivated by the recent approval of a deal that will sell ~20% of Danish Oil and Natural Gas (DONG) to Goldman-Sachs. My understanding of the issue is that formerly, the state of Denmark had a larger share in the company, and thus had more power to regulate and provide incentives to DONG that would help Denmark maintain it’s #1 status in renewable energy.

In Scandinavia communism is far-left & radical, but not dangerous.

In Scandinavia communism is far-left & radical, but not dangerous.

On Wednesday, there was a protest outside of Christiansborg, which seemed to be dominated mostly by members of Enhedslisten (the party that is farthest left in the Danish political spectrum), but in fact 80% of Danes are against allowing DONG to sell such a large portion of shares to Goldman-Sachs, partially because the company played such a large role in what ended up being a global financial crisis, and partly because Goldman-Sachs intends to operate their shares from Vermont, Switzerland, and the Cayman Islands. Operation from well-known tax havens is not looked upon kindly from a country that culturally sees taxes as an important part of maintaining a civilized (and absolutely crucial) welfare society.

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