The Faroe Islands are an archipelago of 18 tiny and remote islands in the North Atlantic. An autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, which already has an e-state of its own in place, they decided in favour of Estonia”s approach—for technological as well as political reasons, writes Richard Martyn-Hemphill. After more than a decade of Estonia showboating its e-governance methods to much of the world, it is no longer novel to see far larger nations than the Faroe Islands offering ample praise for Estonia”s drive to bring its interactions between government and citizens online. … Yet in the northerly Faroe Islands, officials are all in. On these craggy, windy, chilly lands where sheep outnumber the local human population of just 50, 000, the Faroese are implementing an equivalent of Estonia”s digital ID cards along with its X-Road infrastructure—a solution that enables internet voting from anywhere in the world, transferable and accessible data across ministries, and a digital identity that allows you to prove your credentials online. The Faroese rollout is expected in 2019. There are no plans as yet for an e-residency programme to follow.
Dog sleds carried some ballots to polling stations for Greenland’s election on Tuesday, a sign of the hurdles the country faces before it gains its long-held goal of independence from Denmark. Just 56,000 people live on the huge Arctic island. It has no roads between the country’s 17 towns and only one commercial international airport. Consequently, a local fisherman took ballots by dog sled 150 kilometers across Greenland’s ice sheet to Savissivik, one of the island’s most remote towns, near the U.S. air base in Thule, the government said in a press release.
Greenland’s 40,000 eligible voters delivered a bittersweet election victory for Prime Minister Kim Kielsen’s social-democratic Siumut party Tuesday, as it lost ground to centrist rivals. With only one international airport and no roads connecting the territory’s 17 towns, dog sleds were used to carry ballots to polling stations across the vast island. According to Greenland’s government, some fishermen travelled 93 miles to deliver ballot papers to a remote town. As Kielsen began coalition talks with left-wing parties Wednesday, Greenland’s politicians must tackle more problematic questions about the future of the sparsely populated Arctic nation.
Denmark: NATO Is Fighting Russia’s Fake News Schemes by Training Danish Troops How to Spot Propaganda | Newsweek
Political elections are not the only target of Russia’s hacking and “fake news” campaigns. Fighting forces can be targeted, as well. As such, Denmark will reportedly train troops against propaganda that it plans to send NATO next year in Estonia as the build-up of forces in Eastern Europe continues, according to Reuters. Though Russia was not specifically mentioned, President Vladimir Putin’s government has been directly accused of meddling in the United States election by disseminating false news reports and conducting cyberattacks as well as similar efforts in France, Austria, the Ukraine, Germany and the Netherlands, to name a few. “It is a whole new world. The Danish soldiers need to be extremely aware of that. Therefore I have arranged with the armed forces that the soldiers being sent out in January are informed and educated in how to protect themselves,” Danish defense minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen said Monday.
Eurosceptic EU member Denmark voted in a referendum on Thursday to reject a government proposal to adopt the bloc’s justice rules, amid concerns over handing more power to Brussels. The ‘No’ side received 53.1 percent of votes, while the ‘Yes’ camp garnered 46.9 percent, final results showed. Voter turnout stood at 72 percent. “It is a clear no… I have full respect for the Danes’ decision,” Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said at a press conference. The ‘No’ side was led by the eurosceptic, anti-immigration Danish People’s Party (DPP), which argued that dropping the country’s exemptions on EU justice rules—which it negotiated with Brussels in 1993 as a condition for accepting the Maastricht Treaty—would hand too much power to Brussels and could result in more immigration.
Denmark’s seventh referendum on EU integration offers Brussels and Britain another political lesson on the challenges of selling a pro-European message to wary voters. While its political leaders have a broadly pro-EU in outlook and temperament, over the past quarter century the Danes proved doughty defenders of national sovereignty, voting against joining the euro in 2000 and rejecting the Maastrict treaty in 1992. Thursday’s referendum is in theory about whether Denmark should swap its opt-out on EU justice and home affairs matters for an opt-in, affecting issues such as cross-border policing. But the plebiscite has become a clarion call for eurosceptics keen on fighting against the power of Brussels. The vote, which polls put on a knife edge, will be closely watched across the EU and especially in the UK, which is preparing for its own EU referendum.
Denmark’s center-right-led opposition won parliamentary elections on Thursday, denying the Social Democrat Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt a second term in office after a campaign dominated by the immigration issue. The opposition Liberal Party leader Lars Lokke Rasmussen, who promised tighter immigration rules and tougher demands on new arrivals in the country, looked set to be the Nordic state’s new leader. With all of the results counted, the opposition bloc had won 52.3% of the vote or 90 seats in the 179 seat parliament. Ms. Thorning-Schmidt and her allies had secured 47.7% support or 85 seats.
Denmark goes to the polls on Thursday in a general election which opinion polls suggest is on a knife edge. The centre-left coalition of PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt, and the centre-right opposition led by ex-PM Lars Lokke Rasmussen, appear to be neck and neck. But the pollsters have only canvassed the Danish mainland – and voters in Greenland and the Faroe Islands may decide the vote. Minor issues like a Faroes fishing dispute could influence the result. The islands’ fishing community is still angry at Ms Thorning-Schmidt for barring its boats from Danish ports in a 2013 dispute over alleged overfishing.
It’s a little bit like the Falkland Islands getting to decide who leads the government in the U.K. Danes may have to spend the final hours of June 18 — election night — watching their former colonies Greenland and the Faroe Islands decide their fate. After almost two weeks of campaigning, polls show it’s now too close to predict a winner in Denmark’s election. That means four parliamentary seats reserved for the two Atlantic islands that form part of the Kingdom of Denmark may determine who becomes the country’s next prime minister. “The likelihood that North Atlantic votes will be decisive is rising,” said Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard, a professor of political science at the University of Copenhagen. Should voting among Danes prove inconclusive, it “would be an unfortunate development for democracy,” he said.
Conversations tail off mid-sentence; students stop to take selfies and parents shield young children’s eyes. The cause of their embarrassment: giant posters of a man wearing nothing but a cowboy hat, a gun holster and a knowing smile. This is John Erik Wagner, and he wants to be Denmark’s next prime minister. It may not be a conventional political billboard but, in this time of frenetic campaigning before the Danish general election this month, every available tree or lamppost is plastered with images of politicians and wannabes, and a relatively unknown candidate needs to work hard to make an impression. For Wagner, a 51-year-old Copenhagener, the way to do that was to bare all.
Wearing his trademark flat cap, Lars Aslan Rasmussen was full of optimism as he began canvassing in Nørrebro, a volatile Copenhagen enclave that epitomises the two dominant issues of the Danish election, immigration and welfare. But the mood swiftly changed. Aslan Rasmussen was surrounded by a group of extreme Islamists as he distributed leaflets at the suburban train station, a labyrinth of dark passages, cracked windows, graffiti and very un-Danish litter. “They said I should leave their territory and that Muslims are not allowed to vote. They were very aggressive and told me that you don’t go to paradise when you participate in democracy.”
Denmark: Prime Minister calls general election, saying voters must have say on spending | The Guardian
Denmark’s Social Democratic prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt has announced that parliamentary elections will be held on 18 June. She said the minority government, whose term ends in September, would not resign before the election, but that it was time for voters to have their say on its policies. “It’s the right time to ask Danes whether we should keep the course or if we want experiments by [the opposition],” Thorning-Schmidt told a news conference on Wednesday. The opposition centre-right bloc, led by former prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, has a four-percentage-point lead in recent opinion polls. However, Thorning-Schmidt is ahead of Rasmussen in other polls when it comes to credibility.
It could be entitled: how not to get people to vote. The Danish parliament on Tuesday pulled a controversial video replete with cartoon nudity that was meant to encourage young people to vote in this month’s elections for the European Parliament. The 90-second video features “Voteman”, a muscleman first seen in bed with five naked women who then proceeds to beat up young people to force them to vote. He then decapitates one man, interrupting a couple having sex to throw them and their bed out of a window, and using his dolphin to help him chuck people into voting booths. Morgen Lykketoft, speaker of Folketinget, the Danish parliament, had previously warmly endorsed the video. “We are trying to inspire the very young to go out and vote. It is important we get a higher turnout, especially among the young. You have to use all sorts of methods,” he told state radio on Monday. He added: “I think it’s rather innocent. You can find much worse.”
With the 2012 campaign in full swing, and the United States’ election day now 14 months away, let us put the brakes on for a moment and focus us on another election . Yesterday, Danes elected a new prime minister – for the first time ever a woman – and decided on the distribution of the 179 seats in parliament.
The campaign season lasted all of three weeks. There were no political ads on television. Voter participation was 87.7 percent. Compared to the United States – the land of the permanent campaign – the parliamentary democracy of Denmark offers us a glimpse of what elections could be.
Like in the United States, during campaign season here in Denmark it’s hard to drive a block without seeing wall-to-wall campaign signs. And like in America, the top issue here is overwhelmingly the economy. But the biggest difference in campaign season between our two countries – aside from the length – is the money. With a ban on political TV ads in Denmark, cash plays a much smaller role in the blitz for votes here.
Denmark’s prime minister-in-waiting, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, begins the tricky task on Friday of piecing together a centre-left government after an election which ended 10 years of centre-right rule.
Climbing rather than sweeping to victory on Thursday, Thorning-Schmidt led a diverse “Red bloc” of parties that succeeded in tapping voter anger about the state of the economy and ousting Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen. It was the latest in a series of defeats for incumbents in European countries. Rasmussen was to tender his formal resignation later in the day, opening the way for Social Democrat Thorning-Schmidt to try to form a government. She will be Denmark’s first woman prime minister.
One of Europe’s most influential anti-immigration parties could lose its leverage in Danish politics in next week’s election. Polls ahead of the vote Thursday show that the Danish People’s Party stands to lose the kingmaker role which for 10 years has given it an important say on government policy, including pushing through sharp restrictions on immigration.
For Phillip Hobbs, a 26-year-old Australian online entrepreneur who was denied a residence permit even though his wife and their 8-month-old son are Danish citizens, the change would be welcome.
Hobbs is an unintended target of a rule that prevents Danish citizens from bringing in a foreign spouse if one of them is younger than 24. Hobbs’ wife is 23. The rule is aimed at reducing forced marriages in immigrant communities for immigration reasons.