If Danes who are living abroad were entitled to vote at the national election the Conservative Party would be much more powerful. This is the obvious conclusion when comparing the result of a test election held by Danes World Wide and the result of the national election in Denmark on November 13th.
Denmark would still have a VK government but because of over sea Danes’ apparent enthusiasm for the new party New Alliance, the government would not be dependent on the Danish People’s Party. The second largest party would no longer be the Social Democrats, which only get 11.3 per cent of the votes, but the Conservative Party with 18.8 per cent. The only thing Danes inside and Danes outside Denmark seam to agree on is giving equally little power the Unity list and the Christian Democrats. Almost 3000 members of Danes World Wide participated in the test election. The result compared to the result of the national election is shown below.
Election result in per cent National Election Danes Abroad
A: The Social Democrats 25.5 11.3
B: Social Liberal Party 5.1 0.5
C: Conservative Party 0.4 18.8
SF: Social People’s Party 13.0 5.1
K: Christian Democrats 0.9 0.8
O: Danish People’s party 13.8 5.4
V: Liberals 26.3 33.0
Y: New alliance 2.8 12.7
Ø: the Unity list 2.2 1.5
Right to vote
The test election was partly held to raise a debate about whether Danes living outside Denmark should be given the right to vote or not. “For the pars 30 years Danes world wide has worked to improve the right to vote for Danes living outside Denmark,” says Jens Wittøfft secretary-general of Danes World Wide. According to the current rules Danes living abroad loose their right to vote after living outside Denmark for two years. After two years people have to apply for dispensation to be included on the election list in the municipality in Denmark where they used to live. Danes World Wide would like to change the automatic voting right from two to twelve years.
“We think it is part of our Democracy that a Danish citizen should have the right to vote in the country he is a citizen of,” says Jens Wittøft. However this point of view is not shared by all members of Danes World Wide. I am against that Danes living permanently abroad get the right to vote. It is not fair that people who don’t have to live with the consequences of the Danish policies will have the right to affect it with their vote,” writes Neel Rocco Labin living in Croatia on Danes World Wide’s debate page.
“Votes from Croatians living abroad are often going to parties which are stuck with view points of the past. The result of Danes Word Wide will probably show that there more system sustaining voters among the members of Danes world wide than Danes in Denmark,” he predicts. “It is not fair that people who live in an other part of the world get to decide the development in Denmark.”