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Danish Social Liberal Party

The Danish Social Liberal Party (Danish: Radikale Venstre, literally "Radical Left" or "Radical Liberals") is a social-liberal[1][2][3][4][5] political party in Denmark.

Danish Social Liberal Party

Radikale Venstre
LeaderMorten Østergaard
ChairmanSvend Thorhauge
Founded21 May 1905
Split fromVenstre
HeadquartersChristiansborg
1240 København K, Denmark
NewspaperRadikal Politik
Youth wingRadikal Ungdom
IdeologySocial liberalism[1][2][3][4][5]
Radical centrism
Pro-Europeanism
Political positionCentre[6][7] to centre-left[8][9]
European affiliationAlliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
International affiliationLiberal International
European Parliament groupRenew Europe
Nordic affiliationCentre Group
ColoursMagenta
Folketing:[10]
16 / 179
European Parliament:
2 / 14
Regions:[11]
8 / 205
Municipalities:[12]
80 / 2,432
Mayors:
1 / 98
Election symbol
B
Website
radikale.dk

Historically the party has played a central role in Danish politics, and as a centre party they have supported governments on both sides of the political spectrum. Cooperation across the middle is a primary belief of the party.[13]

The party is a member of Liberal International and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) and has two MEPs in the European Parliament.

Carl Theodor Zahle served as the first Social Liberal Prime Minister from 1909–1910 and again from 1913–1920.

OriginEdit

The party was founded in 1905 as a split from the liberal Venstre Reform Party. The initial impetus was the expulsion of Venstre's antimilitarist wing from the party in January 1905. The expelled members held a founding conference for the new party in Odense, on 21 May 1905. In addition to the differences over military spending, the social liberals also took a more positive view than Venstre towards measures that aimed to reduce social inequality. The party also became the political leg of the cultural radical movement. The party was cautiously open to aspects of the welfare state, and also advocated reforms to improve the position of smallholders, an important early group of supporters.[14][15] The party's social-liberal ideals are said to have been inspired by the political economists Henry George and John Stuart Mill.[16]

The literal translation "radical left" refers to its origin as the historically radical wing of its parent party Venstre ("left") In a modern context, this literal translation is somewhat misleading, as the party is in fact at the very centre of the Danish political spectrum. The use of the word for "left" in the name of the party (as with Venstre and the Norwegian party Venstre) is meant to refer to liberalism and not modern left-wing politics. Venstre originally was to the left of the conservative and aristocratic right-wing party Højre, which means "right".

HistoryEdit

1905–1930sEdit

The first Social Liberal Cabinet was formed in 1909 with Carl Theodor Zahle serving as Prime Minister (1909–1910). From 1913–1920, Zahle led the second Social Liberal Cabinet with the Social Democrats serving as parliamentary support, keeping Denmark neutral during World War I. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the party served as coalition partners along with the Social Democrats, led by Prime Minister Thorvald Stauning, and managed to lead the country through the recession by implementing far-reaching social reforms.[13]

Post World War IIEdit

After 1945 the party continued with its pragmatic ways, influencing either as coalition partner as parliamentary support. From 1957–1964 they served as coalition partners in a Social Democratic led government, while Hilmar Baunsgaard served as Prime Minister 1968–1971 in a coalition government with Venstre and the Conservative People's Party as partners. In the 1968 general elections the party reached an all time high of 15% of the vote, while they only received 11.2% in the 1973 landslide election.

During the 1980s the party served either as parliamentary support or as coalition partner in various Venstre led governments.

After an all time low in the 1990 general elections where the party only received 3.5% of the vote, the party once again started cooperating with the Social Democrats under leadership of Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, participating in a coalition government in 1993.[13]

2001–presentEdit

In the early 2000s the political scene was marked by "bloc"-politics, with "blue bloc" being led by Venstre and "red bloc" by the Social Democrats. The Danish People's Party overtook the Social Liberals' key position as prime candidate for parliamentary support. Furthermore, the DPP's anti-immigrant policies made the Social Liberals profile themselves as a progressive party being pro-globalisation, pro-EU and more tolerant towards refugees and immigrants. At the same time the party profiled itself on reforming the welfare system, campaigning to abolish "efterløn" and lower taxes. As such the party served to unite a modern social profile with a more liberal economic profile. This served to appeal the more well-educated urbanised parts of the country, resulting in 9.2% of the vote at the 2005 general elections.[13]

In a 2006 press release they tried to mark themselves as once again being able to lead a government, doing away with the presumption of the party only being able to serve as government partner or parliamentary support.[17] The strategy proved unpopular both among voters and within the party itself.[18] On 7 May 2007 MP Naser Khader and MEP Anders Samuelsen left the party and formed the New Alliance, known today as the Liberal Alliance, along with Conservative MEP Gitte Seeberg.[13] At a press conference on 15 June 2007, it was announced that MP Margrethe Vestager would take over leadership of the party after Marianne Jelved, and that the party would rethink its strategy. The party returned to its historical role as possible coalition partner and at the political centre of Danish politics.[19] Vestager clarified during the run-up to the 2007 general election that her party would only be supporting a government led by the Social Democrats. Still, the party only won 5.1% of the vote.

At the subsequent 2011 general elections, the party support rose to 9.5% and regained 8 seats to resume a total of 17. Together with the Social Democrats and the Socialist People's Party, they formed a three-way government coalition.

On 31 August 2014, Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt nominated Margrethe Vestager as Denmark's EU Commissioner, resulting in her resignation as party leader. The party's parliamentary group subsequently elected Morten Østergaard as new leader.[20]

At the 2015 general elections, the party lost 9 out of 17 seats and was reduced to 4.6%. The party lost a share of its voters to the newly formed The Alternative, a green political party formed by former member of the party Uffe Elbæk.[21]

At the 2019 general elections, the party rose to 8.6% of the vote, doubling its number of seats to 16. Østergaard stated that he would support a government led by the Social Democrats only if changes would be made to the previous government's strict immigration policies.[22]

Relationship to other partiesEdit

The Danish Social Liberal Party has traditionally kept itself in the centre of the political scale. Since the early nineties, though, it has primarily cooperated with the Social Democrats. Internationally, the party has cooperated with the Swedish Centre Party and Liberals, the Norwegian Venstre party and the British Liberal Democrats.

Prominent membersEdit

Prime MinistersEdit

  • Carl Theodor Zahle, Prime Minister 1909–1910 and 1913–1920, (Minister of Justice 1929–1935)
  • Erik Scavenius, Prime Minister 1942–1945 (de facto until 29 August 1943), (Foreign Minister 1909–1910, 1913–1920 and 1940–1943 de facto/–1945 de jure )
  • Hilmar Baunsgaard, Prime Minister 1968–1971, (Trade Minister 1961–1964)

Other MinistersEdit

  • Edvard Brandes, Finance Minister 1909–1910 and 1913–1920
  • Christopher Krabbe, Defence Minister 1909–1910
  • Peter Rochegune Munch, Minister of the Interior 1909–1910, Defence Minister 1913–1920, Foreign Minister 1929–1940
  • Poul Christensen, Agriculture Minister 1909–1910
  • Ove Rode, Minister of the Interior 1913–1920
  • J. Hassing-Jørgensen, Minister for Public Works 1913–1920
  • Kristjan Pedersen, Agriculture Minister 1913–1920
  • Bertel Dahlgaard, Minister of the Interior 1929–1940, Minister for Economic Affairs and Minister for Nordic Co-operation 1957–1960
  • Jørgen Jørgensen, Education Minister 1935–1940, 1942–1942, 1957–1960, Minister of the Interior 1942–1943
  • A. M. Hansen, Education Minister 1945-1945
  • Kjeld Philip, Trade Minister 1957–1960, Finance Minister 1960–1961, Minister for Economic Affairs 1961–1962
  • Karl Skytte, Agriculture Minister 1957–1964
  • A. C. Normann, Fishery Minister 1960–1964, Fishery Minister and Minister for Greenland 1968–1971
  • Helge Larsen, Education Minister 1968–1971
  • Lauge Dahlgaard, Labour Minister 1968–1971
  • Jens Bilgrav-Nielsen, Energy Minister 1988–1990
  • Kristen Helveg Petersen, Education Minister 1961–1964, Minister of Culture 1968–1971
  • Niels Helveg Petersen, Minister for Economic Affairs 1988–1990, Foreign Minister 1993–2000
  • Ole Vig Jensen, Minister of Culture 1988–1990, Education Minister, 1993–1998, Church Minister, 1996–1998
  • Lone Dybkjær, Minister for the Environment 1988–1990
  • Aase Olesen, Social Minister 1988–1990
  • Ebbe Lundgaard, Minister of Culture 1996–1998
  • Elsebeth Gerner Nielsen, Minister of Culture 1998–2001
  • Marianne Jelved, Minister for Economic Affairs 1993–2001, Minister for Nordic Co-operation 1994–2001, Minister for Culture 2012–2015
  • Margrethe Vestager, Education Minister 1998–2001, Church Minister 1998–2000, Minister for Economic and Interior Affairs 2011–2014
  • Anita Bay Bundegaard, Minister for Development Cooperation 2000–2001
  • Johannes Lebech, Church Minister 2000–2001
  • Christian Friis Bach, Minister for Development Cooperation 2011–2013
  • Uffe Elbæk, Minister of Culture 2011–2012
  • Morten Østergaard, Minister for Research, Innovation and Higher Education 2011–2014, Minister for Taxation 2014–2014 Minister for Economic and Interior Affairs 2014-2015
  • Martin Lidegaard, Minister for Climate and Energy 2011–2014, Minister for Foreign Affairs 2014–2015
  • Manu Sareen, Minister for Equality, Church and Nordic Cooperation 2011–2014, Minister for Integration and Social Affairs 2014–2015
  • Rasmus Helveg Petersen, Minister for Development Cooperation 2013–2014, Minister for Climate and Energy 2014–2015
  • Sofie Carsten Nielsen, Minister for Research, Innovation and Higher Education 2014–2015

Political leadersEdit

Election resultsEdit

 

Parliament (Folketing)Edit

Election Votes % Overall seats Danish seats +/– Government Notes
1906 38,151 12.6 (#4)
15 / 114
15 / 114
  9 in opposition Split from Venstre Reform Party
1909 50,305 15.5 (#4)
15 / 114
15 / 114
  6 in opposition Leading the government 1909-1910
1910 64,884 18.6 (#3)
20 / 114
20 / 114
  5 in opposition
1913 67,903 18.7 (#3)
31 / 114
31 / 114
  11 in coalition Leading the government
1915 N/A N/A (#3)
32 / 140
32 / 139
  0 in coalition Leading the government
1918 189,521 20.7 (#3)
32 / 140
32 / 139
  1 in coalition Leading the government
1920 122,160 11.9 (#4)
17 / 140
17 / 139
  15 in opposition Parliamentary crisis
1920 109,931 11.5 (#4)
16 / 140
16 / 139
  1 in opposition
1920 147,120 12.1 (#4)
18 / 149
18 / 148
  2 in opposition
1924 166,476 13.0 (#4)
20 / 149
20 / 148
  2 providing parliamentary support
1926 151,746 11.3 (#4)
16 / 149
16 / 148
  4 providing parliamentary support
1929 151,746 10.7 (#4)
16 / 149
16 / 148
  0 in coalition First coalition with Social Democrats
1932 145,221 9.4 (#4)
14 / 149
14 / 148
  2 in coalition
1935 151,507 9.2 (#4)
14 / 149
14 / 148
  0 in coalition
1939 161,834 9.5 (#4)
14 / 149
14 / 148
  0 in coalition
1943 175,179 8.7 (#4)
11 / 149
11 / 148
  2 in coalition Leading the government
1945 167,073 8.1 (#5)
11 / 149
11 / 148
  2 providing parliamentary support
1947 144,206 6.9 (#4)
10 / 150
10 / 148
  1 providing parliamentary support
1950 167,969 8.2 (#5)
12 / 151
12 / 149
  2 in opposition
1953 178,942 8.6 (#4)
13 / 151
13 / 149
  1 providing parliamentary support
1953 169,295 7.8 (#4)
14 / 179
14 / 175
  1 providing parliamentary support
1957 179,822 7.8 (#4)
14 / 179
14 / 175
  0 in coalition
1960 140,979 5.8 (#5)
11 / 179
11 / 175
  3 in coalition
1964 139,702 5.3 (#5)
10 / 179
10 / 175
  1 in opposition
1966 203,858 7.3 (#5)
13 / 179
13 / 175
  3 in opposition
1968 427,304 15.0 (#4)
27 / 179
27 / 175
  14 in coalition Leading the government
1971 413,620 14.4 (#4)
27 / 179
27 / 175
  0 providing parliamentary support
1973 343,718 11.2 (#4)
20 / 179
20 / 175
  7 providing parliamentary support
1975 216,553 7.1 (#4)
13 / 179
13 / 175
  7 providing parliamentary support
1977 113,330 3.6 (#8)
6 / 179
6 / 175
  7 providing parliamentary support
1979 172,365 5.4 (#6)
10 / 179
10 / 175
  4 providing parliamentary support
1981 160,053 5.1 (#7)
9 / 179
9 / 175
  1 providing parliamentary support
1984 184,642 5.5 (#6)
10 / 179
10 / 175
  1 providing parliamentary support
1987 209,086 6.2 (#5)
11 / 179
11 / 175
  1 providing parliamentary support
1988 185,707 5.6 (#6)
10 / 179
10 / 175
  1 in coalition
1990 114,888 3.5 (#7)
7 / 179
7 / 175
  3 providing parliamentary support
1994 152,701 4.6 (#6)
8 / 179
8 / 175
  1 in coalition
1998 131,254 3.9 (#7)
7 / 179
7 / 175
  1 in coalition
2001 179,023 5.2 (#6)
9 / 179
9 / 175
  2 in opposition
2005 308,212 9.2 (#5)
17 / 179
17 / 175
  8 in opposition
2007 177,161 5.1 (#6)
9 / 179
9 / 175
  8 in opposition
2011 336,698 9.5 (#4)
17 / 179
17 / 175
  8 in coalition
2015 160,672 4.6 (#7)
8 / 179
8 / 175
  9 in opposition
2019 304,273 8.6 (#4)
16 / 179
16 / 175
  8 providing parliamentary support

European ParliamentEdit

Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
% of
Danish vote
# of
overall seats won
# of
Danish seats won
+/–
1979 56,944 3.6 (#10)
0 / 15
1984 32,560 1.6 (#9)
0 / 15
1989 50,196 2.8 (#8)
0 / 16
1994 176,480 8.5 (#6)
1 / 16
  1
1999 180,089 9.1 (#4)
1 / 16
  0
2004 120,473 6.4 (#6)
1 / 14
  0
2009 100,094 4.3 (#7)
0 / 13
  1
2014 148,949 6.5 (#7)
1 / 13
  1
2019 277,929 10.1 (#4)
2 / 14
  1

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Nordsieck, Wolfram (2019). "Denmark". Parties and Elections in Europe.
  2. ^ a b Almeida, Dimitri. "Liberal Parties and European Integration" (PDF).
  3. ^ a b Marks, Gary; Wilson, Carole (July 2000). "The Past in the Present: A Cleavage Theory of Party Response to European Integration" (PDF). British Journal of Political Science. 30 (3): 433–459. doi:10.1017/S0007123400000181. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 June 2008.
  4. ^ a b Hans Slomp (30 September 2011). Europe, A Political Profile: An American Companion to European Politics: An American Companion to European Politics. ABC-CLIO. pp. 415, 419. ISBN 978-0-313-39182-8. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  5. ^ a b Henning Jørgensen (2002). Consensus, Cooperation and Conflict: The Policy Making Process in Denmark. Edward Elgar Publishing. p. 32. ISBN 978-1-84064-091-5. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  6. ^ Åsa Bengtsson; Kasper Hansen; Ólafur Þ Harõarson; Hanne Marthe Narud; Henrik Oscarsson (15 November 2013). The Nordic Voter: Myths of Exceptionalism. ECPR Press. p. 205. ISBN 978-1-907301-50-6.
  7. ^ "Danish parties agree on tougher border controls", Reuters, 11 May 2011, retrieved 30 June 2011
  8. ^ Emmenegger, Patrick (2009), Regulatory Social Policy: The Politics of Job Security Regulations, Haupt, p. 192
  9. ^ Vera Möller-Holtkamp (9 May 2007), "Denmark's New Party Aims to Shake Up the Far Right", DW World, retrieved 30 June 2011
  10. ^ "Danmarks Radio Resultatet". Archived from the original on 23 September 2011. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  11. ^ "AKVA3: Valg til regions råd efter område, parti og stemmer/kandidater/køn". Statistics Denmark. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
  12. ^ "VALGK3: Valg til kommunale råd efter område, parti og stemmer/kandidater/køn". Statistics Denmark. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
  13. ^ a b c d e Kold, Lotte Flugt (30 April 2012). "Det Radikale Venstre". danmarkshistorien.dk (in Danish). Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  14. ^ Alastair H. Thomas, ed. (2010). "Radical Liberal Party". The A to Z of Denmark. Scarecrow Press. pp. 340–341. ISBN 1461671841.
  15. ^ "Det Radikale Venstre". Den Store Danske. Gyldendal. 11 July 2013.
  16. ^ Maria Eugenia Mata; Michalis Psalidopoulos (6 December 2001). Economic Thought and Policy in Less Developed Europe: The Nineteenth Century. Routledge. p. 23. ISBN 978-1-134-51496-0.
  17. ^ Larsen, Thomas (10 April 2005). "De Radikales frihedsbrev". Berlingske.dk (in Danish). Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  18. ^ Petersen, Sami Don (23 July 2006). "»Verden forandrer sig - det har de Radikale opdaget«". Berlingske.dk (in Danish). Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  19. ^ Haahr, Ulla (15 June 2007). Vestager ny radikal dronning (in Danish). Danmarks Radio. Retrieved 11 December 2007.
  20. ^ "Morten Østergaard er ny politisk leder af Radikale Venstre". Radikale Venstre. 31 August 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  21. ^ Winther, Bent (8 June 2015). "Her kommer Alternativets vælgere fra". Berlingske.dk (in Danish). Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  22. ^ Jørgensen, Anna Sol (24 May 2019). "Radikale kræver lempelser i udlændingepolitikken: Vil give statsborgerskab i 18 års-fødselsdagsgave". DR (in Danish). Retrieved 14 June 2019.

External linksEdit