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Liberal Alliance (Denmark)

The Liberal Alliance (Danish: Liberal Alliance) is a liberal[1][2][3][4] and libertarian[5][6] political party in Denmark.

Liberal Alliance

Liberal Alliance
LeaderAlex Vanopslagh
Founded7 May 2007
HeadquartersNybrogade 10, 3.sal
DK-1203 København K
Youth wingLiberal Alliance Youth
IdeologyLiberalism[1][2][3][4]
Right-libertarianism[5][6]
Classical liberalism[7]
Political positionCentre-right[2][8]
to right-wing[5]
European affiliationNone
International affiliationNone
Nordic affiliationCentre Group
Colours     Orange (customary)
     Navy blue
Folketing
3 / 179
European Parliament
0 / 14
Regions[9]
5 / 205
Municipalities[10]
28 / 2,432
Election symbol
I
Website
www.liberalalliance.dk

Following the 2019 general election, the party has 4 seats in the Folketing. The party is a component of the centre-right bloc in Danish politics.[6][11][12] The party's platform is based upon economic liberalism, promotion of tax cuts and reduction of welfare programmes, and a critical stance to European integration.[13] From November 2016 to June 2019, the Liberal Alliance was part of a three-party coalition government with the Liberal Party (Venstre) and Conservative People's Party.

HistoryEdit

The party was founded on 7 May 2007 as the New Alliance (Danish: Ny Alliance) by Naser Khader MP, Anders Samuelsen MEP from the Social Liberal Party and Gitte Seeberg, a Conservative People's Party MEP.[4][14] The party supported the government of the Liberal Party and Conservative People's Party.[4]

 
Logo of the Liberal Alliance 2008–2019

To comply with Danish election law, and to be able to stand for elections the Liberal Alliance had to gather 19,185 signatures of supporters on special forms, the number being equivalent to one parliamentary seat in the Folketing. Each completed form had to be certified with the civil registry offices of municipalities before being collectively handed in to the Ministry of the Interior. In the event of an election being called before the Liberal Alliance had finished its nomination process, the minor party Centre Democrats offered to let the Liberal Alliance put forward candidates on their lists.[15] The Liberal Alliance did not take any stand on this offer, however.

On one occasion, on 12 May 2007 in Horsens, the three leading figures of the party managed to collect over 2,000 signatures in one day.[16] On 21 May the party reported they were half-way, having gathered in 10,000 signatures.[17]

The party finally completed its nomination process on 29 June by being accepted on the Ministry of the Interior's list of parties able to stand for elections to the Folketing after handing in the 21,516 required signatures.[18] Immediately after its creation, Liberal Alliance had a surge of members. 24 hours after the announcement of the party, more than 12,000 had registered on the party website. Three days later 16,000 had registered and 8,000 of these had paid the membership fee.[19]

On 30 August 2007, the party presented a policy programme.[20] Some of the points in this programme included: Longer mandatory school attendance, with free food and homework aid; a European Marshall Plan to the Middle East; increasing foreign aid to 1% of GDP; increased focus on prevention in public health, with lower prices on healthy foods; and an exhaustive reform related to immigration and asylum politics.[21]

In the 2007 general election held on 13 November 2007, the party won 2.8% of the vote, winning 5 of 179 seats in the Danish Parliament.

On 29 January 2008, founding member Gitte Seeberg left the party in protest against the party's status as a right-wing party, which conflicted with her own desire to form a centrist party while rejecting the influence of the Danish People's Party.[22] A week later, on 5 February 2008, another of the party's members of parliament, Malou Aamund, left the party and joined the governing Liberal Party.[23] On 24 June 2008 Jørgen Poulsen was excluded from the Liberal Alliance's parliamentary group, though not from the party itself.[24]

Under the new leadership of Anders Samuelsen, the party position moved towards the right, espousing economic liberalism and libertarian policies,[4] with the party changing its name to the Liberal Alliance on 27 August 2008.[25]

On 1 September 2008, the party regained a third mandate in the parliament, as Gitte Seeberg was appointed secretary general of the Danish branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Her mandate was given to former deputy mayor of Slagelse, Villum Christensen.[26] On 5 January 2009, founding member and party leader Naser Khader left the party, citing that he did not believe in it any longer.[27] At the time, Anders Samuelsen was scheduled to take over leadership of the party later that month. The same day, Villum Christensen expressed doubt on his future in the party.[28]

In the 2009 European election, the party won 0.59% of the vote, leaving the party without representation in the European parliament.

At the 2011 general election on 15 September 2011, the party won 5.0% of the vote, and 9 seats.

When Malou Aamund resigned from the Folketing in June 2011, she was replaced by Professor Niels Høiby, who took his seat with the Liberal Alliance, taking their contingent in four.

In the 2014 European election, the Liberal Alliance received 2.9% of the vote, again failing to return any MEPs.[29]

In the 2015 general election held on 18 June 2015, the party won 7.5% of the vote, and 13 seats in the Folketing. In its most successful constituency, Gentofte Municipality, a well-off suburb of Copenhagen, it even scored 17.5%, while on Bornholm its share of votes was only 4%. Initially, the party did not participate in Lars Løkke Rasmussen's Venstre minority cabinet but lent its parliamentary support to the government. In late-November 2016 however, it joined a three-party centre-right coalition government alongside Venstre and the Conservative People's Party, Løkke Rasmussen's third cabinet. Party leader Anders Samuelsen was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, while Simon Emil Ammitzbøll-Bille took the post of Minister of the Economy and Interior. Additional cabinet members of Liberal Alliance were Merete Riisager (Minister of Education), Mette Bock (Minister of Culture), Ole Birk Olesen (Minister of Transport) and Thyra Frank (Minister for Elder Affairs).[30]

At the 2019 general election the party won 2.3% of the vote, losing 9 of its 13 seats in the Folketing.[31] At the same time party leader Anders Samuelsen failed to get reelected,[32] resulting in his resignation. On 9 June 2019 Alex Vanopslagh became new leader of Liberal Alliance.[33]

 
Anders Samuelsen succeeded Naser Khader as party leader in January 2009.

IdeologyEdit

The original New Alliance considered itself a centrist party, "taking the best values of social liberalism and social conservatism".[34] By using these two terms, the New Alliance positioned itself equidistant between the former parties of the three founding members. Social liberalism is the official ideology of the Social Liberal Party whereas social conservatism is a term sometimes invoked by members of the Conservative People's Party who stress the support of the welfare society, such as Liberal Alliance co-founder Gitte Seeberg.

In the earliest days of the party's existence, the party was accused of populism or personalism, still lacking stances on many topics and based on the popularity of Naser Khader.[35]

After Gitte Seeberg left the party, the "social conservatism" part was dropped, and the party name was changed to Liberal Alliance. However, there were still considerable ideological differences among the two remaining founders, and it was not until Naser Khader was replaced by Anders Samuelsen that the party took on a more classical liberal identity.[7]

The party has proposed extensive economic liberal reforms, including a tax reform replacing progressive income tax with a flat-rate income tax of 40%, halving rates of corporation tax, instigating user charges for public healthcare, abolishing early retirement schemes and reassessing everyone receiving disability benefits.[36]

In 2011, the party opposed the government's entry of Denmark into the Euro Plus Pact. On the matter of EU membership, the party supports a reinvented European Union based on free trade while its youth wing promotes an exit (Though remaining in the single market).[37]

The Liberal Alliance is the only party in Denmark that supports nuclear power.[38] In 2009, the party voted against subsidies for environmentalist renovations without significant tax cuts.[39]

In 2011, the Red-Green Alliance and the Liberal Alliance were the only parties whose MPs supported equalising MPs' age of retirement with the rest of the country.[40]

The Liberal Alliance has supported the rights of same-sex couples to marry and adopt,[41] helping to pass both into law. The party opposed the reintroduction of border controls in 2011, and supported the dismantling of them later in that year.[42] It supports ending the ban on foreigners owning holiday homes in Denmark.[43]

On 30 August 2011, and with 5.0% voter support, Simon Emil Ammitzbøll told on air to Danish Radio, that a vote for the Liberal Alliance is a vote for free hashish.[44] Voter support increased to 7.5% following the statement.

In parliament, the party supported the reduction of vehicle registration fees.[45]

OrganisationEdit

FundingEdit

The party received donations from the investment bank Saxo Bank (500,000 Danish kroner) and the businessman Lars Kolind (100,000 kroner).[citation needed] As of 22 May 2007, the party had seven paid employees and a number of volunteers. The party announced it would not hire additional employees until it had more funds.[46]

Liberal Alliance YouthEdit

On 23 February 2008, a youth wing to the party was formed by 21 people under the name of Young Alliance (Danish: Ung Alliance).[47] When the party changed its name to the Liberal Alliance, the youth branch followed suit changing its name to the Liberal Alliance Youth.

European parliament affiliationsEdit

At its formation, two MEPs joined the party. With the defection of MEPs Gitte Seeberg and Anders Samuelsen, the Conservatives and the Social Liberal Party were effectively left without representation in the European Parliament. The two MEPs did, however, stay in their parliamentary groups (EPP-ED and ALDE respectively). Both resigned from the European Parliament after being elected to the Danish Parliament in November 2007. The Liberal Alliance announced that it would join the ALDE group after future European elections.[48] However, the party failed to achieve representation in the European Parliament in both the 2009 and 2014 European Parliament elections.

LeadersEdit

The party has had these leaders since its foundation:

No. Leader Took office Left office Time in office Ref
1Khader, NaserNaser Khader
(born 1963)
7 May 20075 January 20091 year, 243 days[49]
2Samuelsen, AndersAnders Samuelsen
(born 1967)
5 January 20096 June 201910 years, 152 days[50]
3Vanopslagh, AlexAlex Vanopslagh
(born 1991)
9 June 2019Incumbent182 days[51]

List of government participationEdit

  • 2016–2019 with Venstre and the Conservative People's Party

Election resultsEdit

Parliament (Folketing)Edit

Date Votes Seats Government
# % ± pp # ±
2007 97,295 2.8% +2.8
5 / 179
New in opposition
2011 176,585 5.0% +2.2
9 / 179
  4 in opposition
2015 265,129 7.5% +2.5
13 / 179
  4 providing parliamentary support
2019 82,228 2.3% -5.2%
4 / 179
  9 in opposition

Elected representativesEdit

ParliamentEdit

Since its formation, the party has had nineteen MPs. Its three current MPs are given in bold.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Nordsieck, Wolfram (2019). "Denmark". Parties and Elections in Europe.
  2. ^ a b c Wayne C. Thompson (2013). Nordic, Central, and Southeastern Europe 2013. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 73. ISBN 978-1-4758-0489-8.
  3. ^ a b Hans Slomp (2011). Europe, a Political Profile: An American Companion to European Politics. ABC-CLIO. p. 415. ISBN 978-0-313-39181-1. Retrieved 2013-07-27.
  4. ^ a b c d e Åsa Bengtsson; Kasper Hansen; Ólafur Þ Harõarson; Hanne Marthe Narud; Henrik Oscarsson (2013). The Nordic Voter: Myths of Exceptionalism. ECPR Press. p. 205. ISBN 978-1-907301-50-6.
  5. ^ a b c Erik Aloek; Christoffer Green-Pedersen; Lars Thorup Larsen (2012). "Morality Issues in Denmark: Policies Without Politics". In Isabelle Engeli; Christoffer Green-Pedersen; Lars Thorup Larsen (eds.). Morality Politics in Western Europe: Parties, Agendas and Policy Choices. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 152. ISBN 9780230309333.
  6. ^ a b c John L. Campbell; Ove K. Pedersen (2014). The National Origins of Policy Ideas: Knowledge Regimes in the United States, France, Germany, and Denmark. Princeton University Press. p. 176. ISBN 978-1-4008-5036-5.
  7. ^ a b Karina Kosiara-Pedersen; Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard (2019). "Change and stability in the Danish party system". In Marco Lisi (ed.). Party System Change, the European Crisis and the State of Democracy. Taylor & Francis. p. 80. ISBN 978-1-351-37764-5.
  8. ^ Michael Booth (2014). The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia. Random House. p. 78. ISBN 978-1-4481-9228-1.
  9. ^ "AKVA3: Valg til regions råd efter område, parti og stemmer/kandidater/køn". Statistics Denmark. Retrieved 2010-06-13.
  10. ^ "VALGK3: Valg til kommunale råd efter område, parti og stemmer/kandidater/køn". Statistics Denmark. Retrieved 2010-06-13.
  11. ^ Nina Liljeqvist, Kristian Voss (30 May 2014). "Finland and Denmark: Unprecedented win for the far-right in Denmark, while Finland rewards established parties from the centre". CISE.
  12. ^ Foundation Schuman (2012). Schuman Report on Europe: State of the Union 2012. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 121. ISBN 978-2-8178-0319-7.
  13. ^ Carina Bischoff; Marlene Wind (2016). "Denmark". In Donatella M. Viola (ed.). Routledge Handbook of European Elections. Routledge. p. 272. ISBN 978-1-317-50363-7.
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  15. ^ "CD tilbyder at hjælpe Ny Alliance med underskrifter" (in Danish). Danmarks Radio. 2007-05-11. Retrieved 2007-05-25.
  16. ^ "Ny Alliance samlede 2.000 underskrifter" (in Danish). Danmarks Radio. 2007-05-12. Retrieved 2007-05-25.
  17. ^ Gottlieb, Mikkel (2007-05-21). "Ny Alliance halvvejs i mål" (in Danish). Berlingske Tidende. Retrieved 2007-05-25.
  18. ^ "Ny Alliance godkendt og vælger bogstav Y" (in Danish). B.T. 2007-06-21. Retrieved 2007-09-27.
  19. ^ Wind-Friis, Lea (2007-05-10). "Medlemmer gider godt betale til Ny Alliance" (in Danish). Politiken. Retrieved 2007-05-13.
  20. ^ "Ekspert: Khader var overbevisende" (in Danish). TV2. 2007-08-30. Archived from the original on 2008-01-13. Retrieved 2007-08-31.
  21. ^ "Det støtter Ny Alliance" (in Danish). TV2. 2007-08-30. Archived from the original on 2008-01-13. Retrieved 2007-08-31.
  22. ^ "Gitte Seeberg forlader Ny Alliance" (in Danish). Politiken. 2008-01-29. Archived from the original on 2008-02-01. Retrieved 2008-01-29.
  23. ^ "Malou Aamund forlader Ny Alliance" (in Danish). Politiken. 2008-02-05. Archived from the original on 2008-02-08. Retrieved 2008-02-05.
  24. ^ "NA smider Jørgen Poulsen ud af gruppen" (in Danish). Politiken. 2008-06-24. Archived from the original on 2008-06-27. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
  25. ^ "Nu dropper Ny Alliance også navnet" (in Danish). Politiken. 2008-08-28. Archived from the original on 2008-09-03. Retrieved 2008-08-28.
  26. ^ "Seeberg giver Ny Alliance et mandat tilbage" (in Danish). BT. 2008-07-08. Retrieved 2008-07-08.
  27. ^ "Khader forlader Liberal Alliance - TV 2". nyhederne.tv2.dk. Retrieved 2016-11-25.
  28. ^ "Villum C. åbner døren for LA-exit - TV 2". nyhederne.tv2.dk. Retrieved 2016-11-25.
  29. ^ "Resultater - Hele landet - Europa-Parlamentsvalg søndag 25. maj 2014 – Danmarks Statistik". dst.dk. Retrieved 2016-11-25.
  30. ^ "Here is Denmark's new coalition government". The Local. 28 November 2016.
  31. ^ "KMDValg". kmdvalg.dk. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
  32. ^ "Se valgte politikere til Folketinget og deres personlige stemmer | DR". www.dr.dk (in Danish). Retrieved 2019-06-13.
  33. ^ Ingvorsen, Emil Søndergård (9 June 2019). "Alex Vanopslagh bliver Liberal Alliances nye politiske leder" (in Danish). DR. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  34. ^ Worm, Nikolaj (2007-05-07). "Ny Alliance drager på landsturné" (in Danish). Jyllands-Posten. Retrieved 2011-08-26.
  35. ^ "Økonom: Populistisk skatteforslag fra Ny Alliance" (in Danish). Fyens Stiftstidende. 2007-05-09. Retrieved 2007-05-13.
  36. ^ "Against the grain", The Copenhagen Post, March 25, 2012
  37. ^ "Political majority agree to euro pact". The Copenhagen Post. 24 March 2011. Archived from the original on 26 March 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-18.
  38. ^ "Fukushima spurs nuclear opposition". The Copenhagen Post. 29 April 2011. Archived from the original on 10 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-18.
  39. ^ "Liberal Alliance blocks 'green' renovation package". The Copenhagen Post. 17 March 2010. Retrieved 2011-05-18.
  40. ^ "MPs do about face on luxury pension plan". The Copenhagen Post. 11 May 2011. Archived from the original on 1 December 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-18.
  41. ^ "Church minister to consider gay partnerships". The Copenhagen Post. 9 March 2010. Retrieved 2011-05-18.
  42. ^ "Border controls pass, despite objections". The Copenhagen Post. 4 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-18.
  43. ^ "Poll results: do away with summerhouse 'double standard'". The Copenhagen Post. 1 August 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-18.
  44. ^ "Liberal Alliance: Ja til fri hash". Retrieved 2017-01-20.
  45. ^ "Registreringsafgiften på biler sænkes igen i finansloven" (in Danish). Retrieved 2017-01-20.
  46. ^ Mortensen, Hanne Gaard (2007-05-22). "Ny Alliance i ansættelsesstop" (in Danish). dk-arbejdsmarked.dk. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-05-25.
  47. ^ "21 unge stifter Ung Alliance" (in Danish). Politiken. 2008-02-23. Archived from the original on 2008-02-26. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
  48. ^ Lund, Kenneth (2007-05-07). "Ny Alliance udraderer R og K i EU-parlamentet" (in Danish). Politiken. Archived from the original on 2007-05-09. Retrieved 2007-05-13.
  49. ^ Larsen, Erling Tind (5 January 2009). "Naser Khader forlader Liberal Alliance". Ekstra Bladet (in Danish). Retrieved 5 January 2009.
  50. ^ Miles, James Kristoffer (6 June 2019). "Samuelsen trækker sig". Ekstra Bladet (in Danish). Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  51. ^ "Nyudnævnt LA-leder: Nu starter vi et nyt kapitel". Berlingske (in Danish). 9 June 2019. Retrieved 9 June 2019.

External linksEdit