The Alternative (Denmark)

The Alternative (Danish: Alternativet) is a green political party in Denmark.[1] The party was publicly launched on 27 November 2013 by former Minister of Culture Uffe Elbæk and Josephine Fock; Elbæk had been a parliamentarian for the Social Liberal Party.[9][10] Elbæk was the leader of the party until February 2020, where he stepped down and was succeeded by Josephine Fock. It collaborates with DiEM25 at the European level.

The Alternative
Alternativet
LeaderFranciska Rosenkilde
Founded27 November 2013
Split fromDanish Social Liberal Party
IdeologyGreen politics[1]
Progressivism
Pro-Europeanism[2]
Political positionCentre-left[3] to left-wing[4]
European affiliationDiEM25[5]
European Spring[6]
Nordic affiliationNordic Green Left Alliance
Colours  Neon green[7]
Folketing
1 / 179
European Parliament
0 / 14
Regional councils
0 / 205
Municipal councils[8]
5 / 2,436
Election symbol
Å
Website

HistoryEdit

 
Top candidates Rune Wingård (right) and Uffe Elbæk (left) gathering signatures in Copenhagen, 19 September 2014.

FoundingEdit

The Alternative was launched on 27 November 2013 by Uffe Elbæk and Josephine Fock, at a press conference at Christiansborg, the seat of the Folketing, the Danish parliament.[11] Other founders include Niko Grüfeld,[12] Torsten Gejl,[11] and Rasmus Nordqvist.[13] The Alternative supported Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the incumbent prime minister from the Social Democrats, but considered itself both left- and right-wing.[11] The party emphasized the wish for a new political culture, serious climate change mitigation, and entrepreneurship. It did not have a full political agenda, but would instead develop it in "political laboratories" in cooperation with the Danish people.[11] The new party had been planned for two months;[14] Elbæk left the Social Liberal Party on 17 September 2013.[15]

The party's name was approved by the Danish Electoral Commission under the Ministry of Economy and the Interior, taking effect on 18 December 2013.[16] At the beginning of 2015 the party worked on gathering the 20,260 signatures required to run for Parliament, which it succeeded in doing on 23 February 2015.[17] The party aims to crowdsource policies through what it calls "political laboratories".[18]

The party obtained ballot access for the 2015 general election with the letter Å on the electoral lists on 13 March 2015.[19]

2015 electionEdit

In the general election on 18 June 2015, The Alternative received 4.8% of the vote, electing nine MPs and making it the sixth-largest party in the Folketing.[20] In a famous interview on election night, Elbæk tried to speak, but instead ended up saying "Jamenahrmendedevadvadee … man, this is crazy!"[12][21]

The party supported the re-election of Social Democrat leader Helle Thorning-Schmidt as Prime Minister.[22] The party was part of the opposition to the third government of Lars Løkke Rasmussen.

2019 electionEdit

In the 2019 general election, The Alternative decided to support their own leader, Uffe Elbæk, for Prime Minister rather than support the Social Democrat leader, as they had done in 2015, due to what they called insufficient ambition in plans to deal with climate change.[23] They party won a reduced five seats and went into opposition after Social Democrat leader Mette Frederiksen became Prime Minister.[24][25]

2020 leadership crisisEdit

In December 2019, Elbæk announced that he would stand down as political leader of The Alternative.[26] There were six candidates to succeed him, including Rasmus Nordqvist, Josephine Fock and Theresa Scavenius. Only Nordqvist was member of the Folketing, and all five members of the Folketing, including Elbæk, supported him.[27] On an extraordinary congress on 1 February 2020, Josephine Fock was elected as the new political leader.[28] Nordqvist subsequently resigned as political spokesperson, and was replaced by Torsten Gejl.[29]

Three weeks later, Information published an article where anonymous sources accused Fock of verbally abusing and in some cases physically shaking party members and employees while she was a member of the Folketing from 2015 to 2018, during which she was temporarily leader of the parliamentary group.[30] Fock said she did not recognize the descriptions of her, and categorically denied the accusations of shaking people, but said she was not "the best version of herself" in that period.[31][32] After a meeting with Fock, the central board said they had full confidence in her, while inviting the anonymous sources to contact the central board.[33]

Magnus Haslebo, a former press officer in the Folketing, and Fanny Broholm, leader of the party's group on the Copenhagen city council, publicly supported the accusations of aggressive behavior, with Haslebo saying he had also heard rumors about the shaking.[34][35] On 28 February, Niko Grünfeld, co-founder and former mayor in Copenhagen, left the party, saying that "the party's soul has been eaten away from within".[36] After Elbæk said he would tell the central board what he knew, the central board said their support for Fock were only provisional, with more talks to be held.[37] On 7 March, a slim majority in the central board gave Fock their support, with ten voting for and seven against.[38] Following the decision, the party's local branch in Elbæk's constituency demanded that he publicly express full support of Fock, or they would withdraw their support of Elbæk.[39]

On 9 March, Uffe Elbæk left the party, saying he "no longer recognized" the party he founded. He was followed by three other member of the Folketing: Rasmus Nordqvist, Susanne Zimmer, and Sikandar Siddique.[40] The fifth and last member of the Folketing, Torsten Gejl, decided to stay after some days of thought.[41] Nordqvist subsequently joined the Socialist People's Party.[42] Political analysts called the departures the death of The Alternative.[43][44][45][46][47] In her reactions, Fock said she was saddened by the departures, but that it was a "new beginning" for The Alternative.[48]

Elbæk, Siddique and Zimmer would later form a new political party, the Independent Greens, with Siddique as leader. On 14 November 2020, Fock stepped down as leader of The Alternative.[49] On 7 February 2021, the party announced that Mayor of Culture and Leisure in Copenhagen Franciska Rosenkilde as their new leader.[50]

Parliamentary representationEdit

2015Edit

The members of Parliament from 2015 and their spokesperson assignments:

  • Uffe Elbæk: Leader of the Alternative
  • Josephine Fock: Political group leader of the Alternative. Spokeswoman for finance and economy, employment policy, constitution and legal policy
  • Rasmus Nordqvist: Political Spokesman for the Alternative. Spokesman for Foreign Affairs, European Affairs, Entrepreneurship, Ethical Consumerism, Business, Trade, Art, and Culture
  • René Gade: Spokesman for Defense, Taxes, and Digital Constitutional Rights.
  • Torsten Gejl: Spokesman for Domestic Policy, Pattern Breaking and Social Affairs
  • Roger Matthisen: Spokesman for Cities and Residences, Rural Districts, Islands, the Faroe Islands, and Greenland
  • Ulla Sandbæk: Spokesman for Ecclesiastical Affairs, Naturalisation, Integration and Development
  • Carolina Magdalene Maier: Spokesman for Health, Psychiatry, Equal Rights, Youth, Family, Senior Citizens, Education, Research, Schools, and Youth Education Programs
  • Christian Poll: Spokesman for Environment, Climate, Energy, Agriculture, Animal Welfare, Fisheries, Food, and Transport

2019Edit

The following members were elected to the Folketing in 2019[51]

  • Uffe Elbæk (left the party in March 2020)
  • Torsten Gejl
  • Rasmus Nordqvist (left the party in March 2020)
  • Sikandar Siddique (left the party in March 2020)
  • Susanne Zimmer (left the party in March 2020)

Election resultsEdit

ParliamentEdit

Election Votes % Seats +/- Government
2015 168,788 4.8 (#6)
9 / 179
New Opposition
2019 104,148 3.0 (#8)
5 / 179
  4 Opposition

Local electionsEdit

Municipal elections
Year Seats
# ±
2017
20 / 2,432
New
2021
5 / 2,436
  15
 
Regional elections
Year Seats
# ±
2017
3 / 205
New
2021
0 / 205
  3
 
Mayors
Year Seats
No. ±
2017
1 / 98
New
2021
0 / 98
  1

European ParliamentEdit

Election Votes % Seats +/-
2019 92,964 3.4 (#9)
0 / 14
New

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Nordsieck, Wolfram (2019). "Denmark". Parties and Elections in Europe.
  2. ^ "Alternativet vil have profil som spidskandidat til EU-Parlamentet". Berlingske.dk. 16 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Denmark". Europe Elects. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  4. ^ Lange, Lasse (26 September 2016). "Her er det nye politiske kompas". Altinget (in Danish). Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  5. ^ The Alternative. "A progressive Europe". Retrieved 4 October 2018. At the same time, we want to extend our engagement at the European level, and actively take part in the all-European debate so that we can find common solutions to our shared European problems. Therefore, we keep on strengthening our cooperation with other progressive forces and initiatives, such as the new progressive movement DiEM25.
  6. ^ European Spring Webpage (retrieved on 17 October 2018)
  7. ^ "Visuelle guides og tips". Alternativets vidensdatabase. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  8. ^ Lind, Anton (29 June 2020). "Nyt slag for Alternativet: Mister eneste byrådsmedlem i Aarhus". DR (in Danish). Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  9. ^ Holm, Line (27 November 2013). "Uffe Elbæk stifter nyt parti". Berlingske. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  10. ^ "The Copenhagen Post - Danish News in English". cphpost.dk.
  11. ^ a b c d Hoyer, Sofie Buch (27 November 2013). "Elbæks parti ønsker politiske laboratorier og Thorning som statsminister". Politiken (in Danish). Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  12. ^ a b Ringberg, Jens. "Historien om Alternativet – Det grønne parti, der ville ændre kulturen på Christiansborg". DR (in Danish). Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  13. ^ Søe, Birgitte (10 March 2020). "Overblik: Disse profiler har forladt Alternativet midt i krisen". Altinget (in Danish). Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  14. ^ Maach, Maja Lærke (27 November 2013). "Uffe Elbæk om nyt parti: Vi er som de radikale. Bare mere rødt og iværksætter-agtigt". Politiken (in Danish). Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  15. ^ Juul, Laura (17 September 2013). "Uffe Elbæk bryder med De Radikale". DR (in Danish). Ritzau. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  16. ^ "Oversigt (i alfabetisk rækkefølge) over godkendte partinavne og formularer i henhold til folketingsvalglovens § 12, stk. 2" (PDF). Valgnævnet. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  17. ^ Søe, Carl-Emil (23 February 2015). "Alternativet har samlet støtte nok til et folketingsvalg". DR.dk Politik. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
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  22. ^ Redder, Gitte. "Vi er ikke naive. Det er naivt ikke at gøre det". Ugebrevet A4. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  23. ^ "Vil ikke støtte Mette Frederiksen: Uffe Elbæk vil selv være statsminister". Politiken (in Danish). 2018-06-26. Retrieved 2019-08-21.
  24. ^ "Resultater - Hele landet - Folketingsvalg onsdag 5. juni 2019 - Danmarks Statistik". www.dst.dk. Retrieved 2019-08-21.
  25. ^ Kildegaard, Kasper (2019-06-06). "På en varm dag i juni blev Danmark malet rødt: Nu venter benhårde forhandlinger". Berlingske.dk (in Danish). Retrieved 2019-08-21.
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  27. ^ Sommerand, Malthe; Oldager, Mathias (2 February 2020). "Kandidaterne til Alternativets lederpost vil ikke snakke om fløjkrig. Men så er der jo altid Uffe Elbæk". DR (in Danish). Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  28. ^ Westersø, Rikke Struck (1 February 2020). "Alternativet går til landsmøde - hvem bliver Uffe Elbæks arvtager?". TV 2 (in Danish). Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  29. ^ Sommerand, Malthe (4 February 2020). "Torsten Gejl er ny politisk ordfører i Alternativet". DR (in Danish). Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  30. ^ Bahn, Martin; Dahlin, Ulrik (22 February 2020). "Portræt af Josephine Fock fra Alternativet: »Hun slæber et spor af konflikter efter sig". Information (in Danish). Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  31. ^ Jørgensen, Lars Bach (22 February 2020). "Alternativets hovedbestyrelse indkalder Josephine Fock til møde". TV 2 (in Danish). Retrieved 9 March 2020.
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  34. ^ Tofte, Line Rønn (26 February 2020). "Tidligere pressechef står frem: Fock kan råbe, så man kan smage, hvad hun har fået til frokost". DR (in Danish). Retrieved 9 March 2020.
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  36. ^ Hvemon, Sofie (28 February 2020). "Niko Grünfeld forlader Alternativet". Altinget (in Danish). Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  37. ^ Mansø, Rikke Gjøl (28 February 2020). "Alternativets hovedbestyrelse afgør først Focks fremtid efter hemmelige samtaler". DR (in Danish). Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  38. ^ "Spinkelt flertal bakker op om Fock: Der er ikke fundet dokumentation for ruskeri". Politiken (in Danish). 7 March 2020. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
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  40. ^ Christensen, Maiken Brusgaard (9 March 2020). "Uffe Elbæk forlader Alternativet - nu har partiet kun ét folketingsmedlem tilbage". TV 2 (in Danish). Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  41. ^ Skærbæk, Morten (12 March 2020). "Jeg sidder med nøglen: Sidste alternativist i Folketinget har besluttet sig". Politiken (in Danish). Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  42. ^ "Rasmus Nordqvist melder sig ind i SF: 'Jeg har mere at byde på'". 12 May 2020.
  43. ^ Korsgaard, Kristine (9 March 2020). "Holstein: Det er den definitive begravelse af Alternativet". Altinget (in Danish). Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  44. ^ Mylenberg, Troels (9 March 2020). "Fra "craaaaazy" til "bummer" - Alternativet sejrede og begik selvmord". TV 2 (in Danish). Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  45. ^ Mogensen, Lars Trier (10 March 2020). "Alternativet er dødt og vil kun kortvarigt vakle videre som et livløst projekt". Information (in Danish). Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  46. ^ Gjertsen, Marchen Neel (9 March 2020). "Alternativet er reelt dødt nu". Jyllands-Posten (in Danish). Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  47. ^ Thomas Funding, Thomas Funding (9 March 2020). "Funding: Alternativet er afgået ved døden". JydskeVestkysten (in Danish). Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  48. ^ "Josephine Fock efter flugt fra partiet: Alternativet består". TV 2 (in Danish). Ritzau. 9 March 2020. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
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  50. ^ "Franciska Rosenkilde er ny politisk leder for Alternativet - TV 2". nyheder.tv2.dk (in Danish). 2021-02-07. Retrieved 2021-02-23.
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External linksEdit