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Democratic challenges in Denmark and Europe



Democratic challenges in Denmark and Europe

European democracy may go back to the Roman Empire. Still, countries such as England (Glorious Revolution) and France (French Revolution) also played a major role in forming European democracy.

The word “democracy” comes from the Greek and means “a political form of government by the people.” Direct democracy is when people directly vote on a decision.

Direct democracy is sometimes used in European countries and existed in Russia before Putin took power.

Representative Democracy

In a democracy, citizens exercise their political influence by electing representatives to political assemblies with the authority to make decisions on behalf of the citizens. Denmark is governed according to the representative form of democracy. The disadvantage is that people cannot directly govern the country, but indirect government occurs indirectly. In the end, of course, it is not the people who decide but the representatives. Under the current Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen (2019- ), several decisions were taken with her party (social democrats) and the supporting parties, where opposition parties were left out of influence.

Democracy exists, of course, as long as freedom of expression exists, but freedom of expression itself is limited in democratic states. The blockade and censorship can clearly confirm this on social media, but also in what is printed in newspapers and how much people are allowed to say. Danish democracy is a copy of the Belgian and Norwegian systems; the Danish Parliament, the government, and the courts. It is the parliament and the head of state that legislate, but it is the courts that execute the legislation. The problem is that when the majority and the head of state legislate, the courts execute the legislation that has been adopted. Therefore, several immigrants and refugees were expelled from Denmark, and Muslims were excluded from society. Ukrainians received special treatment compared to other refugees. The system let down many sick Danes, Denmark participated in several wars in the name of democracy, and the police were given extra powers. Germans fared better about state racism compared to Danes, but clearly, Germany and the French had their challenges.

Certainly, Palestinians also received special treatment in the old days. It was because the racist party, the Danish People’s Party, was without influence. I did not deny the racism of the social democrats when they suggested that refugees could be housed on an island in 2000 (Karen Jespersen). The racist party, the Danish People’s Party, was kept outside the community until the primary minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt (2011–2015), came to power. She got the Danish People’s Party into the community. It was not democratic to keep the Danish People’s Party out of the community, but the problem is that racism is not an attitude and should not exist together with fascism and Nazism. Incitement to hatred and violence must be prohibited. Since more austerity was accepted by parliament and the social democrats adopted racism. Almost all parties have accepted racism and only a few fight against it. The main problem is that the violation of human rights is unacceptable, and even in the Danish constitution, it is stated that human freedom is inviolable.

I certainly remember when the Germans, Spiegel, compared Danes to Nazis in their newspaper. Of course, a democratic form of government does not guarantee a better life for everyone in society. Europe has had many dictators, from Adolf Hitler(1933–1945) to the Spanish Francisco Franco Bahamonde (1939–1975). Like many other countries, even though Denmark had a democracy, it was indirectly ruled by dictatorial kings. . Since the French Revolution in 1789, Europe had been characterized by democratic and national political currents, and Denmark was no exception. The social and political demands led the King to appoint the so-called Ministry of March in 1848. It was, of course, not because the King was interested in people having influence, but because he was afraid of a revolution. The same applied to the Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamid, who in 1876 allowed the country’s first constitution as a form of democracy. It was not because the Sultan was interested in reforms but because he saw them as necessary to keep the throne. Everyone couldn’t vote at the beginning when democracy came into being in Denmark. Only men over 30 were allowed to vote, and the poor and idiots were excluded from society. Women were, of course, equal to criminals and fools who could not vote. Unfortunately, this legislation existed in several Middle Eastern countries as well. I can mention Iran, where women first got the right to vote under Mohammed Reza Pahlavi (1941-1979). The poor sold their votes; therefore, democracy did not fully exist. In Denmark, women were given the right to vote in 1908, but it was not until 1915 that they could run for the Parliamentary elections. Unfortunately, women are still fighting today for equality regarding pay and equality in the labor market. Unfortunately, Denmark has gone the opposite way as the focus has become less. France still lags far behind its patriarchal culture. Sweden did best with its socialist culture, which was opposed to Denmark’s individualism and conservatism. Until 1901, the King could directly appoint a government that did not have a majority behind it. Therefore, many Danes regard Christian IX of Denmark as a dictator. Denmark’s constitution has changed a lot since 1849. In the past, the King was not part of the Council of State together with the ministers. Today, the King, together with the Prime Minister and the ministers, is part of the Council of State. The King can also propose a law to the Parliament. The chairman of the parties writes down on a piece of paper which they point to as prime minister and sends their votes to the King, where the King then proclaims the prime minister. After the 1970s, globalism took over more of the world community, and nationalism became more vulnerable. This helped populism take over more in Europe when they found out that nationalism was a sore point. It pushed Europe towards a guided democracy. Countries such as Denmark have also made it more difficult for foreigners to buy property and land. A similar reaction took place in the Middle East as Western culture in its time became more dominant in Middle Eastern countries. The Middle East closed more, and hostility towards the West increased. Populism and extremism managed to take over power. Unfortunately, democracy died after the many coups d’etat Americans and Communists made in the Middle East. Democracy was already under challenge as some reactionary imams and religion had influenced society. Many extremists believe that Europe has imitated Islamic values. Why should our kings and statesmen imitate them? We fight neocolonialism. The well-known Islamic scholar Jamal al-Din al-Afghani (1838–1897) believed that democracy is taken from Islamic Shura ( الشوری ).

Shura was a democratic form of decision-making. A group was together to decide on a matter. Many countries in the Islamic world still use shura, and shura is part of their forms of government. Unfortunately, most people, especially minorities, are not involved in decisions. If a country wants to strengthen democracy, more associations and meeting places must be established.

Democracy is, of course, not about acceptance but tolerance. I don’t like you, but I will endure the pain. Unfortunately, not only Danes have become more intolerant, but also Germans and others. It’s not just about Muslims, Russians, or other people you don’t like. The war in Ukraine is yet another war that deals with nationalism, the struggle for resources, and globalism.

The Cyrus Cylinder is the background for human rights. In 539 B.C., the armies of Cyrus the Great, the first king of ancient Persia, conquered the city of Babylon. But it was his next actions that marked a major advance for mankind. He freed the slaves, declared that all people had the right to choose their own religion, and established racial equality.

The act itself was perhaps political, like Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821), who conquered Egypt for peace and liberation. But what came out of the action was a form of democracy. In contrast to this, the British treatment of blacks and slavery was very undemocratic. Although blacks were in the majority, they were the minority who had to be treated humanely.

In order to limit Greenland’s population and keep the country under control, Denmark used inhumane methods such as sterilization of women, just as the French in the old days raped women in Algeria and cracked down heavily on freedom fighters. Many African countries still use French currency today, which supports poverty and the colonization of Africa. I will not go further on arms sales and other inhuman acts in Africa and the Middle East.

During the Islamic expansion, many civilizations were destroyed. Fortunately, people had the opportunity to pay high taxes to Muslims and practice their own religion and traditions. Although the method was inhumane, it was still a form of democracy. Unfortunately, not all Muslim rulers were good at tolerance, and they ordered looting and massacres. The Romans were also not good at accepting Christian minorities and dumped democracy.

Of course, in Denmark, there is freedom of religion, but religious equality does not exist, and unlike in the USA, Christianity (Evangelical Lutheran) is supported by the state.

You would think the men had learned to live together after the Battle of Kadesh (1274 BC), which resulted in the first documented peace treaty battle in all of ancient history(Egyptian–Hittite peace treaty). Throughout history, man has fought for freedom and democracy, but unfortunately, we failed every time because of selfishness and intolerance.