Schiller Institute's Maglev Campaign
Sets Debate in Danish Elections
by Tom Gillesberg
|The Schiller Institute in Denmark’s campaign poster which says, “After the financial crash: Maglev across the Kattegat,” injected some much needed reality into what was otherwise an election that failed to address any major issues.|
Long after the November 13 election results in Denmark are forgotten, Danes will be talking about the campaign of the four candidates of the LaRouche-founded Schiller Institute, centered on their electoral slogan, "After the financial crash: Maglev across the Kattegat."
The government of Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen called elections on October 24, one day before the Schiller Institute was scheduled to testify before the political economic committee of the parliament on the global financial breakdown crisis, and Lyndon LaRouche's solution: the Homeowners and Bank Protection Act of 2007, and a New Bretton Woods monetary system. With the parliament dissolved, the testimony of the Schiller Institute was put on hold.
But, during the course of the short campaign, the Institute candidatesTom Gillesberg, Feride Istogu Gillesberg, Janus Kramer Moeller, and Hans Schultzwere able to take their message far beyond the walls of the parliament. Aided by activists of the LaRouche Youth Movement, they became the talk of Copenhagen and Aarhus, Denmark's second-largest city, gaining extensive newspaper and television coverage. Despite a small official vote total, the Schiller Institute is in a better position to press these policies on the Danish parliament than ever before.
The Election Results
With both the government and a weak opposition agreeing not to discuss any of the big issues confronting Denmark in the near future, the question was not so much if the incumbent Rasmussen government would be reelected, but whether it would be able to continue to rule with the sole support of the Danish Peoples Party, or become an unstable government, dependent on the new creation in Danish politics, the much-touted New Alliance Party.
The election resulted in the present Liberal-Conservative government being weakened but reconfirmed. Although the government parties lost six seats compared to the 2005 election, ending up with 64, they reached the magic number of 90 seats, with the support of the 25 seats of the Danish Peoples Party and a liberal member voted in on the Faroe Islands, giving them a majority in parliament. (The parliament has 179 seats in total, with 175 elected in Denmark, 2 from Greenland and 2 from the Faroe Islands. The 2 members from Greenland and 1 of the members from the Faroe Islands are expected to vote with the opposition).
The new, fake creation in Danish politics, the New Alliance Party, founded in May by elite financial circles adhering to Ayn Rand's ideology, to push globalization, a flat tax, and labor immigration, did not get the decisive role that its creators had hoped for. When the party was launched through a huge media campaign, opinion polls gave them 20 seats, and they were called the new decisive factor in Danish politics. At that time, the Schiller Institute published the first exposé of the party (see "Shultz and Co. Launch Danish Political Party," EIR, June 8, 2007), and their support has continued to dwindle since. By the time the three-week election campaign ended (where they pledged to support the continuation of present prime minister, but wished to gain decisive influence), they only got 2.8% of the vote, which amounts to only five seats.
Within the present opposition, the Social Democratic Party continued its fall, with 25.5% of the votes and 45 members (two fewer than the last election), with the left-wing Socialist Peoples Party being the big winner, going from 11 seats to 23. The Social Liberal Party collapsed from 9.2% to 5.1%, going from 17 to 9 seats, and the ultra-left Unity List barely made it into the parliament with 2.2% of the vote, going from 6 to 4 seats. The opposition in total has an unchanged 81 seats (plus the three North Atlantic votes).
With these results, it is expected that the government, which formerly made controversial political decisions, like sending Danish troops to war in Iraq in 2003, with a very thin support in parliament, will try to make broad agreements including the opposition parties. It has already pledged that a decision like that in 2003 won't happen again. Its continued reliance on the Danish Peoples Party though, will make it difficult to introduce the big tax cuts and the dismantling of the Danish welfare state wished for by the leading financial circles, but also means keeping the present vicious Danish xenophobic policy of making life unbearable for refugees, in order to scare potential guests into going somewhere else.
Schiller Campaigns Are 'Talk of the Town'
Already over the last 15 months, the Schiller Institute had gained much fame and ignited intense discussions by issuing a series of three 12-page campaign newspapers in runs of 50,000 each (1% of the Danish population) with translations of LaRouche's major writings, statements by Institute chairman Gillesberg, warnings about the impending systemic financial crisis, discussion of the New Bretton Woods, an infrastructure program for Denmark with a maglev network connected to the Eurasian Land-Bridge, exposés of the flawed 68er culture and the environmental swindle, the above-mentioned fraud of the New Alliance Party, and much more.
One month before the election was called, the Schiller Institute published 60,000 copies of a special pre-election issue with campaign articles and presentations of the four candidates, qualifying signatures were gathered, and election posters printed with the slogan, "After the financial crash: Maglev across the Kattegat," illustrating the theme with a picture of the very successful Greater Belt Bridge and a German-designed maglev train. On the day the election was announced, signatures were filed for the candidacies of Tom Gillesberg in Copenhagen, Feride Istogu Gillesberg in the Copenhagen suburbs, Janus Kramer Moeller in east Jutland, and Hans Schultz in north Jutland, covering four of the ten Danish election districts.
In just two days, posters went up in Copenhagen (a little later, in Aarhus and Aalborg) which quickly became the "talk of the town," generating press interest. At the same time, the candidates began street campaigning with a LaRouche Youth Movement chorus, wearing maglev hats, singing beautiful but hilarious canons and songs about the need for maglev trains, and the small-mindedness of the general political discussion. That led to coverage on the regional television stations of TV2, both in eastern and northern Jutland, and coverage of Gillesberg on the TV2 national evening news (all coverage can be seen at www.sive.dk).
The biggest Danish paper, Jyllands-Posten, covered Janus Kramer Moeller in its Aarhus section, and Gillesberg in their national edition, under the title, "Campaigning on financial crash and maglev train."
The nine parties running in the elections with lots of candidates, had nothing on their posters but a face, a name, and a party letter. For that reason, the Schiller Institute poster stood out, and was deemed the best campaign poster by the culture critics of the newspaper Politiken, complete with a half-page picture of Gillesberg's poster, and a summary of his main campaign issues.
The Schiller Institute candidates were not invited to participate in election debates or given TV or radio time equivalent to the other candidates, but still, their candidacies were widely discussed. People were excited about the perspective of uniting Denmark with a maglev system, but kept asking, "Why do you say, 'After the financial crash'? The media is saying the economy is doing great, what are you talking about?"
That also led to prominent press coverage, ranging from just reporting on the slogan "After the financial crash..." to an in-depth interview on the subject with Gillesberg in the major Copenhagen daily Berlingske Tidende on election day, where he was also awarded the title of best visionary candidate. On November 5, Berlingske Tidende had also printed an article by its Brussels correspondent, Ole Bang Nielsen, which explicitly called for a government conference to establish a new monetary system to replace the old Bretton Woods agreement, as a result of the crisis created by the expected continued fall of the dollar.
The four members from the Danish Schiller Institute who ran as independent candidates against the nine official parties, received only about 0.02% of the vote. But, as a result of the campaign, it is in a position of greater influence than ever before. It is expected that the Schiller Institute's parliamentary testimony will be rescheduled, and at the same time, a new Schiller Institute campaign newspaper will be hitting the streets and political institutions.