Denmark’s Youngest Prime Minister: Mette Frederiksen
The modern world of politics has been deteriorating since the last Century. However, in the recent times it has reached its lowest point. Political leaders in tandem with nation’s large corporation are suppressing their own citizen to satisfy their greed and power trip. Greed and power have corrupted the rulers to turn them into evil rulers from time immemorial. In the recent times, many prominent leaders of various nations have not only fallen from grace and power, but also are behind the bars for their evil deeds and corruption.
Success never lasts forever! There is always someone new, who comes along to overthrow the regime in the field of politics. History always seems to repeat itself. Denmark’s 25th Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen also lost in the 2019 General Election, because of his various corruption scandals. Denmark's center-left Socialist Democratic Party leader Mette Frederiksen won a majority of 93 out of the 179 seats to form the new minority government.
The 41-year-young Mette Frederiksen created history to become the youngest Prime Minister of Denmark. Queen Margrethe II commissioned Mette Frederiksen to form the new minority government. She assumed the office as the 26th Prime Minister of Denmark on the 27th of June 2019. Mette Frederiksen expressed her pleasure and joy for her party’s win to form the new government. She received the backing from the Socialist People’s Party, Red-Green Alliance and the Social-Liberal Party.
2019 General Election:
Under the remarkable leadership of Mette Frederiksen, the Socialist Democratic Party adopted an intransigent approach on immigration for the election campaign to win the 2019 General Election with 93 seats. The win makes Denmark the third Nordic country to form a leftist government. Earlier this year, Social Democratic parties formed governments in Sweden and Finland. Socialism is gradually making its comeback, because Capitalism has created a chaos all over the world.
Socialist Democratic Party was aggressive in lending support to anti-immigrant laws in Europe, which was put forward by the previous centre-right government. Immigration and the Welfare State became the key issues for the 2019 General Election. ‘Climate Change’ was also the biggest concern of the Danish voters. Mette Frederiksen capitalized on these major issues to win majority in the election.
During the election, Mette Frederiksen promised the voters that her party would boost welfare spending and tackle the need of the hour climate issues head on. The resurgence of Frederiksen’s party, who fought the election on socio-economic issues, achieved success with Danish voters wanting welfare and well-being. Denmark has been facing immigration crisis in recent times. Frederiksen supported the previous government by shifting towards the right on immigration. This solid approach also helped her win the election.
It was interesting to see Mette Frederiksen’s leadership taking down Lars Lokke Rasmussen. In her party’s victorious achievement to create history in Denmark’s politics, Mette Frederiksen thanked the voters, “"Dear young people, you made this election the first climate election in Denmark's history. This election was also about welfare and the answer from Danes has been completely clear-cut. From tonight, we will put welfare first.” The crowd cheered her with thunderous applause in joy and happiness.
Denmark has been ruled by the right-wing parties for the last 14 of the last 18 years. It was indeed a decisive win for the Socialist Democratic Party over the Danish People’s Party, because the right-wingers lost half of their seats in their largest defeat ever. Frederiksen realized that ‘Climate Change’ is the most serious issue, which needs to be tackled before it is too late. Welfare of the citizen has become a contentious issue all over the globe in a very significant manner.
The youngest Prime Minister of Denmark assured the voters that her government will boost public spending and cut greenhouse emissions by 70% before the beginning of the year 2030. Frederiksen’s leadership inspired the immigrants to come forward and turnout in large numbers to vote for them. This has been a new shift in the 2019 General Election in Denmark’s history. An amazing 85% of immigrants voted this year as compared to the low turnout of just 66% in the 2015 General Election.
The 2019 General Election saw an historic swing of the minorities, who realized it was their obligation and duty to vote to be heard in the political arena. The minorities are becoming a large factor of power in the Danish politics. Anti-Muslim extremism in Denmark has become severe since the past few years. Hardliners politicians are openly demanding deportations and ethnic cleansing of Muslims.
It will be really interesting to see how Mette Frederiksen will tackle the cooperation of the Socialist People’s Party and Social Liberal Party, who have supported her to form the new government. Both these parties increased their vote share by double on the ‘Climate Change’ issue. These left-wing parties are also looking for a new and different policy on immigration. Frederiksen’s Socialist Democratic Party did lose a group of liberal voters for supporting strict anti-immigration policy with the previous government. This will be her biggest challenge as the new Prime Minister.
Mette Frederiksen was born on the 19th of November 1977 in Aalborg, Denmark. Father Flemming Frederiksen worked as a typographer. Mother Anette Frederiksen happens to work as a teacher. Little Mette has been political ambitious right from her early childhood. Flemming Frederiksen recalled Little Mette used to be preoccupied with political matters at a tender age of 6. After all, she was the daughter of a Socialist Democratic activist.
It is indeed fascinating to know that in her early teens, Mette paid a membership fee to support the anti-apartheid ANC in South Africa. At the age of 15, she became a member of the Social Democrats' youth league. As the proud father, Flemming revealed, “I have never doubted that Mette, if she wanted to, could go all the way.”
Mette graduated from the upper secondary school Aalborghus Gymnasium. She graduated from Aalborg University with Administration and Social Science degree in the year 2000. Soon after her graduation, Mette joined the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions as a Youth Consultant for LO.
THE JOURNEY OF SUCCESS:
Mette Frederiksen was ambitious from her early childhood. Having worked as a Youth Consultant for the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions LO, she was elected as a Member of Parliament for Copenhagen County in the 2001 General Election held in November. Mette Frederiksen was appointed as Party’s Spokesperson for Culture, Media and Gender Equality. This was just the beginning of her political career.
In the year 2002, Mette Frederiksen was bestowed with the ‘Nina Bang Prize’ for showing political courage, enthusiasm and impact with social feeling. It is interesting to note that Nina Henriette Wendeline Bang née Ellinger was the first-ever Danish female Minister for Education in a recognized government way back in the year 1924. Nina Bang was a Danish Social Democratic politician and historian.
In the year 2003, Mette Frederiksen co-authored the book titled ‘Epostler’. A year later, she co-authored another book titled ‘From Fight to Culture’ in 2004. In the year 2005, Frederiksen became the Party’s Spokeperson for Social Affairs. Additionally, she was given the charge as the Vice-Chairperson of the Parliamentary group of the Socialist Democratic Party.
In the 2007 General Election, the Socialist Democratic Party lost two more seats. Frederiksen’s performance was commendable for obtaining the seventh highest votes of 27,077 among the ‘Top 10 Danish Politicians’ with the most votes. Her popularity in the country was rising.
In the 2011 General Election, the Socialist Democratic Party won the election to form the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt. Metter Frederiksen served as the Minister of Employment from 2011 to 2014. She was promoted to Minister of Justice in 2014 till Mette succeeded as the Party leader. With her soaring popularity, Frederiksen main journey began after the 2015 General Election.
Mette Frederiksen’s progressive approach was seen during her tenure as the Minister of Employment. Reforms such as early retirement pensions, flex jobs and the employment system became very popular with Danish people. Under Frederiksen’s leadership, the Socialist Democratic Party has moved back towards the ‘left’ on economics. The party became very skeptical of globalization, neo-liberalism and immigration.
Mette Frederiksen married Erik Harr in the year 2003. The couple was blessed with two children Magne Harr and Ida Feline Harr. In the year 2014, Mette and Erik parted ways with a divorce. Mette Frederiksen is very meticulous in her approach. In the book ‘A Political Portrait’, Mette Frederiksen was stated, “I always make lists of things I need to get done. I like the sense of having completed one thing so I can move on to the next.”
Ever since she became the party leader, Mette Frederiksen has become a unifying factor among different factions of the Socialist Democratic Party. She is indeed a very popular leader not only in her party, but also with the Danish people. Her success as the youngest Prime Minister is truly a remarkable journey.