Denmark will elect a new parliament tomorrow. And if the polls can be trusted, a new socialist coalition will take power from the incumbent liberal/conservative government which has ruled the country since 2001. That would be bad move.
Financially, I was born a decade too late. I was too young to have an IT job before the dot-com bubble. I was too poor to buy property in the late 90’s and reap the rewards of the housing bubble. I am too old to have had endless government study grants (although the 6 years did prove sufficient).
Ten years ago, I celebrated the ascent to power of the Fogh Rasmussen government. Had I voted purely out of self-interest, though, a left-leaning government probably would have served me better over the short term. I might have received larger handouts during my bouts of unemployment, and public transport would have been cheaper, a clear-felt advantage when you don’t own a car.
If I only cared about my own private financial affairs, I ought to have wished for a leftist government whilst poor, a student, and/or unemployed – and a rightist government now that I am moving upward into the middle class. Apparently, I missed the boat.
But to me, the choice is not about self-interest. My choice is about what I believe is best for the country and its citizens, not just what is best for me.
Some would say that politics is all about (re)distribution. While it is prudent and necessary to sustain a certain level of equality, building the underlying foundation is even more important.
If you want to raise the standard of living, you don’t do it by stealing from some people and giving to others (i.e., Robin Hood). Then you’re still eating from the same pie. What we need is a bigger pie – and the way of achieving that is a strong business sector of private companies generating wealth for all layers of society. By raising the bar overall, everyone will benefit. And we will still have pie left 20 years from now.
Tomorrow I will once again vote for the Conservative party. Not because they will give me more money in my pockets right now, for they won’t. But because I have faith that their course for this country has a better chance of securing a good future for myself and everybody else – not only in the coming months, but in the years, decades, and generations to come.