Posts Tagged 'Denmark elections'

Companies vote too in Denmark

I am just coming across a quite interesting, bold and original case of on-line corporate communication. This for 2 reasons: the way I heard about that campaign and its actual content.

I found out about it through a Facebook group recently joined by a friend of mine which triggered a notification on my news feed. While parliament elections are planned for next weekend in Denmark, the group claims (in danish) that “I don’t care who is candidate, I am voting for saxo bank”. Saxo Bank is a Denmark-based fast growing on-line bank specialized in trading and investment for both private and corporate clients.

The group links to a specific page on Saxo Bank’s website where one discovers a direct message from the 2 co-CEOs to the voters arguing for lower marginal income tax in Denmark. The argument builds on the current shortage of qualified workers (a burning issue for many employers in the country) and concludes in a Lafferian fashion that the current marginal tax results in… lower overall tax income for the state and lower welfare level. The claim is supported by various studies from danish and international organizations like the OECD and the Danish Minister of Economy (for the serious part) and a small animated movie (for the fun part). But the website goes even further as, even though it does not support any specific candidate or party, it enjoin people to take action by providing a map of all voting regions with, for each of them, the list of all candidates supporting a tax reform for lower income tax. This includes candidate from the Conservative Party, the Liberal Party and the newly formed Center-Right Alliance.

This website seems to be part of a broader lobbying campaign orchestrated by Saxo as I was just reading an article on daily newspaper Berlingske reporting on a Saxo survey that shows how Denmark misses millions of DDK in tax (7,58 dkk = 1€) for every single worker choosing to live abroad.

Obviously both threads aim at convincing the voters that high income tax = lower welfare (an important benefit for most voters in DK, even economically conservative ones). Even though the argumentation is fundamentally biaised for me (the figures put forth never balance the influx of of immigrants coming to DK whose mobility contribute to tax revenues), I find it interesting to see a company publicly taking a clear position and willing to get involved into political debate through direct communication to the voters rather than resorting to behind-the-scene lobbying or dubious friendships between politicians and business leaders (ask Sarkozy for details…). As far as I can remember, I have never seen a major company that is not a press company getting so much involved and taking a clear stance through the voice of its management team. (Patagonia did it during the 2004 US presidential elections but the public exposure in the national context aren’t comparable and there was no such tool developed to evangelize the publics and media)

Moreover the role that social platforms such as facebook can already play in promoting (or criticizing) such initiative will definitely make them a center of attention, not only to marketeer and advertisers but to political candidates. Thus, depending on their preferences, Danish voters can already be “facebook-friends” (sic) with economically liberal prime-minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen (2,613 friends) or Social-democrat opponent, Helle Thorning-Schimdt. (2,583 friends).


Let this diversity of opinions be propounded to, and laid before him; he will himself choose, if he be able; if not, he will remain in doubt. "Che non men che saver, dubbiar m' aggrata." ["I love to doubt, as well as to know."-- Dante, Inferno, xi. 93] for, if he embraces the opinions of Xenophon and Plato, by his own reason, they will no more be theirs, but become his own. Who follows another, follows nothing, finds nothing, nay, is inquisitive after nothing. "Non sumus sub rege; sibi quisque se vindicet." ["We are under no king; let each vindicate himself." --Seneca, Ep.,33]"
Montaigne - Essais I, XXVI, Of The Education of Children
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