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|Ah, five years makes much more sense
Written by Margaret C
(7/29/2013 6:09 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Some additional thoughts, spoilerish, penned by Nancy G
I had been quite astonished by such a gaffe in an otherwise well thought through and believable back-story - damn my ears (or rather, my eyes - I don't speak Danish so have to pay attention to the subtitles). Five year spells make much more sense.
Still, he must have realised his wife winning office would be a game-changer. In Denmark the Prime Minister must call an election within four years, and if they can't win earlier, they wont go early. So I don't really understand what Philip is at, helping his wife to win, and encouraging her to seize the premiership, then reminding her that it is almost 'his turn' one week into her second quarter (probably should say 'prime ministership' - the Danish prime minister is supposed to be 'first amongst equals' rather than the leader per se).
The voting system in Denmark is not much like the British, (Or Canadian or Australian systems), which practically guarantee dominance of the two largest parties, and a government formed entirely of one or the other (although at the moment Britain has a coalition government, and Australia a minority government, but these are the exception rather than the rule).
Denmark is closer to the Scottish or New Zealand system, where third and fourth parties with a sizeable minority of the vote win seats and minority governments formed by horse trading after the election are the norm: these governments tend to have strongly centrist proclivities, as any attempt by one party to follow the more extreme policies they campaigned on is likely to result in their scrambling to reform a government with members of the opposition as their coalition partners resign in protest. On the other hand, they have no senate to block any policy change the government is able to get through.
But perhaps Philip was egging Birgitte on in the hope that she would lose any chance of a cabinet place (Marrot or Hesselboe's), and he could start 'his turn' early. And how ineffably smug do you have to be to treat a tenured position at the Danish equivalent of Harvard Business School as the kind of job that one only tolerates because it gives one time to parent and support ones spouse (or at least, to identify the unmet needs of the children and present them to ones spouse). And 'they chose not to' doesn't fully explain the lack of a security detail. And Hesselboe and Dahl have suffering wives and children too, but that only becomes an issue when they use the government credit card.
Anyway, there is enough tension and skulduggery with Birgitte's government hanging on a knife edge, to make Philip perfectly superfluous (and the kids, who remind me of Harrison Morgan in terms of personality and character development- although the same actors in every episode, and the tokenistic parts they play at least played well). I wouldn't mind seeing the back of Philip (it's the best part of him) but I am guessing he is going to hang around and cause trouble.
If I do catch up on it before series two, it will probably be because of Bent - he is my favourite character, and any character that says "Don't trust anyone, even me" in their first appearance is surely foreshadowing Machiavellian moves, which must emerge when next he does.
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