So. On Friday the 15.of December, the city council of Fanø was finally constitutionalized. As the last municipality in Denmark.
It was a… long process, from the night of the election 21. of November.
Negotiations became rather dramatic. Tv stations had a field day, citing angry citizens from our local Facebook group “Fanø Forum”…! Our island was turned into some kind of Disney universe, where the 11 elected politicians were divided into 2 opposing groups, one evil and the other good, the deceiving villains against the innocent victims. Comfortably black and white, for the purpose of good melodrama, i.e. maximum output on mediastory sales.
As I was myself a candidate on the list of the party The Alternative, I knew many details from the negotiations. But as the information is confidential, I could not tell the truth from my perspective. It was in fact incredibly hard for me. My blog here is called “Heart Matters”, and I have also previously self published a book (2011) with the same title. I am all about sharing openly, whatever feels important to me!
In the Facebook forum, I and one of the other Alternativet candidates, Julie, decided we had to be visible and participate in the defining phases of the narrative. Say as little as possible, and keep on the right side of the confidentiality line, of course. But show the local citizens that we were standing tall, self respect intact, not hiding in shame due to some “back stabbing run for selfish mammon, in the dark of the night”, as our elected candidate was portrayed on tv. Because she accepted the offer of becoming mayor, from the electoral minority group. Leaving the agreement she alas too hastily had signed with the majority group that had been founded primarily. (6-5).
Day 5 after Saturday 9. of December, where national media suddenly announced that The Alternative was to take the seat as the new mayor on Fanø, (and actually the first “mayor’s chair” in all of Denmark, in the history of the only recently established party!)…. On day 5, Wednesday, the rage finally started to simmer down in Fanø Forum, after 3 citizens separately shared their views of how they personally understood the negotiation events, looking at it from an angle I could agree with.
To me this was a great relief. I actually lost weight during those 5 days, as I lost all appetite. When I was in public places, people would stare at me all angry and upset, as if I personally had done them wrong! Very uncomfortable, as I could not openly explain to them the reasons why we had made the choices we had made.
I wrote a letter to Tv Syd (South), which I also published as a comment in the forum. Telling them that their stereotyping and shallow coverage of the election process on Fanø, was doing damage to our community. That there were essential questions to be asked before they could claim to understand what had happened. And that their choices of dramaturgical tools; choice of descriptive words, visual imagery and abrupt editing, had a conflict escalating effect. And that in their position of power, they are not allowed to be unconscious about the effects of their choices of combining narrative elements.
The tv station replied a couple of hours later. Thanked me for the input, and said they would include it in their internal discussions on ethics.
The following day, the station interviewed the leader of The Alternative in Copenhagen, Uffe Elbæk, who con gratulated Fanø´s elected representative, and said that his perception was that she was showing integrity in the constitutional negotiations.
Then came the final deadline for negotiations to be finished, and the new city council to be constitutionalized. I filmed the meeting, and uploaded it, unedited. And posted it into Facebook´s “Fanø Forum” and “Fanø Online Opslagstavle”. As our local station Tv Fanø was not able to broadcast live from the meeting.
Here it is:
In the days following the meeting, information started being freed. Not by me. But I could see in the Forum that someone “from the table” must be informing a couple of openhearted citizens, who took it upon themselves to inform the island of details in the constitution´s proces of negotiations.
I think it is beautiful they gave this work to the island. So many emotions have been thrown about, hurt feelings, disbelief, angry, unfair words uttered, about perceived deception and manipulation.
To see how, with information of what had really happened, and why things evolved the way they did… with information, insight, the discussions died down, basically. Very quickly. There were no more questions left unanswered. Anyone who really wanted to know who had been responsible for what, could now just read the whole story, delivered in portions throughout the comments section in one single thread.
I also realized that the civillians (including myself prior to being inside the process), were lacking insight into “the political game rules”, i.e. what was to be expected from the 11 elected, and what did it mean when one group had majority, how much of the power had to, by law, still be given to the “big minority group”… and so forth. The fact that no signed deal is legally binding in the negotiation proces, until the final constitution is voted upon. Little details like that, which could have saved our community from a lot of stress, had we all known more about what to expect and how to analytically weigh the events that had unfolded.
The drama has been extremely intense, (for my taste), and the tale to be told is highly fascinating. But it is not mine to tell. If you are interested (and can read Danish), you can read the whole case in Facebook´s Fanø Forum. (It´s a public group, visible to all. The post to read, including comments, is titled “Lille Spejl…”). My position as a candidate for The Alternative, now suddenly a part of the island´s new mayor´s support team… My position is to make choices that make my party colleague´s job easier. And her job is to try and bring the 11 elected ones together, in co operation for our community´s future. Not to divide, but to bridge. Make connections.
The drama is over. Water under the bridge.
And tomorrow is new year.
Speeches will be held, visions will be shared.
Truth proves quite unstoppable, and liars should be scared.
Happy New Year.
Or as we put it in my party:
Yes please to more transparancy!
Yes to a friendly rapid change / revolution!
Away with pollution, confusion and illusion.
Yes to humble empathy and generosity.
Yes please to bravery and humourous integrity.
So help us God and every-man.
Coz Yes indeed, together we can!
Pardon me for celebrating in all generous humbleness.
The thrill has been accelarating increasingly just recently.
We came, we saw, we won, God Bless!
The road ahead is bendy, steep and long, but none the less;
The gate´s been unlocked. With partners, we´re strong.
And here´s a little song for us to sing as we walk along:
Never give up
Always take down
the barrier that stops you
from swirling freely ´round
Never fully stop
Always do move on
Flowing with the growing
´till the tough going´s just all gone!
Aaaand, Billy Ocean will obviously take it away from here… :