Media hype surrounding the death of Progress Party founder Mogens Glistrup has caused some of its former members to work on reviving the nearly defunct party and to try their luck at securing parliament seats in the next election.
‘We’re going to try again,’ said Ernst Simonsen, the Progress Party secretary, who explained that Glistrup was a mixed blessing for the party.
‘Some people wanted to be with us because of Glistrup, but others wouldn’t join while he was a member,’ he said. ‘Now that that issue is over with, we can all stand together.’
The decision to jump-start the party again was fuelled by a recent increase in membership from 50 to its current 423. In addition, a number of former party members have made large contributions to help its cause.
When Glistrup founded the party in 1972, he based it upon the ideology that citizens should not pay taxes. The party later became extremely anti-immigration as more Muslims began coming to Denmark.
The same general themes are at the core of the ‘new’ Progress Party’s platform.
‘Danes are being robbed by taxes,’ said Ove Jensen, the party’s new leader. ‘We want to lower taxes for everyone. No one else will but the New Alliance, but they can’t even explain their own policies.’
Jensen said the Progress Party wants the first 60,000 kroner a person earns to be tax-free and remaining income to be taxed at a fixed 45 percent.
The party will need 10,000 signatures to be able to run as candidate for parliament, however, and must then garner at least 2 percent of the popular vote to secure a seat.