Local elections tomorrow, the only elections I’m entitled to vote in, so I’m surfing, thinking about what I’ll vote. In Norway we have lots of parties represented locally and nationally, and they usually form coalitions. So in Bergen council there’s usually at least one communist representative (this period there have been four), several socialists, a handful of Christian Democrats, a few smallish central parties, the right wing “Progress Party” (growing yearly) and the large traditional Social Democrats and the Conservatives.
Ten years ago I would have voted for the communists every time, not because I agree with everything they want (the whole armed revolution thing made my youthful communist period even briefer than my conservative fling) but because I love the courage of their outspoken voices, and treasure a democracy that will listen to them although they have little voting power. This time I’m thinking much more tactically. The Conservatives, led by a seventh generation coffee baron from one of Bergen’s “oldest” and richest families, are looking like they might take over power from the current Social Democrat run council. So I think I’ll vote Social Democrat, though they’re less and less social, because the alternative to having them in power is far worse. I don’t think I’ve exactly gotten more conservative as I grow older, but I’m certainly getting more pragmatic.