Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Norwegian PM drives taxi

Here’s a story I liked. The Norwegian Prime Minister spent an afternoon working incognito as a taxi driver in Oslo to find out what people were thinking. Mr Stoltenberg said he had wanted to hear from real Norwegian voters and that taxis were one of the few places where people shared their true views.

He wore sunglasses and an Oslo taxi drivers uniform for the, only revealing his identity if he was recognized by his passengers.

"It is important for me to hear what people really think," he told Norwegian media. "And if there is one place people really say what they think about most things, it's in the taxi."

Some of the passengers who appear in the film had been told to wait for the taxi - without being told who would be driving - while others were picked up randomly and from taxi ranks.

Most of them appear to realize very quickly that there is something different about their driver, with one saying: "From this angle you really look like Stoltenberg."

Another says she was lucky to meet him as she "wanted to send a letter".

The conversation turns to politics in most cases.

Mr Stoltenberg engages one passenger on education, saying: "The main point is to make sure good students have something to stretch for, and to give those who struggle extra help."

None of the passengers was charged for the ride.

The Labour prime minister came in for criticism for his driving, at one point jolting the car abruptly when, he said, he tried to apply the clutch pedal on the automatic car, thinking it was the brake. He said he had not driven in eight years.

Mr Stoltenberg is popular in Norway, but opinion polls suggest he is lagging behind the opposition ahead of the election. But asked by VG whether he would consider becoming a taxi driver full time if he lost the election, Mr Stoltenberg replied: "I think the country and the Norwegian taxi passengers are best served if I'm the prime minister and not a taxi driver."

The bottom line here, for me, is that a politician went out to find out what the people were really thinking. That’s something you just don’t see these days….. We need more of our elected representatives going out to find out how the people they were elected by want to be represented!

Live Long and Prosper...

No comments: