Norwegian PM Goes Undercover as Taxi Driver

Jens Stoltenberg says it's the 'one place people really say what they think'
By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2013 4:18 PM CDT

Norway's prime minister has come up with a novel new way to poll his constituents: going undercover as a taxi driver. For one day in June, Jens Stoltenberg dressed in an Oslo taxi driver uniform, got in a cab, and started picking up unsuspecting passengers. "It is important for me to hear what people really think," he told the Norwegian media, per the BBC. "And if there is one place people really say what they think about most things, it's in the taxi." The passengers were not told who their driver was, but many guessed. Several criticized his driving, and he admitted to one passenger that he hadn't actually driven a car in eight years, the AFP reports.

A hidden camera captured Stoltenberg's conversations with his passengers/voters, which ranged in topic from education to oil, and the footage has now been posted on YouTube as part of his party's campaign for reelection in September. Asked afterward if he'd consider a career change if the election doesn't go his way, Stoltenberg replied: "I think that the country and Norwegian taxi passengers are better served if I were a prime minister and not a taxi driver." (Read more Jens Stoltenberg stories.)

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