The Norwegian election bucked the trend that we are seeing in Europe these days. More and more countries are governed by the Centre-left. It seems like only small countries in the European periphery, like Norway, Portugal and Greece bucks this trend.
The election gave the government a slightly smaller majority than last time, however there were quite substantial changes within the coalition. My party, SV (the Socialist Left) lost four mandates and Labour gained three. This has certainly repercussions. Wednesday, the seventh of October the government released the new platform for the coming four years. This shows a slight move to the right, especially on areas of asylumseekers and immigration.
The debate in Norway and many other European countries has moved to the right over the last years. This is unfortunately mirrored in the new platform. The government intend to raise the bar to get the right to stay in Norway based on humanitarian criteria. I dislike this intensely
On the other hand the new platform is offensive and good especially on climate change and the environment. Here and on equal pay/gender equality and education the platform is quite good. The government states clearly that they want a 40% reduction of climate change gases, which is great but not quite enough and that there should be norms for how many pupils each teacher should be responsible for. On equal pay the government intends to include the labour organisations and the industrial organisations in talks to find ways to ensure that women get equal pay. I they can agree on principles and mechanisms then the government will put up the money.
I am also very glad for many of the things which are stated on international policy. Norway will endeavour to take a leading role in NATO to reduce nuclear weapons. We are open towards reducing our troops in Afghanistan and Norway wil work hard to reduce illegimate debt that third world countries must pay. This is important new steps in the right direction.
On the balance I must say that the platform is OK. SV got more than we could expect with only 6,2% of the votes. There is of course much I would have wanted differently, but in the end the voters decide by which party they support.
What do you think should be the most important choices for Norway in the coming years?