Monday, September 11, 2023

2023 Norwegian local elections

Local elections take place in Norway today and the result is already known - they won and we lost!

The country's largest sixth form, SVGS, had a mock election last week.   Looking at the spectrum from Left to Right, Rødt (Red) beat the Kristelig Folkeparti (Christian Democratic Party), Liberalistene (The Liberals), Industri- og Næringspartiet (Industry and Business Party), Partiet Sentrum (Centre Party),  Folkets Parti (People's Party) , Konservativt (Conservative), Norgesdemokratene (Norway Democrats), and Folkestyretlisten (People's Government) with a mighty 2% of the votes cast!   Only four out of sixteen parties standing reached 9% or more: Sosialistisk Venstreparti (Socialist Left Party, 9.4%), Arbeiderpartiet (Labour, 20,4%), Høyre (Conservative Party, 29.5%) and Fremskrittspartiet (Progress Party, 19.7%).   [In addition to 1469 votes which were declared valid, some 117 were blank and 10 others found invalid.   76%  of those eligible to vote did so].

Rødt are descended from The Red Electoral Alliance, which was formed in 1973 as an electoral front organisation for the Workers’ Communist Party. Much can be said about the WCP, but the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten’s headline from 28 August 2005 probably cannot be bettered: ‘They worshipped Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot’.   And currently Zelenskyy!

The Socialist Left, formed in 1975, has its origins in a group which left the Labour Party over NATO membership. Interestingly, they were predictably against the US invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq but the Party leadership favoured NATO air strikes against Serbia over that country’s role in Kosovo (killing thousands and causing as many as 1.5 million people to flee as refugees).   And they support Ukraine in the ongoing slaughter (over 8 million refugees and approaching 500,000 casualties).

 Once upon a time, Labour was considered ‘radical’: in 1919 it joined the Third International which had its headquarters in Moscow.   From 2005-2013 a Red-Green coalition ruled Norway with Labour Party leader Jens Stoltenburg as Prime Minister. He has since become NATO’s General Secretary. The party’s current leader is the capitalist Jonas Gahr Støre.   Support for Ukraine?   Do you need to ask?

The coalition was followed by eight years of Conervative rule,  which for a period included the populist Progress Party (FRP).  The mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik was once a FRP member.   

No meaningful change can come from any of these parties.  Eugene Debs’ WW1 remark remains apposite: ‘Yes, a change is certainly needed, not merely a change of party but a change of system, a change from slavery to freedom and from despotism to democracy, wide as the world’.

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