why Norway got a new government in 2013

because we got bored with the old.

Yes, that we got bored with our government was the main reason we threw out Jens Stoltenberg after 8 years in office, and turned the job of governing Norway for the next few years over to Erna Solberg – leader of the conservative party.

Seeing different faces on TV and elsewhere when the political situations demand comments from leaders, is probably the only real change most Norwegians will notice. That is not a bad thing, really, as it shows that the spread in our political landscape is not all that wide. Business as usual no matter who governs, as we say.

So, while some foreign media wonder why we chose to throw out the parties that have governed us so well for so many years, in Norway this is quite normal. We get tired of politicians after a while no matter how well they do, and it is nice to see some new ones up front from time to time.

minority government.

The two political parties forming the new government – the conservative party and the progress party, do not form a majority alone. But, with the more or less formalized additional backing of two small parties – the christian democratic party and the liberal party – with which they do form a majority, they can probably navigate most of their cases well through parliament.

Such constellations are quite normal in Norwegian politics, and are necessary since no single party has managed to get the majority needed to govern alone for I don't know how long. All parties then have to give some to get some, and apart from that it may look a bit messy at times – especially to people in other countries with fewer parties, it quite often makes for good entertainment in national news channels when they “battle it out”.

right wing, left wing, center.

As mentioned, the spread from left to right in Norwegian politics, is not all that wide. Not all that many seriously big issues to fight over in Norwegian politics today, so the parliamentary situation is for the most part quite calm.

Of course individual Norwegian politicians and parties want to put their mark on cases – talk big, and of course what they do or do not matters. But fact is that all relevant political parties in Norway are ideologically relatively close to the political center, and for the most part work reasonably well across party‐lines.

Many non-Norwegian news organizations have in their comments in connection with this year's election, placed Siv Jensen and her progress party – the smaller partner in the new two‐party governmental coalition, at or near the extreme right in the political landscape, and have raised questions why so many Norwegians voted for an extreme‐right party.

Oh well, the progress party is a populistic party at the far right in Norwegian politics. But, when compared to political parties elsewhere in the world, they are somewhere just right of center. All attempts by misinformed foreign media, or others, to link the Norwegian progress party to any real extreme‐right groups, parties, people or ideologies anywhere in the world, are simply stupid.

Not important in the big picture, but I did not vote for any of the parties that ended up in the new government or in their support group. Who won and how the new government and its parliamentary base is formed did not come as a surprise to me though, and I am not particularly disappointed by the result either.

expecting minimal and slow changes.

“Times they are a'changing” … anywhere but in Norwegian politics in my opinion. Problems in day to day life will pop up and have to be solved. Sometimes our politicians will be backing us in creating solutions, and sometimes they will hamper our efforts because they want to or do not know any better. Usually no big deal either way.

sincerely  georg; sign

Hageland 09.oct.2013
last rev: 04.apr.2014

side notes.

Norway: a consti­tutional monarchy

That's the part we do not have to vote over – at least not for a while. Last time we did vote on such matters was in the year 1905, when we chose to keep the constitutional monarchy instead of establishing a republic.

Unless large groups of our population change their mind about the monarchy's role, the Royal House of Norway can probably keep their place in society and at the edges of politics for decades and maybe centuries to come. Gives us less to worry about.

economical buffer

Oil and gas rigs out in the North Sea and elsewhere, provide income that acts as an economical buffer for Norway in these times when the world economy as a whole is in a weakened state.

Luckily our politicians have long since realized that this buffer will neither last for ever, nor will it protect us if we do not administrate it well. Looks like our incoming government will continue down a somewhat responsible and balanced path, and also invest a bit more in more lasting projects than the previous government.

weak on climate challenges

Does not seem to be much emph­asis on reduct­ions in man‐made factors that contribute to global warming – no real improvements over the outgoing government in that sense. We have to keep a close watch on what the new government do or don't in this all‐important area over the next few years.

It may of course already be too late to make much of a difference on a global scale, but that is not a good excuse for doing nothing and/or even increase damaging factors locally. We all have to pay the price for not righting old wrongs, and balance our impact on the nature we live in and are part of.

dealing with health issues

A lot has been said before and after election about how the new government will introduce improvements in public health industry. The industry itself seems to indicate that politicians should not promise too much too fast, as delivery can't be improved by law and good wishes alone – they are already stretched on resources and more fresh resources are needed.

We will have to wait and see what comes out of it over the next few years. Probably only just enough for politicians to brag or complain about depending on what side they are on. Things take time, also in Norway.

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