During the last months, there´s been a heavy preparation for today´s election, politicians promising this and that, and opinion polls checking whether or not the Norwegian people wants to continue down the Liberal path, or perhaps try something new, like head down a more conservative path.
Norway is a Parliamentary Democratic Constitutional Monarchy, which means that we have a monarchy, but the real political powers lie with the government and the Prime Minister. During this election, both the legislative and the executive branch of Norway, are elected.
- First, the election results in mandates that are distributed through a proportional representation; which gives Stortinget (the Norwegian National Assembly) 169 new representatives from the different parties that got enough mandates.
- The political wing that get most mandates, will to form a government together, (Liberals will never form coalitions with Conservatives, so cooperations within the different political wings is very important!)
- Based on the results from the election, the King “selects” (he formally asks) the winning parties if they will form Government, and become the executive branch of Norway. Don´t worry, the king can´t decide anything for real
We don´t have a two-party system, so most governments are usually coalitions where the party with most mandates presents their leader to be appointed Prime Minister. I have to say though, sometimes I wish we had fewer parties, because to me it seems like having so many different parties that has to work together, sometimes seems to slow things down…
Here´s a list over the biggest and most popular political parties in Norway;
- Høyre (The Conservative Party)
- Fremskrittspartiet (The Progress Party)
- Kristelig Folkeparti (Christian Democratic Party)
- Det Norske Arbeiderparti (Norwegian Labour Party)
- Sosialistisk Venstreparti (Socialist Left Party)
- Senterpartiet (Centre Party)
- Venstre (Liberal party)
We also have loads of random parties;
- Kystpartiet (Coastal Party)
- Pensjonistpartiet (Pensioner´s Party)
- Miljøpartiet de Grønne (Environment party The Green )
- Samefolkets parti (Sami People Party)
- Piratpartiet (the Pirate Party)
- Norges Kommunistiske Parti (Communist Party of Norway)
Parliamentary elections are held every 4 years, and for the last 8 years, Norway has been led by a Liberal government, with Jens Stoltenberg as Prime Minister, who is also the leader of the Norwegian Labour Party which is the biggest liberal party in Norway. Last election was a clear win, so it wasn´t that exciting, but this year, oh it´s on!
It´s been a tough political battle, and many Norwegians feel that the liberal government may have had their run, and that it might be time for something new. Which is why the Conservatives have been doing it very well this year according to various opinions polls.
This year was my second time I´ve voted in my adult life, and this time around I chose quite differently than last election. The first time, back in 2009, I voted for the Norwegian Labour Party, but they didn´t get my vote this year. Probably because I´ve changed quite a bit since I was 20, and so has my values.
I guess it´s nearly impossible to agree with everything a political party says, but I decided to focus on issues that matters to me, which are family, health and education. And after reading about the different political parties, I found that the Christian Democratic Party was definitely the right choice for me. So there you go, a Norwegian girl´s upright political opinion!
You see, many Norwegians don´t want to tell others what they voted, mostly because there are so many parties, which means that the Norwegian people have very different values and beliefs when it comes to political issues.
So there you have it, a little insight into Norwegian politics! Perhaps you learned something new today about how a parliamentary democratic monarchy can function in a modern society… Btw, did you learn some new Norwegian words?;-)