Some thoughts on the election now that the first rush of elation is over. :-) An election that the left won fair and square, despite what you may think from all the whining going on in newspaper debates and in blogs and what not. It's true that we don't have a direct democracy in Norway. But who the hell does - Switzerland is the only one I can think of. Our current system, with the evening out that means that my friend Elin's vote counts for more than mine, because she lives in Finnmark and I live in Oslo, is actually the fairest system possible if one wants all the parts of the country to have an equal say. I know that there are those who don't want that ... but the majority does want it, so they can just take their arrogant presumptions and shove 'em. >:-( Anyway. This system is reviewed every eight years, and will be reviewed again in this coming parliamentary session. Which means that the last time it was reviewed, it was the right who were in power, and they accepted it completely and agreed that it was the best system. But now they're whining about it anyway. In other words, they're whining because they lost, not because there's anything wrong with the system. If they'd won, no doubt they'd be singing its praises.
Anyway ... any FrP voter who's complaining now is quite simply being a dumbass, because this system rewards those who appeal to the village idiots, and we all know who's leading the field on that score. The Socialist Left and Red Alliance are the ones who are most severely penalized by the current system, but do you hear them whining? No, because they won ;-) but you also didn't hear them arguing against the system before the election. Oh, that's right - no one argued against the system then. I wonder why.
So, the left won and we're keeping the same government that we've had for the past four years. (Another thing people should try to keep in mind: This was a parliamentary election, not a government election.) The party making the biggest progress was Høyre, so its leader Erna Solberg basically declared herself the winner last night. But then again they did do extraordinarily badly four years ago, so how big an achievement was it really? Not so much IMO. The real winner in this election is Labor. I don't think most people will really comprehend what an amazing feat they have accomplished.
Labor did very badly in 2001, leading to a government from the right as the result of that election. Four years later they had made progress - excellent progress - and ended up in government. Over the next four years they have had to deal with almost endless mudslinging from the blue camp - primarily from the FrP camp who apparently think we're living in a third world warzone. (Obviously without having ever been to any third world warzones.) Now, in this country in recent years, what basically always happens is that the incumbent government loses. IMO we just have it too good here. :-) This time, though, the government was reelected. The three government parties got different results - Center roughly maintained their 2005 level, which is where they're normally at. The Socialist Left did pretty badly, but considering that this was their first term in office that was only to be expected. It's what we call 'governmental wear and tear'. :-) Labor made progress from 2005, ie they've improved their results two elections running, and they've been reelected. You have to go back to the early 80s to see that happening. And they've managed this in the middle of the worst financial crisis the world has seen since the Great Depression. It is a monumental achievement and I am proud now to say that I gave them my vote. :-)
Why did the blues lose? Because most people in this country actually aren't as stupid as the Progress Party think. :-) No, but seriously - the redgreens are staying in power because FrP are too arrogant. They are now blaming everyone else ... Lars Sponheim and Venstre especially. But Sponheim did what any politician with true integrity would have done (so no surprise that FrP are having so much trouble understanding his actions ;-). He stood up for his party's values and for the wishes of its voters. His job as party leader is not to ensure a government from the right, but to safeguard the interests of his party's voters ... and those voters did emphatically not want any collaboration with FrP. It's pathetic to see how the latter are now struggling to pin the blame on Sponheim ... and it was disgraceful to see them laughing at and enjoying his misfortune last night. This is the party that wants to bring good manners back to Norwegian schools?? Don't make me laugh.
What the blue side should have done, which FrP were too arrogant to accept, was to have pushed Erna Solberg as their candidate for prime minister, and not have brought Siv Jensen into it at all. That was their big mistake. Because let's face it, Jensen never stood a chance. Obviously no one on the red side wanted her as PM. Voters for Venstre and KrF in all likelihood didn't either, at least the vast majority of them. I also think that it's safe to say that almost no one, or in fact no one whatsoever, who voted for Høyre wanted her. And in fact, I question whether all FrP's own voters wanted Jensen for PM either. What, does that sound too weird? I don't think so. Because obviously FrP got a lot of basically racist votes - people who are freaking over the immigration issue and voted FrP just because of that, but in actuality they would have preferred to go with, most likely, Høyre. And those people I'm pretty sure would have wanted Solberg and not Jensen for PM.
So what the blues should have done was to unite behind Erna Solberg as their candidate and push that issue to the forefront. Jens vs Erna. :-) Now that would have been a genuine contest ... because although I disagree with Solberg politically, I have a lot of respect for her - she is an intelligent, articulate and cool-headed woman, she has integrity and dignity. She would have made a worthy prime minister, and I think that's an opinion that's shared across most of the political spectrum. Whereas Jensen, sheesh. No contest.
In other words, FrP can whine about the unfair vote tallying system and the big bad wolf Sponheim all they want, but the fact is that their own ambition has cost them a share in government this time. Boo fucking hoo. Better luck next time, crybabies.
2 weeks ago