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Political parties

There are many different political parties in Norway. We have a multiparty system. When people go to vote they have many alternatives from which to choose. 21 parties stood for election in the 2005 general election and 7 of them had representatives elected to the Storting. 76.7% of people who were entitled to vote used their vote in this election.

The parties produce manifestos before each election. In these they write about the issues they want to work on during the coming parliamentary term, in other words the next four years.

We can broadly categorise the largest parties as follows:

Socialist parties

  • The Red Electoral Alliance (RV)
  • The Socialist Left Party (SV)
  • The Labour Party (DNA)

Conservative parties

  • The Centre Party (SP)
  • The Christian Democratic Party (KrF)
  • The Liberals (V)
  • The Conservative Party (H)
  • The Progress Party (FrP)

Here are the parties positioned along an axis from left to right.Here are the parties positioned along an axis from left to right.

Torstein Dahle ©Arash a. Nejad/ScanpixTorstein Dahle ©Arash a. Nejad/Scanpix
logo RV

The Red Electoral Alliance (RV) is both a socialist and a revolutionary party. The party believes that a revolution is necessary to create a socialist society in which private ownership has been abolished.

Party leader: Torstein Dahle

Number of representatives in the Storting 2005–2009: 0  

Kristin Halvorsen ©Bjørn Sigurdsøn/ScanpixKristin Halvorsen ©Bjørn Sigurdsøn/Scanpix
logo SV

The Socialist Left Party (SV) calls itself a socialist party. They want stronger political management of society, a radical redistribution of social benefits, and are interested in environmental issues.

Party leader: Kristin Halvorsen

Number of representatives in the Storting 2005–2009: 15

Jens Stoltenberg ©Bjørn Sigurdsøn/ScanpixJens Stoltenberg ©Bjørn Sigurdsøn/Scanpix
logo AP

The Labour Party (DNA) calls itself a democratic socialist party. They want to change society through gradual reforms. They want to level out social disparities and are in favour of the State sector having greater responsibility for education and health care.

Party leader: Jens Stoltenberg

Number of representatives in the Storting 2005–2009: 61

Åslaug Marie Haga ©Trond Solberg/ScanpixÅslaug Marie Haga ©Trond Solberg/Scanpix
logo SP

The Centre Party (SP) places people, the countryside and the environment centre stage. The Centre Party is largely a party that speaks about issues that affect the countryside and primary industries (farming, forestry and fishing). The party is an enthusiastic supporter of the welfare state and wants to preserve welfare benefits.

Party leader: Åslaug Marie Haga

Number of representatives in the Storting 2005–2009: 11

Dagfinn Høybråten ©Knut Falch/ScanpixDagfinn Høybråten ©Knut Falch/Scanpix
logo KrF

Basic Christian values are key for the Christian Democratic Party (KrF). Important issues for KrF are education and family policy, a restrictive alcohol policy, and a positive attitude towards the church.

Party leader: Dagfinn Høybråten

Number of representatives in the Storting 2005–2009: 11

Lars Sponheim ©Knut Falch/ScanpixLars Sponheim ©Knut Falch/Scanpix
logo V

The Liberals (V) calls itself a socially liberal party. They are interested in both individual rights and society’s responsibilities. They are in favour of a State welfare system and private business and industry.

Party leader: Lars Sponheim

Number of representatives in the Storting 2005–2009: 10

Erna Solberg ©Bjørn Sigurdsøn/ScanpixErna Solberg ©Bjørn Sigurdsøn/Scanpix
logo H

The Conservative Party (H) believes that a market economy and private ownership are necessary to produce welfare and liberty. Nonetheless, the party is a supporter of State welfare schemes.

Party leader: Erna Solberg

Number of representatives in the Storting 2005–2009: 23

Siv Jensen ©Geir Otto Johansen/ScanpixSiv Jensen ©Geir Otto Johansen/Scanpix
logo FrP

The Progress Party (FrP) calls itself a libertarian party. The main issues the party is interested in are lower taxes and duties, and less State administration. The party also campaigns for a stricter immigration policy.

Party leader: Siv Jensen

Number of representatives in the Storting 2005–2009: 38   

Discuss the various political parties’ similarities and differences.
In Norway we have a multiparty system. What effect does this have on how the country is governed?

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