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Thread: Norways Thatcher Eyes Poll Chance

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    Norways Thatcher Eyes Poll Chance

    She casts herself as the Margaret Thatcher of Norwegian politics, intent on overhauling the countrys big-government welfare system and tightening its borders against immigration.

    If opposition parties win a majority in Mondays parliamentary election, Siv Jensen could get the chance to put some of those ideas into practice.

    Her populist Progress party is the dominant force among several opposition groups aiming to oust Jens Stoltenberg, prime minister, and his centre-left government after four years in control of the worlds fifth-largest oil exporting nation.

    Opinion polls show the race on a knife-edge, as the ruling Labour party and its coalition partners fight to defend the Nordic welfare model against opposition calls for lower taxes and more free enterprise.

    We already have conservative governments in Sweden and Denmark, Ms Jensen pointed out in an interview with the Financial Times on Sunday. So the Nordic model is over-rated.

    With Finland also controlled by the centre-right, Norway is the last bastion of social democratic rule in the Nordic region, with the exception of Iceland, which shifted to the left after last years banking crisis.

    Mr Stoltenberg is hoping his governments response to the global downturn will help him become the first Norwegian prime minister to be re-elected in 16 years, as the countrys oil wealth helps insulate the country from the sharp recessions suffered by its Nordic neighbours.

    Rules limiting how much of the countrys $400bn oil fund can be spent each year were temporarily cast aside to stimulate the economy, keeping unemployment at about 3 per cent, compared with nearly 8 per cent in Sweden and Finland.

    Gross domestic product, excluding oil, returned to growth in the second quarter after a mild recessionthe countrys first in two decades.

    This is a stable government that stood up to the financial crisisthat is our central message, says Jonas Gahr Store, Norways foreign minister and a senior Labour official, in an interview.

    Ms Jensens Progress party wants to permanently relax limits on oil spending to lower taxes and invest in infrastructuretapping into voter misgivings about the countrys strategy of hoarding oil revenues while keeping tax rates among the highest in Europe.

    We are one of the richest countries in the world, yet our health and education systems have all sorts of problems, says Lotti Lovold, a retired medic, strolling along a parade of party campaign stands in a central Oslo park.

    We should use the oil money to bring them up to standard.

    Ms Lovolds husband, Per, is drawn to Progress by its tough stance on immigration in a traditionally homogeneous country where immigrants now make up more than 10 per cent of the population.

    We have been paying for this welfare system for years and these people are coming in and robbing us, he says.

    Ms Jensen has played down the immigration issue during this campaign as she seeks to push her party from the margins to the mainstream. For the first time, the Conservative party, the second-largest opposition faction, has said it is willing to work with Progress in a coalition government, but potential centrist allies remain wary.

    If opposition parties cannot reach agreement, the left may be able to remain in power even without a majority.

    Ms Jensen says she is willing to make concessions in order to unify the rightperhaps even forfeiting the prime ministers job, provided her party has a strong hand in government. My priority is the policymaking, not the position, she says.

    People on the left are horrified by the thought of Ms Jensen in power. Greta Johnson, a retired teacher, says the Labour party represents the Norway I know.

    This party has been good to me, she says. If we switched to a more capitalist system I would lose the benefits I have been paying for all my life.
    http://www.amren.com/mtnews/archives...ys_thatche.php

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    Isn't the election already over? I think I heared it in the news, Arbeiderpartiet won and will continue their center-left alliance.
    "Lever dot as slav."

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    Quote Originally Posted by totenlicht View Post
    Isn't the election already over? I think I heared it in the news, Arbeiderpartiet won and will continue their center-left alliance.
    Yes, business as usual. No democratic change this election either.
    I voted blank.

    "Make strong old dreams lest our world lose heart." -Ezra Pound



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    You Voted Blank? What Are You Crazy? You Should Have Voted For One Of The Right Wing Parties.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Linda Trostenhatten View Post
    You Voted Blank? What Are You Crazy? You Should Have Voted For One Of The Right Wing Parties.
    Why should I have done that? I have no faith in democracy.
    Read what Codreanu thought about democracy
    http://www.ucis.pitt.edu/eehistory/H...Topic5-R3.html

    "Make strong old dreams lest our world lose heart." -Ezra Pound



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    I have no faith in democracy either, but at least you get more than two parties with a real chance to make an impact.

    I have a question.. If King Harald were to command the deportation of all non-Germanic foreigners, would the military support him? After all, he is their supreme commander. Couldn't he, in actuality, dissolve parliament and assume dictatorial control, as long as the armed forces support him? If I were he, at his age, in his health, I would say, what the heck, and do it for the nation.

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