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The Norwegian Green Party Wins a Seat in Parliament!

The Norwegian Green Party Wins a Seat in Parliament!

By Eva Goes

This is the first parliamentary win for the the Norwegian Green party (Miljøpartiet De Grønne) since its establishment 25 years ago.  In the previous Parliament elections in 2009 the Norwegian Greens received 0.3% of the vote; this year support reached nearly 4% in an opinion poll.  Rarely has a party grown so quickly.

Miljøpartiet De Grønne's (MDG) main message was focused on the environment and quality of life.  As other parties advocate for Norway continuing oil exploration at nearly the same level until 2040, Miljøpartiet De Grønne is calling for Norway to phrase out its entire oil industry in 20 years, reasoning that If one of the world's richest countries fails to make the necessary changes, who then would lead the change?

The Norwegian oil fund is approximately 4,500 billion Norwegian Krone. Miljøpartiet De Grønne plans to reinvest this money in activities that enhance human health and environment.  Conversely, the previous government chose to invest the fund in the construction of a large dam in Brazil which forced nearly 40,000 people from their homes and destroyed parts of the Amazon rainforest. 

Swedish Greens travelled to Norway to support their fellow Norwegian green party. Göran Hådén and Eva Goës went to Trondheim, a university city in Sör-Tröndelag. Eva Goës served as the Swedish Greens spokesperson 1988 and helped bring the Party in to parliament, and currently serves core functions in the Global Greens and Green Forum, helping Green parties around the world over the years. This visit by Swedish Greens was appreciated and highlighted in particular by Norwegian television.

Along with MDG's success Norwegians also voted in the Progress Party (FrP) for the first time to Norwegian Government.  FrP has however put forward an immigration policy an as poor as the Sweden Democrats, but has at least managed to curb the fiery rhetoric after Utøya and Breivik.  The FrP, like the Swedish New Democracy, have brought to their countries 40 years of right-wing populism, xenophobia and doubts that the climate crisis even exists. 

The final debate aired on Norwegian radio showcased MDG spokesperson Hanna Marcusen and demonstrated MDG's success in bringing public attention to the environment as never before. All three other parties, echoed Hanna in highlighting the environment as one of the two major issues for the country, while the Christian Democrats party expressed extending help to the world's poor as their primary concern.

Swedish society regularly debates whether parties who have not yet received seats in Parliament should be involved in televised party leader debates. In Norway, the MDG participated in TV 1´s party leader debate but was denied access to TV 2's advertisement airtime.

Although MDG is just now gaining their first Parliamentary seat, they are already larger than the Swedish Green party on Facebook. Now it will be even more exciting to see how the MDG and Norwegian politics develop!

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