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- SV's policy is copied

Veterans Stein Ørnhøi and Kjellbjørg Lunde fight back against allegations that SV adheres to Ap. in foreign policy.


In the last couple of weeks of the election campaign, it has been increasingly argued that the SV has approached the Labor Party too much. Although the polls still show a clear majority for the red-green government cooperation, an AP approach has been used to explain the decline of the SV in the polls.

In Tuesday's Dagens Næringsliv, Kjetil B. Alstadheim summed up the general media descriptions as follows: "SV's fall has been partly explained by SV leader Kristin Halvorsen having made the party too vague by placing the party too close to the Labor Party, for example in foreign policy."

Election researcher Bernt Aardal pointed out to DN rather the opposite tendency: Namely that Labor. has approached SV, for example by profiling itself in the poverty debate, "distribution policy and social policy".

SV chief Stein Ørnøi, former SF leader and a central strategist behind the current red-green cooperation, similarly believes that rather

- In a number of key areas in security policy, it is the other parties that have followed in SV's footsteps, and not SV that has laid flat, Ørnhøi tells Ny Tid.

He believes that the claim of the SV as the party that will create problems for Norwegian foreign policy is a false issue. Ørnhøi points out three important areas where he believes that SV's line has won:

- In both Iraq politics, in the question of our participation in international actions and in the High North policy, we have seen that the other parties choose to follow SV, he says. Ørnhøi justifies this as follows:

- SV was against the Iraq war, and most of the other parties followed. Norway chose to go against the United States and the invasion. What is interesting here is that this was the first time in many decades that the Labor Party went against the United States. SV has won with its position and today this is supported by a majority of the people and a solid majority in the Storting – although some have reluctantly agreed to this.

He discusses the many discussions about SV's fan escape from the NATO resistance:

- Today, NATO membership is as relevant as taking a stand on peace in Westphalia. When the United States invaded Iraq, NATO was divided. NATO will survive, and SV can live with that, because NATO's role today is insignificant in relation to international actions. Now Jens Stoltenberg himself goes out and emphasizes that if it is to be relevant to send Norwegian forces to a war zone, then this must be built on international law and a UN mandate. This is not stated in the NATO Treaty. So what we see is that also for the Labor Party, NATO's importance is reduced and subordinated to what the UN says.

Ørnhøi also believes that SV's policy towards the Northern areas has been copied by Ap. and the other parties:

- Today, the High North policy has become interesting for all parties in the Storting. This was not the case in 1992. At that time, SV carved out its own comprehensive High North policy with emphasis on stability and resource management. Then the other parties together with the defense were still in Inner Troms and waiting for the invasion from Russia. In 1992, SV defined the security policy challenges in the north. Only now have the other parties come after. They now support the analysis and definition of challenges that SV came up with in 1992, says Ørnhøi.

Former parliamentary representative for the SV, Kjellbjørg Lunde, has with increasing wonderment registered that in the election campaign great attention is paid to the fact that the SV in a government will put the demand for withdrawal from NATO on ice.

- I was involved in politics at a time when we just changed to not promote this primary position of SV. Instead, we talked about bringing about a process of change within NATO and the inclusion of Russia and the former Soviet republics in European cooperation. These processes are still ongoing, and in a government position, SV has greater opportunities to continue this work. But even if after the fall of the wall they withdrew from active withdrawal from NATO, it does not mean that they have changed their minds, Lunde says.

She was deputy leader of the SV for many years and took over as parliamentary leader after Hanna Kvanmo, before resigning to the Storting in 1997. Lunde admits that the security policy has heavy traditions that make it difficult for the SV to bring about changes in its partners in the red-green cooperation.

- But when SV is now ripe for government, there are greater opportunities to bring about change by working from within, Lunde believes.

- Last spring, the SV and the Labor Party parted ways in the question of whether Norway should send special forces to Afghanistan to fight under American command. Do you believe that SV's position of not sending Norwegian forces under American command will win in a co-operative government?

- I think the odds are quite good for SV to get the Labor Party involved in this type of question, Lunde answers, who believes that the lesson from Norway's participation in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq is to turn the resources over to conflict prevention.

SV's parliamentary representative Heidi Sørensen also experiences the problem that especially Ap. is approaching SV's policy, for example in international environmental issues.

- It is a challenge for us when the Labor Party. uses similar arguments as us, for example with regard to the environmental issue in the High North, says Sørensen.

Earlier Orienteringeditor Kjell Cordtsen follows with excitement about the red-green cooperation and the upcoming parliamentary elections.

- 40 years in opposition may be enough, and it is positive that SV takes action to gain political power, says Cordtsen.

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