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A socialist working style

SV in government is a unique opportunity for the party. If it succeeds in pursuing a radical leftist policy.


SV wants power to implement its policy. Therefore, it was a unanimous national meeting that wanted SV – if the opportunities were there – to help create a policy on the left through the formation of a red-green majority government. SV's movement from opposition to position gives us unimaginable opportunities if we now play our cards correctly.

This requires, inter alia:

Policy anchoring: SV's policy should not be based on a anyone-has-talked-together culture at the top, but built on a broad foundation in the party organization.

recognisability: SVs should recognize themselves in the government's profile, in the sense that the party's program and political practice should be the basis.

compromises: The government is a coalition government, where all parties must be willing to give in to their own particular points of view. But some compromises sit farther in the other because it violates the party's basic view. It is important that we do not defend the compromises so actively that our primary positions become invisible.

A prime minister always has the prime minister's confidence. If the trust is not present, the person leaves his post. It will therefore also be the case that as long as we sit in a government, it must be because we are satisfied with the policy it stands for and the results that are achieved. We must actively and enthusiastically fight for it.

But should our parliamentary representatives, municipal councilors, party representatives and members regroup to become a hello to the government?

Should we be satisfied when we received reference groups during the Soria Moria negotiations? And later: large fractions between Ap, SV and SP. in the Storting where the government ministers clarify their policies? And last but not least: a new cooperative body between people in government and parliamentary positions?

Of course we should, too, but the prerequisite for succeeding in this project is not primarily about "more information to the party on government work", which I see was stated at the last government meeting. One must also have it, so that the information of the SVs should not be based solely on the production of citizen press.

Now it must be ensured good, broad, arenas for policy development and policy making. There are two measures in particular that are now important: strengthening the member organization / party culture and alliance building. It can now very easily become a situation where policy-making takes place at the top. Not because our SV members in government offices want it that way, but because the government role is easily influenced by a day-to-day situation. The press and the public are on all the time, and place demands on quick decisions and statements.

Then it is important that SV's political ground plan is strengthened, and outlines the somewhat more long-term political perspectives and actions. Even where the ministers negotiate the compromises, the party organization's foremost shop stewards must defend the pure SV positions. But just as important are the broad popular alliances.

As SV's last national meeting so excellently stated:

«A new majority constellation in the Storting is only part of a new majority in Norway. SV will collaborate with the trade union movement, peace movement, environmental organizations, women's movement, cultural life and other voluntary organizations and groups to create a solidarity and future-oriented policy. This alliance with forces outside the Storting is absolutely necessary for it to be possible to pursue a policy that breaks with the neoliberal development. "

This means not only that SV must cooperate with, and observe, the broad popular movements from outside, but that SV members must be actively participating in their activities and policy development. When 60.000 people took part in the large demonstration against the Iraq war in Oslo in 2003, SV's party leader was a natural appellant who spoke to the peace activists. In the same way, it was right of our Storting representatives to participate in the F16 demonstration outside the Storting.

The broad popular movements will also, under a red-green government, make demands on the formulation of policy, through appeals, signature lists, demonstrations and markings. In the vast majority of situations, these will support SV positions, and give strength to SV gaining a foothold in the government. SV members should not then stand on the sidelines, but have their natural place in this extra-parliamentary work.

The National Assembly stated: "A new government will invite an open dialogue with all environments that want it, and prioritize the work of informing about their work and getting input to the work. The government will actively seek out different environments to be in touch with the reality people experience in Norway. Through openness and dialogue, we want to develop and expand democracy. The goal is for each individual to have a greater influence on the decisions that affect our lives. "

A socialist work style is markedly different through its broad roots, alliance building and openness. If we manage to rely on such a practice, it will be a strengthened SV that goes to parliamentary elections in 4 years, based on the fact that we have created results that have turned politics many notches to the left.

Ivar Johansen, city council member in Oslo.

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