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Towards a Dark Future

SV is at the beginning of the fall that will end with the departure of the party leadership, predicts Professor Trond Nordby. In this week's Ny Tid chronicle, Magnus Marsdal attacks Kristin Halvorsen for being too cowardly to take care of SV's soul. SVs are ready for "unpleasant compromises". Read New Age Post-Election Coverage.


- This is just the beginning of the fall in SV's popularity. Had I been SVs, I would not have looked forward to the future, Professor Trond Nordby states.

He is no longer voting SV, the political scientist says he has become a populist and has crossed the electoral lists for the "power party" this time.

- What happens to SV is uncertain. But I want to say that it is sad that Siri Hall Arnøy and Audun Lysbakken have not been re-elected. It is tragic that the left in the party has been cleared of good people. There can be a lot of grumbling when a party created to be in opposition abandons the party-constituent issues. Everyone knew that the party would lose out on government cooperation. But that the apostasy would come before they had even come into government, there were probably few who foresaw.

- You yourself had a fresh idea when you last week predicted that Carl I. Hagen would become prime minister. Now there is a red-green majority, but FrP also became very large. What will it do to the balance in the Storting, now that the opposition from the left is gone?

- Yes, FrP became seriously large, and the Conservatives are correspondingly weakened. The question now is whether the Conservatives dare to approach the Progress Party. If they do, the risk is that voters will vote FrP, so they should probably continue to mark the distance so as not to be completely eaten up. The opportunities for a united opposition are very small and we know what Krf thinks about cooperation with FrP, says Nordby.

- What is completely new is that the opposition is much weaker and less persistent than it has been. In all probability, we will have a majority government, and we will in any case have a less ongoing Storting than we have had in 20 years. All talk of parliamentary government is now a thing of the past, Stoltenberg, like Jagland, will not be chased from bulwark to bulwark.

- But the majority government must move politically towards the center and the right?

- Yes, but the government will be strongly Labor-dominated, just look at the numbers. The Center Party will not be too strong. It will be exciting to see which course the AP will follow in the time to come, the party's reversals in recent years are difficult to grasp. Jens was involved in the turn in the liberal direction under Brundtland and had, to put it mildly, a bad relationship with LO, which wanted Jagland. But when the Labor Party with Jens in government declined sharply in the polls, the party turned politics towards more traditional social democratic politics, and has now regained some of the trust from Los' side. It is asked how deep it goes, is this an election tactic or will it make an impact in practical politics.

- How far can SV extend?

- I can not imagine that they jump off now. SV has already sacrificed so much for this collaboration, so that Djupedal and Halvorsen are now turning is quite unthinkable. When Arne Næss was about to climb a mountain, he stopped a meter from the top to enjoy the joy of being able to reach it. He sat in the tent and read Spinoza. I doubt if Djupedal and Halvorsen have the same pleasure of almost reaching the top. But when SV now has to live as a weak party in relation to the Labor Party, it becomes even more difficult to restore confidence in the party's old issues. It is not certain that Stoltenberg will go so far as to ensure that the collaboration survives the period, it may go so far that SV must go into opposition. We will see how the "museum guards" will act in the time to come. Now the party leadership has finally managed to chase them away, but takes in the sugar bowl of Hanna Kvanmo; Erik Solheim, the previous miser. That he is taken in again and driven forward as a key man in the election campaign does not indicate too good judgment. They could keep this sugar bowl out.

- What is the explanation for SV's poor election result? Has SV gone away from its radical roots?

- Yes, it's like buying an ornamental shrub at the nursery and waiting for soil to be applied – for months, while the plant withers. Part of the explanation for the poor election result is that the party has erased its entire profile. It was also not wise that Stein Ørnhøi suggested a 12 percent pain limit for government cooperation, now the party has also ended up at 8 percent. It should not surprise me if Ørnhøi's statement helped to undermine the confidence of voters. The decline is also due to the completely hopeless plans. I would think that Kristin scored enormously in the last two party leader debates. But the attack on Høybråten, the school food, the cost calculations… Now I do not know if everyone thinks like me, as an old man, but I now wonder if they think that the Norwegian people consist exclusively of parents of small children. A party must have a wider platform than these old red stocking requirements. I do not know how the voters have concluded, but should one draw conclusions from their close circle, this has become too narrow.

- SV's election campaign has been based on government cooperation and the party has lost on not having its own prime ministerial candidate, while FrP has played high and won on it. Can it be said that they have had a totally opposite election campaign strategy?

- Yes, the Progress Party has had a lucky double role. They have been able to act irresponsibly, from the point of view of the establishment, at the same time as they can bet that they would really like to be responsible and participate in government cooperation. SV has just started on what will be the costs of a government collaboration. If they go into government, the downturn will in all probability continue. After the poor result, they have little to negotiate with for government positions, then everyday life will then have to comply. Now Halvorsen has also opened up for EU supporters to be central in the party. SV is so open at all ends that when the dropout starts, it flows out twice as fast again.

- As you say, SV has dropped many of its core issues for this government. How can SV reinvent itself during the Storting period, so that they become possible to separate from the Labor Party?

- No… it had to… So, even though Stoltenberg has that role, I have rarely experienced that one and the same man is involved in a huge rotation of platform, and then to return to position had previously. Now both Halvorsen and Djupedal will probably enjoy ministerial posts, they will probably not go voluntarily in the first place. But in the long run it will be necessary. As Thomas Kuhn says: paradigm shifts rarely occur using the plugs in the system. There must be a replacement of generations at the top in SV. If one seeks a radical policy, there are plenty of political talents among the younger guard in SV. It is not so easy to imagine that revitalization of the party can take place only through talk of a change of leadership, something concrete must emerge. We can not even hope that there is a basis for another opposition to the United States, but Stoltenberg has also promised to take up the EU when the population is ready for it. The government will also have a suicide clause there, and there can be a revitalization. I predict a change of leadership in SV when the EU conflict escalates.

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