Local elections tomorrow, the only elections I’m entitled to vote in, so I’m surfing, thinking about what I’ll vote. In Norway we have lots of parties represented locally and nationally, and they usually form coalitions. So in Bergen council there’s usually at least one communist representative (this period there have been four), several socialists, a handful of Christian Democrats, a few smallish central parties, the right wing “Progress Party” (growing yearly) and the large traditional Social Democrats and the Conservatives.
Ten years ago I would have voted for the communists every time, not because I agree with everything they want (the whole armed revolution thing made my youthful communist period even briefer than my conservative fling) but because I love the courage of their outspoken voices, and treasure a democracy that will listen to them although they have little voting power. This time I’m thinking much more tactically. The Conservatives, led by a seventh generation coffee baron from one of Bergen’s “oldest” and richest families, are looking like they might take over power from the current Social Democrat run council. So I think I’ll vote Social Democrat, though they’re less and less social, because the alternative to having them in power is far worse. I don’t think I’ve exactly gotten more conservative as I grow older, but I’m certainly getting more pragmatic.
Your posting confirms the recent poll which shows that 80% of people with a foreign background vote for left-wing parties. And here’s further confirmation: I’m casting my vote for the Socialist Left this time (last time I voted Social Democrat), the deciding issue being their clear anti-Progress Party stance. There’s a fair chance that Oslo could be governed by two women the next four years – my Dream Team would be Kari Pahle (Socialist) as Head Councillor and Ellen Horn (Soc/Dem) as Mayor. I’m keeping my fingers crossed… 🙂