Norway’s coalition government will meet next week to discuss the possibility of a new political platform after the three parties were all returned to power in the recent election.
It is clear already that the coalition will face a number of difficult issues, as they differ greatly in their policies over key national concerns. The Socialist Left Party (SV) has been a vocal opponent of North Sea oil exploration and has also been an outspoken advocate of environmental concerns. The SV party has lost some of its clout in the coalition, following the loss of 4 parliamentary seats in the election, leaving it with 11 in total. Despite the decline, the party is expected to argue strongly for its coalition position.
The Labour Party (AP), which features Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, is a proponent of continued fact finding and exploration in the oil debate, while the Agrarians (SP) believe that the region would benefit from the additional jobs and revenue associated with new oil.
Among other differences are the issue of Norwegian troops abroad, as SV desires a withdrawal of all forces in Afghanistan whilst SP and AP favour a continuance of the support for the international force.
The trio also differ on school models and education policy, as well as how to approach the EU.
The Agrarians are supporters of expanding the country’s rail network and also of improving the nation’s roads. The Socialist Left however favours a rush-hour tax and better public transport systems to limit city congestion.