Debate, chief Make room for small parties

Debate, chief  Make room for small parties

Lear This is a leader. The leader expresses the position of the newspaper.

Local elections are always exciting, and they will also be in Valdres this time. As of now, the Center Party has five mayors and the Labor Party has one mayor. In three of the municipalities, one party has gained a majority in the past four years: the Center Party in Oysterslider and Vester Slider, and the Labor Party in Fang. It obviously requires the majority party to include the other parties, but also the minority parties to gain traction for other political solutions.

It is not taken for granted that this will be the result after the elections, even if the two largest parties were well prepared before the elections. There are good candidates for mayoral office in other parties and lists, and when the voters have their say, the parties must also reach an agreement about the prominent political positions. Then anything can happen.

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The question is also how national politics play a role in municipal elections. The past few months have been tumultuous for the Store government, with several major integrity issues emerging, and so far two ministers have resigned as a result of them. In a TV2 poll, the Center Party cut its support in the municipal elections by more than half, losing more than 1,000 members of the municipal council. It is dramatic for the party, which has faced daily national politics to the limit after good election results in 2019 and 2021.

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But in local elections, several factors come into play, which national surveys fail to capture. Local elections can be as much a personal election as a partisan election. Additionally, national surveys do not capture local area listings well enough.

Even if municipal politicians in the individual municipalities of Valdres agree on a lot, there are some differences. A large part of the municipal budget is associated with legal tasks. But investing in aged care, wellness offerings for young people, mental health and teaching jobs in schools is still up to municipalities to decide how to implement them.

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After the election debate in the Oyster Slider, liberal actress Alice Goodheim gave her real political catharsis. “I have felt like a rock in my shoe all these four years. An unpleasant element is holding up the resounding consensus among the major parties,” Goodheim wrote on Facebook.

Valdres municipalities benefit from the preparation for political diversity. Four out of five municipal council representatives in the 2019-2023 period came from either the Center Party or the Labor Party. It is a great responsibility for the “state-bearing” parties to also listen to the smaller parties.

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Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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