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buzzsaw_23 Donating Member (631 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-05 09:16 PM
Original message
Norway Votes to Spend Oil Riches on Welfare State
Norway votes to spend oil riches on welfare state

By Stephen Castle, Europe Correspondent

Published:13 September 2005

The Norwegian opposition party regained power in the oil-rich country's general election yesterday, according to exit polls, after wooing voters with pledges to plough cash into their already generous welfare state system.

<snip>

The Labour Party leader, Jens Stoltenberg, a 46-year-old economist who briefly served as Prime Minster between 2000 and 2001, looked set to regain power in a narrow victory, having fought a campaign which held that more could be done to eliminate the country's remaining social problems.

With 90 per cent of the vote counted last night, the indications were that the Labour party had won 88 seats of the 169 seat parliament, Mr Stoltenberg fell short of declaring a victory, but he said that should his party win, he would form a "red-green" alliance with the Green Party and Socialist Left and Centre Party.

The alliance wants to spend more oil cash on jobs, care for the elderly and education and a key plank of the parties campaign was that the tax cuts introduced by Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik have served only to help the rich.

http://news.independent.co.uk/europe/article312192.ece
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-05 09:22 PM
Response to Original message
1. Norway is following Venezuela's example. What if other countries
Edited on Mon Sep-12-05 09:22 PM by jody
join in?

How dare the working masses believe that nature's bounty belongs to them when God meant everything to go to a privileged few.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-05 09:49 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. Seems like democracy to me.. People voted for what THEY want
Governments are created to do the public's bidding..

It also sounds like people's votes count in Norway..and get counted too :)
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-05 10:32 AM
Response to Reply #6
31. Yup, I don't know how Norwegians vote, but you can be darned sure they
Edited on Tue Sep-13-05 10:32 AM by Peace Patriot
don't have two Bushite electronic voting companies owning and controlling the vote tabulation, with SECRET, PROPRIETARY programming code, and not even a paper trail, let alone a real ballot, to audit it with.

Time to throw these election theft machines into 'Boston Harbor' (or a Louisiana levee), and get our democracy back--and catch up with the Europeans, and the Venezuelans, on what government is FOR.

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pippin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-05 07:07 AM
Response to Reply #1
24. I Love Norway
Have been there several times and it's got to be one of the most beautiful countries in the world, not to mention a country that takes care of its people. . .Unlike what used to be the United States of America. The beauty of Norway's oil rich resources is that it cannot be privatized by pirana corporations and that profits go to the state, i.e, the radical notion that oil belongs to the people.

Norwegians do grumble about high taxes but given the services they get they say they wouldn't have it any other way. Ofcourse we couldn't emulate them--that would be shudder--socialism. (sarcasm)
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The Velveteen Ocelot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-05 09:30 PM
Response to Original message
2. Norway must be hell on earth. Why would anyone want to live in a country
Edited on Mon Sep-12-05 09:36 PM by ocelot
where they give the proceeds of their natural resources to the schools, the poor, the elderly and the disabled?

And how fast can I move there?
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pro_blue_guy Donating Member (286 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-05 09:34 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I wish we had a plethora of different political parties.
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all.of.me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-05 09:37 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. pick me up on your way out!
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-05 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Me too
:)
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-05 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. its beatiful I have visited friends there a few times. Good for them.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-05 09:50 PM
Response to Original message
7. Look for Bush to invade them.
He'll be likely to find they need more "freedom." He'll save them from all that forced skiing.

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The Velveteen Ocelot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-05 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. They have oil; they should worry.
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Lindacooks Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-05 09:57 PM
Response to Original message
10. And I am proud to be a Norwegian-American.
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leQ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-05 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. here too. although didn't norway go along with bush on this war? (eom)
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loudsue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-05 10:26 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. They contributed some troops, I believe. Maybe that played into the
recent elections. It seems like the only countries that re-elected regimes that participated in the Iraq war, are the countries that use the new "special" brand of voting machines.

Hmmmm.

:kick:
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buzzsaw_23 Donating Member (631 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-05 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Interesting Point
"It seems like the only countries that re-elected regimes that participated in the Iraq war, are the countries that use the new "special" brand of voting machines."

Any lists or links? No surprise.

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sonicx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-05 10:46 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. they sent less than 50, i think.
Edited on Mon Sep-12-05 10:48 PM by sonicx
i don't think Iraq was a large factor in the election, but i'm sure it didn't help the center-right.
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MisterP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-05 01:00 AM
Response to Reply #11
19. they also declared war on W(h)ales and other sea-mammals
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Coventina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-05 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #19
28. Yep, that is Norway's last big moral problem. And I have to ask WHY?
Why are they so stupid about whaling?

They are the only Western nation (last I heard) that still participates in that barbaric practice.

As a Norweigan-American it makes me ashamed.
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NorthernSpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-05 12:01 AM
Response to Original message
15. why can't things be like that here?
What do freepers make of news like this, I wonder? Do they all try to convince each other that Norwegians really have it much, much worse than we do, because "welfare states don't work" -- even though that one obviously does?
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hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-05 12:10 AM
Response to Original message
16. Those poor, poor Norwegians living under that oppressive regime...
We must invade them and show them how to properly use their oil.
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burrowowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-05 12:27 AM
Response to Original message
17. Watchout for a visit
from the World Bank/WTO backed by Bu$hCo! Will they invade Norway!?!
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sjdnb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-05 12:35 AM
Response to Original message
18. This doesn't surprise me . . .
While my maternal grandmother was certainly 'cut from the same cloth' as Prime Minister Bondevik, in researching her family, who came here from Norway in 1848, I learned that the reason they gave for coming was so that their eldest son could avoid serving in the military.

As I had only known my very conservative, stern, grandmother, in doing further research I found not only were they anti-war, they immediately enlarged their homestead to house up to 60 immigrants at a time, serve as the first 'public' schoolhouse in the county they settled in, and, almost immediately broke away from their home church, creating their own 'synod', due to their strong feelings against slavery.

Over the years, I have gained a great deal of respect for the Scandanavians (and, Icelanders).
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KitSileya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-05 01:09 AM
Response to Original message
20. Yes, we're pretty glad right now.
We've been eagerly awaiting this switch back to a red (red-green) government. But it is worrying that the Progress Party is now the largest non-socialist party, as it is a populistic party so blue it's almost brown. They've snowed a lot of Norwegians with the promises to use oil money to fund their campaign promises, but everybody agrees that were the money in the petroleum fund to be used more than sparingly, inflation would be rampant. They are very anti-immigration, anti-foreign aid, in short, so much focused on taking care of only Norwegians that the conservative parties dismissed the chance to grab power by co-operating with them even when the polls showed the right side had a majority.

But 1/5th of all Norwegians voted for these people, and that is very worrying. They don't realize how good they have it, simply put. Of course there are things that need to be corrected, and the prioritizing will be different with a socialist government, but the great majority cannot fathom how well they live, and how safely they live, in comparison to the majority of the world's population. They only compare themselves with the rich (whose numbers have grown in the last 4 years) and disregard the fact that they live in a country that most only dream of.
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passy Donating Member (780 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-05 02:38 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. Best place to live, shame about the weather.
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L07658683.htm
That reflects the Norwegian spirit quite well I think, the US could learn from that.
Give more to the poor when things are going well for you.
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passy Donating Member (780 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-05 02:45 AM
Response to Original message
22. Another more accurate article.
http://www.sltrib.com/ci_3024269?rss
The Labor party has not won 88 seats, the potential coalition has. Labor won 62 seats and almost a third of the votes.
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passy Donating Member (780 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-05 03:00 AM
Response to Original message
23. A good background article written before the election.
http://www.sibernews.com/content/view/1948/29 /
from an unlikely source but accurate.

I liked that bit here "Norwegians are known to complain nonetheless, over everything from high prices to long waits for non-emergency medical care, cuts in police and school budgets and a shortage of day care and nursing home spaces. "
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KitSileya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-05 09:08 AM
Response to Reply #23
26. That is soooo true!
It annoys the hell out of me, pardon my French, that Norwegians complain like that. It's all about prioritizing. I refuse to believe that there's not enough money in the budgets to do these things, it's just that people want lots of material goods as well as a top-rate welfare system. When the welfare state was built, after the war, people didn't have the buying power they do now. They managed with less stuff, less entertainment, fewer cars and less driving, worked more - in short, they weren't as rich as Norwegians (and Norway!) are now. Norwegians are spoiled.

But I am soooo glad I live in Norway now, instead of in the US.
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leesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-05 07:37 AM
Response to Original message
25. "welfare state system"...no bias there, huh?
Good for Norway for thinking of their people.
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Raster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-05 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #25
34. that's what I thought too. If the profits are channeled into private
hands, then it's a "welfare state." The corporate doublespeak is nauseating. The true welfare queens are the corporations that use public monies and assets to build their businesses and fortunes, not paying their fair share of taxes. They funnel their profits into the pockets of the wealthy few who scream bloody murder at any suggestion of the profits benefiting the public good. Trickle-down economics is a corporate lie.
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sonicx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-05 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #25
36. welfare state is not a bad word
only in america is it considered "bad."
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-05 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #36
38. A good point
which shows how the right wing has framed the discussion for so long in the USA. Even people on DU think using the word must mean the writer is against it.
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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-05 09:30 AM
Response to Original message
27. that is absolutely tremendous news
The pendulum swings back. And if Canada doesn't join the swing, and keeps listening to the crap of people touting "Swedish-style" private health care, for instance, we'll just be heading farther down the road to inequality.

Sweden has had the advantage of a well-entrenched situation of relatively little income inequality, high-wage, high-skill jobs being the long-time basis. In a society starting from a less advantageous position, the effects of holes in the social safety net will be seen sooner.

Sweden's GINI index (a measure of income equality -- the lower the number, the better) was 25 in 1992:
http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/sw.ht...

Norway's was 25.8 in 1995:
http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/no.ht...

Canada's was 31.5 in 1994:
http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ca.ht...

(I have no idea why these figures have to be so out of date)

The US's has been higher than every other comparable nation's for a long time (only the UK came close, of all the nations of Western Europe and Japan), and it was **45** in 2004:
http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/us.ht...
In the US, the rich have been getting steadily richer and the poor poorer, and that's the measure of it.

Russia's was 39.9 in 2001:
http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/rs.ht...

The distribution of income is one of the bases for the UNDP's determination of the "best" country to live in. Canada hasn't been in first place for a few years now; income disparity has been growing in Canada.

Ah, here we are:

2003:
http://www.undp.org/hdr2003/indicator/indic_126_1_1.htm...

2004:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_incom...

Norway -- 25.8
Canada -- 33.1
United Kingdom -- 36.0
United States -- 40.8
(don't know why the CIA factbook says 45)


An equitable distribution of income, and the goods and services provided by the society, including through the social safety net, is one of the best predictors of low levels of violence in the society, among other things.

This victory is tremendous news.

Update:
http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2005/09/13/norwa...
"Norway Prime Minister resigns"

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buzzsaw_23 Donating Member (631 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-05 09:39 AM
Response to Reply #27
29. If this were to happen
in Latin America the CIA, IRI, NED, etc. would be busy trying to subvert/ overthrow the gov't and the US Admin would be labelling them commies.
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-05 09:56 AM
Response to Original message
30. US "votes" to spend oil and war riches on Dick Cheney's new house
(gotta love Diebold)
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Algorem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-05 10:33 AM
Response to Original message
32. They deserve a good bombing.
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Qibing Zero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-05 10:45 AM
Response to Original message
33. Ah, good ol' scandinavia.
Brings a tear to my eye, it does.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-05 11:01 AM
Response to Original message
35. Ah, Norway, my love! Yes, they are wrong on whaling, but they are much,
much, MUCH closer to nature than Americans are--except for Native Americans--and guess who else is wrong on whaling? I don't think we can really understand a culture that is still very close to nature and that is based on seafaring (for Norwegians, seafaring far afield, and for NA seafaring close to shore). One wants to wring their necks, and shake them, and say, "Don't you realize that whales are sentient beings?! Don't you realize they are endangered?!"

Useless ranting from citified sophisticates! It's like asking an indigenous tribe not to hunt. Better we should spend our time seeing to our own merciless, chemical polluted, meat farms.

Aside from whaling--which I don't accept from ANYBODY, not even NA's (because I believe that whales are sentient, that this is new knowledge, and that we simply MUST stop killing them, for moral reasons, not just endangerment of the species)--Norway is the most beautiful country and the most laudable and admirable society on the face of the earth.



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Avonrepus Donating Member (146 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-05 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #35
37. I know a Norwegian
She spent a term at my university about 18 months ago, (University of York, UK: has a large Norwegian student community given the city's links to Scandinavia) but I only got to know her about 2 weeks before she went back.

Speak to her on MSN occasionaly though.

This is her website: http://www.leikthepirate.blogspot.com / It's pretty weird (in a good way)
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