Jens Stoltenberg thought the SV program was “totally unreal.” The SV leader thought Sp people were “shit all the time”. And the SP leader feared the “weight of the meat” of the Labor Party.
Another version of this case was published in January 2018.
Although the leader of the SP, Trygve Slagsvold Vedum, would prefer not to participate in the government negotiations with SV, it is open if it will still happen. In that case, it may be interesting to see what happened the last time the Labor Party, the Socialist People’s Party, and the Socialist People’s Party negotiated together in the fall of 2005.
The road to the first red-green government was bumpy. It is revealed in the books that the party leaders have subsequently written – and in the minutes of the negotiations: the government protocol.
Aftenposten has searched the state archives and found the minutes of when Jens Stoltenberg (Labor Party), Kristin Halvorsen (SV) and Åslaug Haga (Sp) formed a joint government platform.
Together, these sources provide an interesting insight into what happened behind closed doors in 2005. Not least in terms of what happened in the rush of government negotiations.
On the penultimate day, hardly anyone gave in to anything.
Halvorsen hit the table
They sat together for 14 days. On the last day, the SV leader hit the table hard. In the government protocol of October 12, 2005, it is described soberly as follows:
“Kristin Halvorsen believes that this statement as it currently stands is worse than the Sem statement in significant respects. This can only be rectified with a significant environmental victory, and it may be the protection of Vefsna. Jens Stoltenberg disagreed with this. . »
The SV leader then believed that what was on the table was worse than what the Conservatives, Liberals and KrF agreed to when they negotiated on Sem’s main estate in Asker in 2001. And she clearly stated it.
SV thought Sp was using a bad mood as a negotiating tactic
According to Lilla Sølhusvik’s book on Kristin Halvorsen, Discovery, his deputy, Øystein Djupedal, had asked him a few days before to adopt a harsher tone.
He considered that the three women who made up the SP negotiating delegation were “dirty all the time” and that they used “bad humor as a negotiating tactic.”
According to the biography of Jens Stoltenberg, My story, the three SP women are known as “driven traffickers”.
– They weighed not an inch for weeks, until they celebrated a bit in the last round. They could be held back so that other areas remained unresolved until they had won their will in the more important areas, he writes.
Towards the sprint, Kristin Halvorsen also decided to be angry. He made an effort to “look like a storm cloud.”
Finally: 13 cases solved before lunch
Before lunch on the last day, 13 important topics were addressed, on very different topics such as Afghanistan, free trade, cash support and the maximum price in kindergartens. But something remained:
“The document has already been reviewed. Land tenure, the Barents Sea, Vefsna, municipal finances and predators are the pending issues.”
After lunch, the three party leaders withdrew and negotiated alone for just over five and a half hours. Only then did the last pieces fall into place, and SV took hold to protect the Vefsna watercourse.
– Vefsna can thank the storm cloud, it is said in Halvorsen’s book. But SV had to accept drilling for oil in the Barents Sea, Labor had to say yes to funding the treatment plants in Kårstø, and SP had to “let the wolf get away a little bit more.”
Stoltenberg on the SV show: totally unreal
All parties swallowed camels in the sprint, including Jens Stoltenberg, who was the one who spoke most enthusiastically for a less binding platform. The minutes of the second day of negotiations say something about this.
“Jens Stoltenberg thought the document should be careful about quantification …”
“He also emphasized the need for a concise and tight form and to avoid blurred text …”
At this point in the negotiations, the Socialist People’s Party and the Socialist People’s Party also agreed to “be careful with quantification,” that is, to avoid promises of amounts and specific targets that had to be met by a date.
Had to stop Labor and Social Democrats
In his biography, Stoltenberg says that the really big problem for the Labor Party in the negotiations was “holding back the other two parties.”
– We had read the match programs beforehand, and especially the SV program that we perceive as totally unreal. There, more should be given to everything and everyone, he writes and describes SV’s starting point in the negotiations as “far from our way of thinking”.
– The platform of government is much more important for the smaller parties in a coalition government than for the larger ones, Åslaug Haga writes in his book. Red Green. It explains how important it is for “the small parties to put things in their place” in government negotiations: things that they will never achieve in the daily work of a government when the larger party “uses the weight of the flesh to win.”
Engagement reached numerical goals
SV wanted to be specific about kindergartens. Sp wanted to quantify the number of billions that municipalities would get in 2006. They both got what they wanted. The smaller parties had a strong weapon. Do you describe it like this in your book:
– If one of the parties does not get their will in the area that is particularly important to the party in the negotiations on the governance platform, there will be no government. This is a solid bargaining card, because it will always be the largest party that has the most prestige associated with bringing government negotiations to shore.
Stoltenberg himself, who fought to bring the union deduction to “at least double the current level,” describes how the Labor Party “rejected many of the more expensive and less elaborate proposals” to SV and Sp.
“GOD, what a lot.”
According to Stoltenberg, SV submitted “long, detailed and non-prioritized demand lists.”
– Most were discarded after endless discussions, he writes. In the other parties, there was discontent with the party’s unwillingness to compromise.
The protocol says something about progress. On the tenth day, this was the situation:
“A list of 74 points of disagreement was distributed and distributed among the different working groups.”
Some became impatient. Kristin Halvorsen’s right-hand man, Lisbet Rugtvedt, who was one of SV’s secretaries in Soria Moria, noted the next day in her own diary.
“Commenters say we have no choice but to agree, and that may be correct. But GOD for a gang we will work with …»
Subgroups were established and notes were crossed.
The Poverty Compromise: Hit Two Letters
Two days before leaving the negotiating room, they agreed on what Halvorsen describes as one of the hottest topics on Soria Moria, instruments and goals in poverty policy. The case was one of several “pending cases”. He hung up after countless discussions. Kristin Halvorsen had several days to think “a little more about the phrase about poverty.”
The opposite pole was, above all, Stoltenberg himself.
SV stood firm, and Kristin had kindly stated in the election campaign that poverty could be eliminated with a stroke of the pen, she writes in her own memoirs.
SV wanted to set the goal of “eliminating poverty” in Norway. By crossing out three letters, Stoltenberg was able to accept it. Because there is a difference between poverty and poverty.
The result was what Stoltenberg describes in the memoirs as a “cryptic formulation that poverty should be abolished.”
At 7:30 p.m. on October 6, 2005, the dealers in Soria Moria got up from the meeting table. Then they reached the goal. But that was also when it started.
The books of the former party leaders reveal much about the “near crises” and dissent during the eight years they ruled together.