Wednesday, October 27

A new party leader must be elected by referendum.

  • Svein Konstali
    Svein Konstali

    Former KrF politician

The Christian People’s Party will elect a new party leader after Kjell Ingolf Ropstad (pictured) resigned this weekend.

The current electoral procedure is patriarchal and medieval.

This is a discussion post. Opinions in the text are the responsibility of the writer.

“I am deeply hurt and disappointed,” said KrF politician Kjell Bondevik when his hopes of becoming prime minister were shattered in 1971. This was at a time when support for the Christian People’s Party was in the double digits.

But his nephew’s name was Kjell Magne Bondevik. It is true that the latter had no results to show. But he was still chosen by virtue of his last name.

I myself heard about the chosen one when I went to secondary school in Flekkefjord, several years before, on behalf of KrF, I ended up in the political leadership of the Ministry of Transport, under a minister who was a friend of the chosen one. But that he lacked the ability to make decisions.

He did not deliver, but was rewarded

When Kjell Magne Bondevik stepped down as party leader in 1995, he had reduced support for KrF to 7.9 percent in the last parliamentary elections in 1993. So those who elected him were wrong.

Hans Svarstad was one of the party’s founders in the 1930s. And now his grandson Valgerd Svarstad Haugland has arrived. That ended at 6.4 percent in 2003. In other words, he was wrong again. She was the first party leader in KrF to stay forced to resign. After which she became governor of Akershus County.

Then came Dagfinn Høybråten, also with the correct last name: son of KrF politician Per Høybråten. The party was then reduced to 5.5 percent in 2009. He became the second party leader in KrF who had to reluctantly resign. He was later promoted to head of the Nordic Council.

If Ropstad had been the CEO of a limited company, or a party leader elected by the members, he would have been replaced a year ago.

After which came Knut Arild Hareide, who reached 4.2 percent in 2017. KrF was with this result a party in ruins. At the barrier limit level. Earlier, Hareide hurt (much) worse and split the party in two, in the sense that it assumed that the KrF voter is defined in the choice of the Conservatives or the Labor Party as partner.

After this he could not continue, nor was Hordaland KrF able to go to the polls with Hareide at the top of the list. But his successor, Kjell I. Ropstad, appointed him the country’s transport minister.

The Hareide party, which lost the battle for KrF, optimistically went on its own behalf to the Sentrum party. And he achieved 0.3 percent in this year’s elections.

Bondevik’s ethics of temperament

If Ropstad had been the CEO of a limited company, or a party leader elected by the members, he would have been replaced a year ago. Because even then it was clear that he was not the right person to lift the group away from the limit level of the barrier. In that case, KrF could now, for all that is known – cf. Trygve Slagsvold Vedum and Bjørnar Moxnes – having had a better party leader and double-digit number of parliamentary representatives in this year’s elections.

Representatives of the national board and central party bodies now claim that they, after five failed leadership elections, should still be playing the game for a new party leader. But it doesn’t happen. The procedures for the election of the party leader must now be reviewed. Furthermore, the ethics of Bondevik’s mindset must come to light. The consequent voter ethics and Christian ethics must come into play.

Among the Christian Democratic parties, the KrF sisters, are some of the largest and most powerful parties in Europe. And among them there are also small and insignificant parties. It is neither easier nor more difficult in Norway than in other countries. You can end up on one end of the scale or the other, depending on the choices you make.

Privileges must disappear

Regarding the policy that KrF should follow from now on, I recommend the following: At the national board meeting on Friday, it begins by deciding that all special rules and privileges for parliamentary representatives, including those related to taxes and allowances. And that the nucleus of the people must henceforth adhere to the same, good regulations to which all other inhabitants of this country must adhere.

I believe that this simple, confidence-building decision, while there are still some journalists who find the party’s statements worth covering, alone can provide the party with 1 percent more support.

Then you can make other decisions with a similar effect when it comes to voter support. Including everything that needs to be done now, to prevent the majority population of this country from being marginalized in their own country.

Election procedures expired on the date

But the most important thing is this: KrF elects the party leaders based on the early Middle Ages. Based on the notion that people do not know, cannot or understand the best they can. And that an elite of the party (national assembly and national government) must vote for them.

It is not checked by a referendum among party members, as do, for example, SV in Norway and other parties in other countries, whether the candidate for party leader is really salable. Therefore, KrF repeatedly ends up with party leaders who are not!

My proposal for a decision at the national board meeting in KrF on Friday September 24 is that the election of the party leader in the provisional election year henceforth be decided by referendum among the party members. The members then measure the chosen one based on their results. In this way, the principles of modern popular government and surrender demands will replace the principle of election of the leader of the medieval patriarchal party.

The author of the charge is a former leader of KrFU (1986-1988), political advisor to the Minister of Transport and Communications in the Syse government (1989-1990) and leader of Akershus KrF (1991-2000).

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