On the heels of the overwhelming win by conservatives in Australia, Norwegian conservatives delivered their own good news by forming the first conservative government in Norway since 1990. Conservative Party leader Erna Solberg is likely to form a majority coalition with another conservative group, the Progress Party. She becomes Norway’s second female Prime Minister, and the lady who has been nicknamed “Iron Erna” says that this was “a historic election victory for the right-wing parties”.
Ms. Solberg led the right to victory by promising to lower taxes, diversify the economy, and privatize Norwegian businesses. The message is a distinctly anti-socialist one.
On a side-note, there is a lesson to be learned by Americans from the Norwegian election. All parties involved seemed to be in consensus on socialized healthcare and education. The point is that, once in place, socialized programs (like healthcare, education, social security, etc.) become extremely difficult to overturn. Today in Norway, even the conservatives are for socialized medicine. If we want any hope of ever overturning the Obamacare legislation, we have to do it before it becomes ensconced in American culture… otherwise, it will be here to stay. Social Security is a perfect corollary. When it was enacted, conservatives rightly attacked it as socialism — almost 80 years later, Social Security is a sacred cow in American politics.
Norway has fared better than most of the world economically, thanks in large part to their oil wealth. However, Ms. Solberg properly notes that for Norway to be competitive in the future, they must diversify. As nations move away from nonrenewable resources, Norway’s financial prosperity will become harder to maintain. To that end she has argued for more private freedom in the market and less government intervention in business. Her Conservative Party would also like to cut welfare spending; however, this may be difficult as her coalition partner in the Progress Party would like to see an increase in spending.
What the Norwegian election does teach us (especially on the heels of the conservative Australian landslide victory) is that people are smart enough to recognize the fallacies in liberal arguments. One doesn’t need a college education to know that spending more money will not fix your economic problems. The conservative message of fewer taxes, less spending, and smaller government is a winning message when properly conveyed. As Ms. Solberg said, “Today the voters have produced a historic election victory for the right-wing parties. We will give this country a new government.”
Keep the pressure up, conservatives – we can make a difference. Conservatism will make this world a better place.
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