The (anti-)establishment of the Norwegian Green Party

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The impact of the philosophical heritage of Arne Næss on the party profile

GEF: Outside Norway, Miljøpartiet is famous because of its ideological basis that was provided by Norway’s internationally well-known philosopher, Arne Næss, who died in 2009. How big is the influence of Næss’ ecosophy (which values Self-realisation with a capitalised “Self” that includes the ecosphere, as a distinction from the narrow human selves) still on the course of your party today, three years after his death, and with many new members joining the party?

Strømmen: “As mentioned, many new members of Miljøpartiet have a rather pragmatic approach to politics, whereas some of the older members have a rather philosophical approach in the tradition of Næss.”

Schei: “The philosophy of Næss seems to be more important to the older than to the newer members of the party. Still, I would say that we are all influenced by it. It happens that people look back at what Næss has said and use this as a reflection upon the course of the party.”

GEF: Has the impact of Arne Næss perhaps also had an impact on the image that people in Norway have of your party? Do people see Miljøpartiet as an academic party, for example?

Strømmen: “Yes, I think so, and I believe that this has meant that the party has at times expressed itself in ways that was difficult for many people to relate to, so I would say that the development towards more pragmatism in Miljøpartiet these days is a positive thing.”

Schei: “If you look at the electorate of our party, you also see that higher educated people from larger cities (e.g. Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger) are overrepresented. Currently, we are trying to appeal to a broader electorate than this.”

From Næss to populist rhetoric? The electoral strategies of Miljøpartiet

GEF: What, in that case, would be the main profiling strategy of Miljøpartiet?

Schei: “First of all, we want to stand out as the environmental party of Norway. We take green issues much more seriously than any other party. At the same time, Miljøpartiet also wants to highlight that it is not just a one-issue-party. People in Norway are not fully aware of it yet that we want to do more than just combating climate change, so we have to make sure to profile ourselves in other fields as well.”

Strømmen: “In general, we try to stress our own green narrative as much as possible. Of course, we do not always manage to get much attention with this, particularly due to the small size of our party. Therefore, we have to take a stand in the ongoing debates in the media as well. Social media can be an important tool nowadays to put forward our own narrative though.”

Nikki Schei

GEF: But how are you planning to broaden your current electorate, as you mentioned? Do you have certain target groups in mind that do not belong to the “usual suspects” of voting green?

Schei: “I think there is much to gain among voters who are older than, say, 60 years, and who worry about handing over the earth to new generations of people. I think we could visit the homes of the elderly, for example, and tell the people there that we have a solution for their grandchildren. I think I can also use my experience with Høyre campaigns here.”

GEF: Does the fact that you have been attracting so many disappointed members of other parties, make Miljøpartiet a typical protest party, and an anti-establishment party? Would you even consider using populist rhetorical tools to establish the party?

Schei: “I would not say that we are a protest party, but a solution party. In that way we differ from for example the right-wing populist Progress Party (Fremskrittspartiet), which simply stands for lowering taxes without any theoretical basis. But as for the label anti-establishment party I tend to agree. This is because Miljøpartiet stands for quite dramatic changes in society, unlike the established parties. In order to reach these goals, I think we could certainly make use of populist rhetorical tools. Let us stir things up!”

Strømmen: “I think that Miljøpartiet could indeed make more use of populist rhetorical tools to reach certain people. You have to be aware of it though that Nikki and I are not the most representative voices of Miljøpartiet in this respect. Many people in our party would strongly oppose any populist tendency, in spite of the fact that there is a certain heritage of this in the alternative political movements of the 1960s, in which many Green parties have their roots.”

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COMMENTS ARE CLOSED

  1. Leslie Anthony-Robinson 04/04/2015 at 03:34 | Permalink |

    April 4th, 2015…Hello Norway Greens Party…I am a British American in Australiua…I require Humanitarian Refuge long ago and the evacuations of all Indigenous youth abnd children in the gippsland area where I live. These people require retreival, restoring, reform and theirs only my daughter also savage victim of Australians…Too shocking to express…There are persons “at war”
    as insane in huge networks of narcotics evil, so far found in Melbourne and suburbs, Gippsland where we moved when my daughter Alma May Robinson was born in 1993. Terrible times…Criminality found nowhere on the earth. Sydney and NSW was so insane. Never in Australia have I ever been able to move a step. I condemn all British as fatal as rare Welsh, Scottish/French ancestry. I require an Academic use of my findings in Victimology as us all being innocent, peaceful, dignified examples of what were wonderful people in many nations, ages…I cannot believe the racial/gender attacks as hostiles. I have found Acts of Crime Against Humanity and Genocidals. I deny any use other than specialized Intelligence at American standards. I will in no way consider Australia a nation and certainly not Democratic. I plan to sell my home and travel to Cyprus, Paris, France, a whizz through UK then to remain indefinitely in Washington, USA. I will demand my daughter Alma and her partner Michael Judd, an Aussie with Danish mum, be reassured that they may visit America and know they may be with me and meet my husband and family…an excellent network of hardworking world people. I miss America…I could never be brought here. Interesting because my father, born in Montana was the bastard offspring of an unknown Norwegian. His mother was Scottish/German…International Law will remove every human victim and have these Goddamn perpetrators treated as Correct Procedure. Law Enforcement is not what Australia is. I have collected my last case…very tired of ordeals, dump it on a doorstep…The most imprisonable.
    Help us All please…Thank you. 1 Dempsey Court, Morwell 3840, Victoria, Australia…+61 (03) 51330080…+61 (0)413530206…Immediate response requested for anyone who cares…I am extremely tired of trying to find professional standards…Lawsuits anyone ?? Best regards, Leslie Anthony-Robinson

  2. Leslie Anthony-Robinson 04/04/2015 at 03:47 | Permalink |

    It has occurred to me to re-found the Unity Party of Australia as Democratic representation of Indigenous Rights and respect of Non-Australians and Environmental causes. Also due to continuing Narcotics impacts/risk throughout the community I have also considered establishing the ICEBERG Foundation to record Narcotics activities known to the public, victims of Narcotics crime, referrals, legal advice, use of information by Law Enforcement and treatment…Most of it has no hope. I am multi-cultural Australia and am not impressed with the lack of standards for very good people. Australia is back in the White Australia Policy Era. I condemn all forms of Racism and will regard Discrimination as serious offence. I would like advice or assistance in how to initiate a political party starting with people as resources…I’m outta here man !! Thank you.

    Best regards,

    Leslie Anthony-Robinson