Ropstad believes in national growth

Bollestad and RopstadThe interim leadership of the Christian Democrats (KrF), Olaug Bollestad and Kjell Inge Ropstad. Photo: KrF

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Ropstad believes in national growth, despite crisis polls

Kjell Ingolf Ropstad believes in progress when the KrF (Christian Democrats) presents its policy. Despite weak polls, the deputy leader does not fear that it will become a regional party.

 

“When we view the whole picture of the politics, I believe that the party will lift itself before 2021,” the Deputy Leader of the Christian Democrats tells NTB, adding:

“It is not the case that when the Christian Democrats went to the bourgeois, it is impossible to obtain parliamentary representation from across the country. We have a clear ambition to grow and achieve representation from large parts of Norway.”

With a mere 3.5 per cent support according to the pollofpolls‘ average for January, is the Christian Democrats below the barrier limit for the third consecutive month.

“It will be a long-term job to unite the party, and we must give people some time. Showing off the policy and creating excitement around it is what unify the most. We have, therefore, larger ambitions than just «saving» the party,” Ropstad continues.

Warnings

The political discussion surrounding the Christian Democrats has largely been about abortion. Ropstad shifts the focus to breakthroughs for the party, such as an increase in child benefit and leisure time card for youngsters.

Several, nonetheless, warns against an increased «regionalisation» of the Christian Democrats.

“We must both have representation in the bodies of the Christian Democrats and in the Government apparatus from larger parts of the country than we have managed so far, County leader in Nordland, Ingelin Noresjø,” recently told Aftenposten.

“I fear that the path we have chosen will make the Christian Democrats strengthen itself in the South West of Norway and be weakened in the rest of the country: a step towards becoming a regional party,” Leader of the youth organisation of the Christian Democrats (KrFU) in Akershus, Simen Bondevik, wrote just before Christmas.

Ropstad states that the Christian Democrats have always been concerned with broad representation. It is important to get views from all across Norway.

The bookmakers’ favourite

«Everybody» believes the Christian Democrats’ National Convention in April chooses Norway’s Children’ and Family Minister as Leader of the party after Hareide. NRK recently reported that 11 out of 13 county groups that have made up their minds – point to the 33-years-old from Moisund near Evje in East Agder county.

“I have still not received questions from the nomination committee. I am sure they have a plan for how to clarify the issue before the National Convention,” Ropstad comments.

“Still, It must be positive for you that so many county teams point to you?”

“It is always nice to be shown trust. At the same time, the party has been through a demanding time. It is important that it calms down on this, and complete the rounds needed before a leader is appointed,” he answers.

Believability

During the Government negotiations, commentators emphasised that Ropstad will have a credibility problem internally as the party leader if paragraph 2c of the Abortion Act isn’t changed.

The reason is that Prime Minister Erna Solberg (Conservatives), when challenged by Ropstad, opened up for negotiating the paragraph, which opens for late abortions in cases where the foetus has a serious illness.

the Christian Democrats gained a victory by shelving the option to remove foetuses in multi-pregnancies before the self-determination limit, but paragraph 2c remain unaltered.

Ropstad rejects that he instigated too big expectations from Christian Democrats.

“I’m sorry we couldn’t remove 2c. At the same time, I am happy with the other measures,” he comments.

Refutes rigged games

Claims of a rigged game are dismissed by the Deputy Leader of the Christian Democrats.

“For my part, there has never been a game. There have been important issues that were part of the political project in the equality reform. I know very well what political leadership in the Conservatives feels about those issues. That’s why I thought it was worth a try,” Ropstad refutes.

“Within the field that we often define as human dignity, I don’t think that we would have been close to obtaining as much impact through collaborating with the opposite side of politics. I believe that time shows that this is indeed the case,” Ropstad concludes.


© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today
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