The situation is serious, but not desperate says Hareide
Christian Democrat (KrF) leader, Knut Arild Hareide, acknowledges that the party is in a tight spot, but hopes a renewed strategy to get the political message across will bring them back on the offensive.
In a speech to the national convention of KrF at Gardermoen on Saturday, he described the party as a boat in rough seas. The Christian Democrats had their worst election result since World War II last autumn and must now find its role as a opposition party.
In the average of the polls for January, the party landed just above the barrier limit of 4.2 per cent support from the voters.
– Although the situation is serious, it is far from desperate. KrF is located at the political midfield. The parliamentary election gave KrF an important position in Norwegian politics, says Hareide in his speech.
Now it is up to them to seize the opportunity to be able to influence and show what they stand for.
– If we do that, it can give the party a renaissance, he says
Does KrF mean anything to people?
It was an open and frank party leader who asked questions to reflect upon.
– Is KrF relevant enough? Does KrF really matter? Some will wonder, he says.
– We must dare to ask ourselves some honest questions if we provide adequate answers to what the voters are concerned about, he follows up.
Hareide also showed to the decline the party has experienced over the past 20 years. In order to reverse the development, one must acknowledge that the problem runs deeper than failing to communicate he stresses.
He points out that other parties who have been up shit creek have managed to turn around. Part of the solution is about talking more about issues concerning values and less about what everyone else is concerned with, or letting questions about cooperation or government strategies take centre stage, he believes.
Wants to enhance political profile
Hareide listed some areas where KrF can make its mark on the future.
- The #Metoo debate, which he believes is a “cry for good values”, the need for openness and human dignity.
He also showed that the party’s central committee as recently as Friday considered two sets of guidelines regarding warning cases. They will be submitted for review by the party and the final guidelines will be voted on by the national assembly in April.
- In spring, KrF will present a proposal to reduce alcohol consumption in Norway.
- Value debate in immigration and integration policies with an emphasis on retaining Christian cultural values. Hareide pointed to a proposal the party has submitted to the Parliament that all pupils should be offered a chance to attend school services where possible.
- Bio technology. The Parliament (Storting) is going to process the parliamentary report, which the Government presented in June last year. Key issues are egg donation, surrogacy and fetus diagnosis.
KrF’s country conference lasts for two days. The purpose of the conference is to gather for a political workshop and inspiration, but no policy decisions, resolutions or similar will be adopted.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today