Young candidates from the Labour Party will take part in the first parliamentary election since Breivik’s Massacre in Norway. The 27 survivors chosen from the Worker’s Youth League (AUF) of the Labour Party are expected to be slightly different from previous generations and raise tough questions. Usually, once left-wing young Labour MPs sit in the parliament (Stortinget), they’re likely to share more mainstream views with the rest of the party. However, this generation is believed to confirm confidence in staying true to their beliefs.
Gunn Karin Gjul, a Labour MP, in speaking about the terrorist attack in 2011, when 77 people were killed at the summer camp on Utøya island, noted, “The 22 July generation is a very unique generation within the Labour Party; their ideas were tested in a way that no generation since World War II in Norway has been”. The main question in the AUF candidates’ agenda is oil production. The youth wing would like some parts of the Norwegian continental shelf environmentally protected, the other branches of the party don’t believe this necessary. Another point is the immigration problem, as the AUF wants the government to be more tolerant in this respect. The liberal views of AUF members were one reason for Breivik’s attack… he wanted to stop immigration from Muslim countries to Norway and the AUF seemed to him an obstacle on the way to this. Gjul added that, as massacre survivors, they might question why Norway lacks the death penalty, why Breivik wasn’t given tougher prison conditions, or why he grew bitter and aggressive.
The crucial point in gaining a seat in the Stortinget is a candidate’s ranking on a party list. Many of the Utøya survivors running for parliament lost primary battles for safe positions higher up, so, now, they’re quite low on the list. Only 3 of the 27 survivors have high enough rankings to get elected for sure. According to Norwegian tradition, young people get involved early in politics. The current Prime Minister, Labour’s Jens Stoltenberg, became an MP at age 32, whilst one of his opponents, Conservative Erna Solberg, won election at age 28.
10 July 2013
Voice of Russia World Service