Christian Democratic Party (Norway)
The Christian Democratic Party (Bokmål: Kristelig Folkeparti, Nynorsk: Kristeleg Folkeparti, Northern Sami: Risttalaš Álbmotbellodat, lit. 'Christian People's Party', KrF), is a Christian-democratic political party in Norway founded in 1933. The party is an observer member of the European People's Party (EPP). It currently holds three seats in the Parliament, having won 3.8% of the vote in the 2021 parliamentary election. The leader of the party is Kjell Ingolf Ropstad.
|Leader||Kjell Ingolf Ropstad|
|Parliamentary leader||Hans Fredrik Grøvan|
|Founded||4 September 1933|
|Headquarters||Øvre Slottsgate 18–20|
|Youth wing||Young Christian Democrats|
|Political position||Centre to centre-right|
|European affiliation||European People's Party (observer)|
|International affiliation||Centrist Democrat International|
|Nordic affiliation||Centre Group|
3 / 169
46 / 728
|Municipal / City Councils|
621 / 10,781
0 / 39
The Christian Democrats' leader from 1983 to 1995, Kjell Magne Bondevik, was one of the most prominent political figures in modern Norway, serving as Prime Minister from 1997 to 2000 and 2001 to 2005. Under the old leadership of Bondevik and Valgerd Svarstad Haugland, the party was to some extent radicalized and moved towards the left. Due largely to their poor showing in the 2009 elections, the party has seen a conflict between its conservative and liberal wings. Until 2019 the leader was Knut Arild Hareide, who led the party into a more liberal direction as part of a "renewal" process, and introduced climate change and environmentalism as the party's most important issues.
The Christian Democratic Party was founded as a reaction to the growing secularism in Norway in the 1930s. Cultural and spiritual values were proposed as an alternative to political parties focusing on material values. The immediate cause of its foundation was the failure of Nils Lavik, a popular figure in the religious community, to be nominated as a candidate for the Liberal Party, for the parliamentary elections in 1933. In reaction to this, Kristelig Folkeparti was set up, with Lavik as their top candidate in the county of Hordaland. He succeeded in being elected to Stortinget, the Norwegian parliament. No other counties were contested. At the next elections, in 1936, the party also ran a common list with the Libral Party in Bergen, and succeeded in electing two representatives from Hordaland with 20.9% of the local votes. In 1945, at the first elections after the Nazi occupation of Norway, the party was organised on a nationwide basis, and won 8 seats.
The Christian Democrats became part of a short-lived non-socialist coalition government along with the Conservative Party, the Liberal Party and the Centre Party in 1963. At the elections of 1965, these four parties won a majority of seats in Stortinget and ruled in a coalition government from 1965 to 1971.
The Christian Democrats opposed Norwegian membership in the European Community ahead of the referendum in 1972. The referendum gave a no-vote, and when the pro-EC Labour government resigned, a coalition government was formed among the anti-EC parties, the Christian Democrats, the Liberal Party and the Centre Party. Lars Korvald became the Christian Democrats' first prime minister for a year, until the elections of 1973 restored the Labour government.
The party's historic membership numbers peaked with 69,000 members in 1980.
The 1981 elections left the non-socialists with a majority in parliament, but negotiations for a coalition government failed because of disagreement over the abortion issue. However, this issue was later toned down, and from 1983 to 1986 and 1989 to 1990, the Christian Democrats were part of coalitions with the Conservative Party and the Centre Party.
In 1997, the Christian Democrats received 13.7% of the votes, and got 25 seats in the Storting. Kjell Magne Bondevik served as prime minister between 1997 and 2000, in coalition with the Liberal Party and the Centre Party, and then between 2001 and 2005 with the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party.
In the 2005 election, the Christian Democrats received only 6.8%, and the party became part of the opposition in the Storting. In 2013, the Conservative Party and the Progress Party formed a new government based on a political agreement with the Christian Democrats and the Liberal party with confidence and supply. In the 2017 election, the party got only 4.2% and did not sign a new agreement, but got a politically strategic position as the conservative minority government mainly depended on their votes to get a majority.
In late 2018, the Christian Democrats were split over the question of a potential government participation and the future direction of the party. At a party meeting in early November 2018, the delegates were asked whether to stay in opposition or to join either a "red" or a "blue" government coalition with party leader Knut Arild Hareide favouring a centre-left government with Labour and Centre parties, and deputy leaders Olaug Bollestad and Kjell Ingolf Ropstad wanting to join the existing right-leaning cabinet of Erna Solberg. The delegates decided with a narrow majority of eight votes to join the existing Solberg's Cabinet with Conservatives, Liberals and the Progress Party. In January 2019, after successful negotiations with the coalition parties the Christian Democrats eventually joined the government and Hareide resigned as party leader. In April 2019, 33-year-old Minister of Children and Family Kjell Ingolf Ropstad was elected new party leader.
The Christian Democratic Party has been described as centrist,[excessive citations] and centre-right. The party follows its European counterparts in many ways, positioning itself as a family-friendly party. While founded on the basis of advocating moral-cultural Christian issues, the party has broadened its political profile over time, although Christian values remains its core distinction. It is considered an overall centrist party, combining socially conservative views with more left-leaning economic positions.
As a party centred on Christian values, the party draws support from the Christian population. Their policies supporting Christian values, and opposing same-sex marriage appeal to the more conservative religious base. The main rival in the competition for conservative Christian votes has been the Progress Party, even though it has been claimed that the party has lost some of the more traditionalist and conservative votes to the further-right The Christians, citing an increasing secularisation of the Christian Democratic Party, including the removal of the mandate that party officials must be practicing Christians.
Since the party was established, a declaration of Christian faith was required for a person to be a representative in the party. Membership had no such requirement. The increase of support for the party from other religions stimulated efforts to abolish this rule. At the 2013 convention the rule was modified. The new rules require that representatives work for Christian values but do not require them to declare a Christian faith. This latter point was considered the "last drop" for some conservative elements of the party, who as a result broke away and founded The Christians Party.
In social policy the Christian Democratic Party generally have conservative opinions. On life issues, the party opposes euthanasia, and abortion, though it may support abortion in cases of rape or when the mother's life is at risk. The party supports accessibility to contraception as a way of lowering abortion rates. They also want to ban research on human foetuses, and have expressed scepticism for proposals to liberalise the biotechnology laws in Norway. Bondevik's second government made the biotechnology laws of Norway among the strictest in the World, with support from the Socialist Left Party and the Centre Party, but in 2004 a case regarding a child with thalassemia brought this law under fire. On gay rights issues, the party supports possibilities for gay couples to live together, but opposes gay marriage and gay adoption rights. The party has criticized the Polish government's policy towards LGBT-people, and supported the Norwegian government’s decision to withdraw financial support to polish’s municipalities that have declared themselves as LGBT-free zones. Party leader, Kjell Ingolf Ropstad, stated: «To not be discriminated against because of one’s sexual orientation is a fundamental human right. Therefore, it is important that the government now is clear about the terms of receiving financial support through the EEA funds. We want to support a policy that protects diversity and freedom.» The party maintains neutrality on the issue of gay clergy, calling that an issue for the church.
International affairs and foreign aidEdit
Since the turn of the millennium, the Christian Democratic Party has had a major influence on development aid policy in Norway. The first Minister of International Development was Reidun Brusletten (KrF) in 1983, when Kåre Willochs second cabinet was extended to a coalition consisting of three parties, including the Christian Democratic Party. Hilde Frafjord Johnson, also from KrF, held the position from 1997 to 2000 and again from 2001 to 2005, during Bondeviks first and second cabinet.
Dag Inge Ulstein is the third christian democrat to hold the position. He was incumbent to Minister of International Development in january 2019, after the Christian Democratic Party became part of Solbergs coalition. Ulstein has addressed the need to take care of vulnerable minorities in foreign policy and by the use of humanitarian aid. Ulstein described these group as: women, children, people with disabilities and sexual and religious minorities.
Ulstein has played a prominent role in the global handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on fair distribution of vaccines to poor and middle income countries. As Minister of International Development, he has been the governments spokesperson regarding Norway’s contribution in the global fight against COVID-19, which involves the contribution of 2.2 billion Norwegian krones to vaccine development through CEPI, in March 2020, and Norway’s entry in the global vaccine cooperation COVAX in august 2020, as one of the first European countries.
In March 2021, it became clear that the Norwegian government had donated 700.000 vaccine doses to low income countries in February the previous year. This created big reactions from other parties, who thought Norway instead should have given the doses to the Norwegian population. The Christian Democratic Party received much criticism, from among others, the leaders of the Progress Party and the Centre Party, Sylvi Listhaug and Trygve Slagsvold Vedum. Party leader, Kjell Ingolf Ropstad, condemned the criticism and stated: «The last thing the world needs now is more egoism and competition, countries between. Instead we need to help each other. We will not succeed in the fight against COVID-19 if we only say «Norway first»».
The Christian Democratic Party is a strong supporter of increased development aid and more cooperation with developing countries. They want 1 percent of the GNI to be spent on development aid, and a larger share of the sum to be spent on poverty reduction and climate change adaptation.
At the national congress in 2021, the party proposed the creation of a Norwegian climate fund. The goal of the fund was to outcompete the use of coal power, by investing in renewable energy in developing countries. The Christian Democrats got the proposal through in the Storting, and a few months later the government decided to establish a climate fund consisting of 1.15 billion dollars. Experts estimated that the fund could result in more than 10 billion dollars in private investment in renewable energy. The deputy leader of the Norwegian environmental organisation ZERO, Dagfrid Froberg, described the fund as: "Maybe the most important Norwegian measurement in order to fight climate change."
On questions surrounding immigration, integration and refugee policy, the party has a liberal stance. The Christian Democratic Party wants to base Norway's intake of refugees on the UN High Commissioner for Refugees' recommendations. In 2021, they announced that they want Norway to retrieve 5,000 refugees annually, plus 500 extra from the Moria refugee camp on Lesbos, Greece.
They have also addressed what they believe is an unfair distribution of refugees, by the fact that Syria’s neighbouring countries, Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, receives a higher number of refugees than other European countries. Therefore, they want Norway, and western-European countries as well, to retrieve a larger amount of refugees from Syria, in order to assist neighbouring countries and help Syria who are in a difficult situation as a result of civil war.
The Christian Democratic Party describes climate change and global warming as one of humanity's greatest challenges. They base their climate policy on climate research and the UN's sustainability goals.
In May 2020, ministers and parliament members from the Christian Democratic Party and the Conservative Party gained critic because they wore UN pins during the COVID-19 pandemic, which largely affected businesses and social conditions in Norway. Per-Willy Amundsen, a parliament member and former Minister of Justice and Public Security from the Progress Party, stated: “I think this is a very strange prioritizing in a time where we should stand together and when the state is caring for its citizens.” Amundsen suspected that the decision to wear UN pins was made by prime minister Erna Solberg. In June 2020, Faktisk.no, a Norwegian fact-checking organization, revealed that the criticism of state officials wearing UN pins started in far-right groups.
The Christian Democratic Party support international climate goals and climate agreements, like the Paris agreement. They want to cut Norwegian emissions of carbon by at least 55% by 2030, compared with 1990 levels, and they aim for a climate-neutral Norway by 2050. They have adressed the need for restructuring in the Norwegian petroleum industry and want to end oil and gas exploration in new areas.
Protection of the vulnerable areas of Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja from oil drilling, has been an important matter for the Christian Democratic Party. After the 2017 Norwegian parliamentary election, Knut Arild Hareide, party leader at the time, announced that the Christian Democratic Party would withdraw their support to Solberg's cabinet if they opened the areas for oil drilling. When the Christian Democratic Party became part of Solberg's coalition-government in January 2019, it was decided that the areas were to be protected until the next election.
The Christian Democratic Party wants increased funding of public transport projects outside Oslo, like the Bergen light rail. They want to accomplish this by making the government finance a larger share of the cost of developing local public transport systems, in order to make public transport more accessible and efficient, especially for people with disabilities.
Geographically, the Christian Democrats enjoy their strongest support in the so-called Bible Belt, especially in Sørlandet. In the 2005 elections, their best results were in Vest-Agder with 18.9% of the vote, compared to a national average of 6.8%.
KrF has also sought support among the Muslim minority in Norway, pointing to their restrictive policies on alcohol and pornography, although the party's support for Israel concerns some Muslim voters.
List of party leadersEdit
- Ingebrigt Bjørø (1933–38)
- Nils Lavik (1938–51)
- Erling Wikborg (1951–55)
- Einar Hareide (1955–67)
- Lars Korvald (1967–75)
- Kåre Kristiansen (1975–77)
- Lars Korvald (1977–79)
- Kåre Kristiansen (1979–83)
- Kjell Magne Bondevik (1983–95)
- Valgerd Svarstad Haugland (1995–2004)
- Dagfinn Høybråten (2004–11)
- Knut Arild Hareide (2011–19)
- Kjell Ingolf Ropstad (2019–21)
1 / 150
2 / 150
8 / 150
9 / 150
14 / 150
12 / 150
15 / 150
13 / 150
14 / 150
|1||Coalition (1969–1971, KrF–V–H–Sp)||4th|
|Coalition (1972–1973, KrF–V–Sp)|
20 / 155
22 / 155
15 / 155
|Coalition (from 1983, H–KrF–Sp)|
16 / 157
|1||Coalition (1985–1986, H–KrF–Sp)||3rd|
|Opposition (from 1986)|
14 / 165
|2||Coalition (1989–1990, H–KrF–Sp)||5th|
|Opposition (from 1990)|
13 / 165
25 / 165
|12||Coalition (1997–2000, KrF–Sp–V)||3rd|
|Opposition (from 2000)|
22 / 165
|3||Coalition (2001–2005, H–KrF–V)||5th|
|Opposition (from 2005)|
11 / 169
10 / 169
10 / 169
8 / 169
|Coalition (2019–2020, V–H–FrP–KrF)|
|Coalition (from 2020, V–H–KrF)|
3 / 169
- The Christian Democratic Party ran on joint lists with other parties in a few constituencies from 1961 to 1981. Vote numbers are from independent Christian Democratic lists only, while vote percentage also includes the Christian Democratic Party's estimated share from joint lists (Statistics Norway estimates).
- In government coalition from 28 August 1963 to 25 September 1963, see Lyng's Cabinet.
- "Kjell Ingolf Ropstad er ny partileiar i KrF" (in Norwegian). 27 April 2019. Retrieved 13 April 2021.
- Dagbladet, ed. (7 January 2020). "Doblet medlemstallene på to år" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 22 February 2020.
- "Valg 2011: Landsoversikt per parti" (in Norwegian). Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development. Archived from the original on 24 September 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
- "Kristeleg Folkeparti". Valg 2011 (in Norwegian). Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
- Hans Slomp (2011). Europe, A Political Profile: An American Companion to European Politics. ABC-CLIO. p. 425. ISBN 978-0-313-39182-8.
- Nordsieck, Wolfram (2017). "Norway". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
- Oyvind Osterud (2013). Norway in Transition: Transforming a Stable Democracy. Routledge. pp. 114–. ISBN 978-1-317-97037-8.
- T. Banchoff (28 June 1999). Legitimacy and the European Union. Taylor & Francis. pp. 126–. ISBN 978-0-415-18188-4. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
- Gjerde, Robert (15 February 2010). "Nestleder vil skrote KrFs Israel-politikk". Aftenposten. Stavanger. Archived from the original on 2 February 2010. Retrieved 10 June 2010.
- "Eriksen: – Vi er ein offensiv gjeng". NRK. 30.04.2011. "Den nye leiartrioen skal føre Krf gjennom ei fornyingsfase fram mot stortingsvalet i 2013. Eriksen har leia partiet sitt strategiutval og står bak ei rekkje forslag som vil trekkje KrF i meir liberal retning."
- "KrF-Hareide: - Ja, jeg har fått meg kjæreste". VG. 26.04.2011.
- Dropper å gå i regjering – satser på miljø
- NORGES OFFISIELLE STATISTIKK IX. 107., "Official statistics IX.107 of Norway"
- Røed, Lars-Ludvig (7 January 2009). "Lengre mellom partimedlemmene i dag". Aftenposten. Archived from the original on 2010-12-30.
- National Archival Services of Norway Archived 2007-10-09 at the Wayback Machine (in Norwegian)
- "Drama på KRF-landsmøtet: Hareide tapte og Erna Solberg får fortsette som statsminister".
- "Knut Arild Hareide går av som KRF-leder". 17 January 2019.
- "Kjell Ingolf Ropstad valgt som ny leder i KRF". 27 April 2019.
- Allern, Elin Haugsgjerd (2010). Political Parties and Interest Groups in Norway. ECPR Press. pp. 183–186. ISBN 9780955820366.
- "Sentrum – politikk". Store norske leksikon. 10 October 2013.
- Van Hecke, Steven; Gerard, Emmanuel (2004). Christian Democratic Parties in Europe Since the End of the Cold War. Leuven University Press. p. 231. ISBN 9789058673770.
- Love, Juliet; O'Brien, Jillian, eds. (2002). Western Europe 2003. Europa Publications. p. 493. ISBN 9781857431520.
- Narud, Hanne Marthe; Esaiasson, Peter, eds. (2013). Between-Election Democracy: The Representative Relationship After Election Day. ECPR Press. p. 86. ISBN 9781907301988.
- Müller, Wolfgang C.; Strom, Kaare (2003). Coalition Governments in Western Europe. Oxford University Press. p. 169. ISBN 9780198297611.
- Kotkas, Toomas; Veitch, Kenneth (2016). Social Rights in the Welfare State: Origins and Transformations. Taylor & Francis. p. 50. ISBN 9781315524320.
- The Statesman's Yearbook 2017: The Politics, Cultures and Economies of the World. Palgrave Macmillan. 2017. p. 917. ISBN 9781349683987.
- "Appendix A3: Political Parties" (PDF). European Social Survey. Archived (PDF) from the original on 29 January 2018.
- "Norway". Europe Elects. Retrieved 30 July 2021.
- Election 2017: Who’s who in Norwegian politics? The Local (Norway edition). Author - Michael Barrett. Published 29 August 2017. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
- Fondenes, Eivind (September 1, 2009). "- Høybråten tjener på homo-motstand". TV2 nyhetene. Archived from the original on December 11, 2019. Retrieved 2009-09-02.
- Sæle, Finn Jarle. "Hvorfor kristenfolket vinner - om de taper KrF (Why Christian people win - if they lose the Christian Democratic Party)". idag.no. IDAG. Archived from the original on 5 January 2016. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
- Sporstøl, Ellen (May 2, 2009). "Høybråten ønsker seg muslimer" (in Norwegian). TV2 nyhetene. Archived from the original on March 17, 2014. Retrieved 2009-09-02.
- Grøttum, Eva-Therese; Johnsen, Nilas. "Nå har KrF droppet kristenkravet". Dagbladet (in Norwegian). 26 April 2013. Retrieved 26 April 2013.CS1 maint: location (link)
- "Partiet de Kristne". 9 April 2020.
- "Norway - Political parties". Norwegian Social Science Data Services. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
- KrF on life protection and abortion Archived 2009-02-26 at the Wayback Machine (KrF.no) (in Norwegian)
- KrF on bio- and genetic technology Archived 2009-02-25 at the Wayback Machine (KrF.no) (in Norwegian)
- Mehmet gets stem-cell dispensation Archived 2008-09-21 at the Wayback Machine Aftenposten, December 10, 2004
- Stillheten etter Mehmet (The quiet after Mehmet) VG, September 1, 2005
- "Norge struper pengehjelp til «LHBT-frie soner» i Polen". www.aftenposten.no (in Norwegian Bokmål). Retrieved 2021-08-01.
- KrF on gay rights Archived 2009-02-25 at the Wayback Machine (KrF.no) (in Norwegian)
- Skjeseth, Av Heidi Taksdal. "KrF-statsråd vil gå først i homokampen". Dagsavisen (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2021-08-01.
- "Norge takket nei til nesten 700.000 vaksinedoser". www.vg.no (in Norwegian Bokmål). Retrieved 2021-08-01.
- "Erna Solberg: - Gir 2,2 milliarder til vaksine". www.vg.no (in Norwegian Bokmål). Retrieved 2021-08-01.
- "Norge med i internasjonalt samarbeid – sikrer tilgang til flere coronavaksiner". www.vg.no (in Norwegian Bokmål). Retrieved 2021-08-01.
- Speed, Av Jan. "Norge har gitt bort 700 000 vaksinedoser til fattige land". NoradDev (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2021-08-01.
- "Venstre og KrF slår hardt tilbake etter Vedums vaksinekrav: – Usolidarisk". www.vg.no (in Norwegian Bokmål). Retrieved 2021-08-01.
- Rønning, Av Jan Speed og Asle Olav. "KrF ønsker milliardfond for å stanse kullkraft – og mindre til tropisk regnskog". NoradDev (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2021-07-31.
- "Regjeringen vil spytte inn 10 milliarder i nytt grønt fond". e24.no (in Norwegian Bokmål). Retrieved 2021-07-31.
- Northug, Av Cathrine; Journalist. "Regjeringen setter 10 milliarder i nytt klimafond: – Milepæl i norsk bistandshistorie". Vårt Land (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2021-07-31.
- "Bondevik med flammende innlegg. Nå går også KrF imot regjeringens standpunkt". www.aftenposten.no (in Norwegian Bokmål). Retrieved 2021-07-31.
- NTB (2021-04-30). "KrF vil ta imot 5.000 kvoteflyktninger og 500 fra Moria-leiren". Nettavisen (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2021-08-01.
- "These 10 countries receive the most refugees". NRC. Retrieved 2021-08-01.
- "Flyktninger". Kristelig Folkeparti (in Norwegian Bokmål). Retrieved 2021-08-01.
- Gilbrant, Jørgen (2020-05-07). "Derfor går ikke Ropstad med FN-pinen". dagbladet.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2021-08-01.
- "Faktisk". www.faktisk.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2021-08-01.
- "Motstanden mot FN-nålen startet i ytterliggående miljøer". www.faktisk.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2021-08-01.
- "Et historisk taktskifte i norsk klimapolitikk". Kristelig Folkeparti (in Norwegian Bokmål). 2021-01-08. Retrieved 2021-08-01.
- "KrF sa nei til oljeleting i nye områder". e24.no (in Norwegian Bokmål). Retrieved 2021-08-01.
- Solås, Torun Støbakk, Anne Marte Blindheim, Steinar Suvatne (2017-09-12). "Truer med å felle Erna hvis hun rører disse fem sakene". dagbladet.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2021-08-01.
- "Stemmedrama i KrF: Inn i regjering med to knappe stemmers overvekt". www.vg.no (in Norwegian Bokmål). Retrieved 2021-08-01.
- Otterlei, Simen Sundfjord (2016-11-19). "Hareide vil kjempe for mer penger til Bybanen". NRK (in Norwegian Bokmål). Retrieved 2021-08-01.
- "Stortingsvalet 2005. Godkjende røyster, etter parti/valliste og kommune. Prosent" (in Norwegian). Statistisk sentralbyrå. 2005. Retrieved 2009-09-02.[dead link]
- Archer, Else Karine (August 14, 2009). "Tror på Allah, stemmesanker for KrF" (in Norwegian). NRK. Retrieved 2009-09-02.
- "Tabell 25.3 Stortingsvalg. Godkjente stemmer etter parti1. Prosent".