Labor Party (Norway)

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The Norwegian Labor Party (Norwegian: Det norske Arbeiderparti, DnA/Ap) is a political party in Norway, representing social democracy. After the parliamentary elections of 2005 and 2009, The Labor Party is Norway's largest political party, currently leading a coalition government with The Socialist Left Party and The Centre Party. This is a majority government.


Early years

The party was founded in 1887 as the second political party in Norway. Despite the growing worker class in Norway, the party didn't get any representatives in the Storting until 1903. The first time the Labor Party was granted governmental power was in 1928, led by Christopher Hornsrud as Prime Minister. However, this government only lasted some few weeks, so the real start of the Labor Party's golden age as major governing party started in 1935, when the popular Johan Nygaardsvold became Prime Minister. His leadership during the Second World War increased the party's power.

Golden years, 1935–1965

In the golden years, after the Second World War, the party was led by Einar Gerhardsen, the Prime Minister of Norway 1945–1951, 1955–1963, and finally 1963–1965. During the break in 1963, the position was held by John Lyng from The Conservative Party. In larger political context, the short break didn't bring much right-wing politics to Norway, but it made the right-wing parties become closer, and in 1965 the Labor Party's golden age ended when a right-wing coalition led by Per Borten was in power until 1971.

Losing face, 1970's

Then the Labor Party's Trygve Bratteli became Prime Minister for two periods; 1971–1972 and 1973–1976, interrupted only by the Christian Democrat Lars Korvald in 1972–1973. Odvar Nordli from the Labor Party became Prime Minister in 1976, succeeded by the first female Prime Minister of Norway, Gro Harlem Brundtland, also from the Labor Party.

Challenged, 1980–2000

The party was heavily weakened in 1981, when Brundtland lost to the Conservative Kåre Willoch, but she became Prime Minister again in 1986, after Willoch's government was turned down by The Progress Party after a dispute about oil prices. Brundtland's government had to give power back to the Conservative Party, the Centre Party and the Christian Democratic Party, led by Jan P. Syse, in 1989. Syse didn't last long as Prime Minister, and had to give power back to Brundtland and the Labor Party in 1990, then being in the government until 1997, the last two years led by Thorbjørn Jagland.


Jens Stoltenberg became Prime Minister after a dispute about gas power in 2000, but lost in the parliamentary election of 2001. He came back in power in 2005, and is still Prime Minister of Norway. Though Stoltenberg's current government has the majority of the mandates in the Storting, the government is under heavy criticism because of missing results to its promises made before the election, and is in large danger of losing the power to the right-wing parties, especially the Progress and Conservative Parties after the next parliamentary election in 2009.

Prime Ministers


  • Arrogance of power. As the governing party for 16 years after the Second World War, the party was called arrogant by many opposition members. This includes, for instance, that the party often appoints party members for important governmental positions, as chief in the Norwegian State Broadcastning (NRK): From 1948 to 2001, all the chiefs had been politicians in the Labor Party.
  • Populism. The party has been attacked for being populistic by Trine Skei Grande (Liberal Party, 2005), Torbjørn Røe Isaksen (Conservative Party, 2004) and the newspaper Bergens Tidende (2003).

See also

External links

Political parties in Norway
Centre PartyChristian Democratic PartyConservative PartyLabour PartyLiberal PartyProgress PartySocialist Left Party