My time in Norwegian politics is now over, and now I am concentrating on giving Norwegian businesses strategic communication advice, and with my operational experience as a war reporter and in a turbulent time in Norwegian politics, I am well equipped for crisis management.
On my Norwegian website, kristiankahrs.com, I have written several articles with thorough analysis of why I left Norwegian politics, but for now, let me say that it is a wonderful feeling of freedom to be be out of Norwegian politics. Sure, I suffered a devastating defeat in the Norwegian parliamentary elections on Sept. 11., 2017, but I have learned a lot the last couple of years I have been involved in the strategic leadership of the Democrats in Norway. I know how to handle difficult questions from the media, and I am well equipped to handle communication crisis when party members have unfortunate statements in media.
Below you can see an analysis I wrote about the Norwegian political landscape in the spring of 2017:
I will be a national conservative peace candidate with a realistic view of immigration and Islam before the parliamentary election in Norway in 2017. I need 11,500 votes to be elected from the county of Sør-Trøndelag.
Non-Western and especially immigration from Islamic cultures is a great demographic challenge, and we need to limit this kind of immigration as much as possible, but going to NATO and Western led wars in the Islamic world often makes things worse.
Let me take you through my perspective on Norwegian politics. While I have positive things to say about all parties in the Norwegian parliament, the Storting, there is virtually no foreign political opposition in the seven parties currently represented there. Let me go through them:
Conservative Party (Høyre). Well, the name could be confusing as there are no conservative parties in the traditional sense in Norway. The leading government party, the conservatives a center-right party in Norway who is favorable to private enterprise and individuality, but still far away from what an American would consider in this category. I would consider this party most loyal to the United States and US-led wars, and when they were in government in 2003, they wanted to join the coalition of the willing against Iraq. Last August, there was a big debate whether Norway should support a war against Syria, and the conservatives supported a war without a UN mandate. You can read more about that in this article (automated translation) This is also the only party where there is no disagreement that Norway should apply for full membership in the EU.
Progress Party (Fremskrittspartiet). The junior government partner of the conservatives, and they define themselves as classical liberal and conservative liberal. Some people say that they are a populist party, and this is the party that wants to limit non-Western immigration most of all parties in the parliament. I think these questions are neglected in many European countries, and the debate is much more open than in Sweden. Unfortunately, in Sweden, you will be easily accused of being a racist if you want a sustainable and controlled immigration. Officially, they are also supporting a lot of US-led wars around the world, but some politicians are more critical, especially when Christian minorities are affected. In this article, you can see that the Progress Party also would not reject a war against Syria without a UN mandate.
Liberal Party (Venstre). This is one of the supporting parties to the current government, and the good thing about them is that they are the party with the best policy on privacy opposing the Data Retention Directive. However, they have a strong rhetoric to make a world for democracy and human rights, which means a tendency to make democracy with the help of bombs delivered from a few thousand feet. In this article, you can see that they were the leading party supporting a bombing of Assad. (The translation is not very good, and the Venstre is literally translated Left, not Liberals, which is the English name for this party.)
Christian Democratic Party (Kristelig Folkeparti). In 1999, Kjell Magne Bondevik was the prime minister, and when Norway joined the war against Yugoslavia, we started our first war for over 200 years. Bondevik is an ordained Lutheran minister, and he uses his Christian credentials constantly as a peacemaker. I tried to get access to documents in his government trying to know why Norway went to war against Yugoslavia, but Bondevik refuses me this access. Read more about this in the article Former Norwegian PM refuses access to documents. Before Norway was of the most active to bomb Libya in 2011, Dagrun Eriksen spoke about the need for democracy in the Middle East in the Parliament:
“The Arab world needs a reformation which not only replace tyranny with democracy, but which also replacing the arbitrary abuse of power with respect for human rights. Changes the oppression of women with equality. Changes the prejudices with education. Replaces corruption with the rule of law.”
Well, in December 2013, Libya implemented Sharia laws….
Labor Party (Arbeiderpartiet). This is the most influential party in Norway, and they have been in government for most years since WWII. They are not eager to go to war without a UN mandate, but they are very loyal to NATO. You may have noticed that the former PM Jens Stoltenberg is now the new secretary general for NATO. Although he was very active in supporting the war against Libya, I am moderately positive to Stoltenberg being the new NATO chief because he has proved that he can lead difficult negotiations with the Russians. Furthermore, I know that Jens is the son of Thorvald Stoltenberg, a former Norwegian foreign minister and the UN peace negotiator in Bosnia. Thorvald has given me an interview, and I have tremendous respect for him. In my article Thorvald Stoltenberg, English translation, I have published a summary of Stoltenberg’s books in English.
Center Party (Senterpartiet). A party for farmers and the districts, and they have been skeptical to centralized power. This is the party with the clearest opposition to the EU, Schengen and the European Economic Area (EEA). While they are a supporter or UN mandates for wars, they are loyal supporters of NATO. If I would be elected to the parliament, I would favor a referendum to decide if we should leave Schengen and the EEA. We had referendums about joining the EU in 1972 and 1994, but now we have given up a lot of sovereignty without the Norwegian people having a say.
Socialist Left Party (Sosialistisk Venstreparti). The party with the strongest peace rhetoric, but in parliament, they have supported all Norwegian wars after the cold war. The party was started in the 1960ies in opposition to a Norwegian membership of NATO, but these days, they support a lot of NATO-led wars.
Green Party (Miljøpartiet De Grønne). One MP in the Storting, but I am not sure what he thinks about war. However, when it comes to immigration, they are very naive and dangerous.
So, how is it possible to make a difference in this political landscape? For me it has been quite interesting to follow the European Parliament elections May 22-25. I see a tendency that more and more people oppose centralized decisions by unelected bureaucrats. For me, the important division is not left or right, conservative, socialist or liberal, but whether you support a globalism world order or if you favor national democracies and respect national sovereignty. Way too often we see that Western politicians use the responsibility to protect as an excuse to go to war when the question is really spreading a Western mindset and economic model to other parts of the world.
When I am reading readers’ commentaries in Norway, I see that it is easier now than before to challenge the notion that NATO and the West are the only ones who represent positive values like democracy and freedom of speech. Now might be the time to act and to try to change the foreign political paradigm that has dominated Norway and other NATO countries for such a long time.
If elected to the Norwegian parliament, it would be ideal for me to have a swing vote to be able to have real power in the Storting. Then I would demand a strong UN mandate and a thorough parliamentary debate before any wars Norway should be involved in. If the parliament would support a war, I would also demand parliamentary guarantees against mission creep, like we saw in Libya. They said they wanted to protect civilians, but the war was really about regime change.
Of course, I realize that there Norwegian special forces or military intelligence would conduct limited operations in order to protect Norwegian national interests, without a UN mandate. I these cases, it is not always appropriate to have a full parliamentary debate, but if I had the balance of power, I would demand to be informed about these operation and reserve the right to take it to a full debate in the Storting.
I am a social conservative and my Christian faith is very important for me. However, there is not an opponent in the world I could not sit down to have a coffee or a beer. I have had very good conversations with people who have been traditionally very far from me politically and religiously, but I think it is important to build bridges where bridges are needed and appropriate.
In the US, there is a big debate whether you should call those who are opposed to abortion prolife or anti-choice. I am definitely a prolifer, and I am greatly inspired by the story of Lacie Buchanan and her husband who gave birth to little Christian despite being born with no eyes.
I get a lot of good updates how the world is affected by US wars from the YouTube channel of Democracy Now!. Their problem however, is that that when they speak about those who are opposed to abortion, they always use anti-choice. I automatically dislike those videos.