When I began blogging in 2001, the world of political blogs was so small that we all lived together in the same, global blogosphere. Since then we’ve shifted towards national blog communities. There may be hundreds of Norwegians today who blog about politics, and they refer mostly to each other, not to Swedish, German or American bloggers. Blogging has turned inwards. That’s a shame.
I just realized I’ve been covering the Norwegian election for four months without a single word in English. So here’s a quick summary of the upcoming September 14 election, for any foreign readers I still have left:
This election has been about minor nuances within the Nordic model of a capitalist welfare state. Norwegians believe they choose between “socialists”, “social democrats”, “conservatives”, “liberals” and “libertarians”, but none of the relevant parties stray far from the status quo. There’s a good reason for that – Norwegians have it good – but the insularity sometimes reaches absurd levels, such as when Norwegians identify with Barack Obama, whose politics are far to the right of anything that is acceptable in Norway.
My own vote goes to the Progress Party, because it’s somewhat more pro-market, and because it’s less burdened by the centrist consensus. They’re reviled in Norway, despite getting a quarter of the vote, and the international press sometimes compare them to right-wing extremists. Don’t believe it. They just want to limit immigration a bit. They’re not Thatcherites either. But they could trigger genuine political change in the long run.