Norway: Policy Pursuit and Coalition Avoidance
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All Norwegian governments have been either exclusively socialist or exclusively non-socialist. Peacetime coalitions between socialist and non-socialist parties have never existed.
The Labour Party has eschewed coalitions not only with non-socialist parties, but also with any of the smaller parties to its left. In several elections, the Labour Party has indeed made a campaign issue out of its resistance to coalition politics. Thus, a socialist government has meant a cabinet of Labour alone. Since 1961 a socialist government has therefore also meant a minority government.
Non-socialist governments, on the other hand, have tended to be coalitions (see Rommetvedt, 1984). In all but one case, non-socialist governments have included at least three parties. The exception is the first Willoch government (1981–83), a purely Conservative administration. This government nevertheless enjoyed fairly consistent parliamentary support from the Christian People’s and Centre parties.
KeywordsGovernment Coalition Labour Party Government Formation Minimum Winning Coalition Minority Government
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