It’s election night in Norway. Local election covering the municipalities and counties. Norway consists of 19 counties, where each county again has a number of municipalities. There are national and local elections every fourth year, both are held separately which means there are two years between each election. We have a multi-party system, which means there are a bunch (say about ten) different parties. These, unless one party really stands out and get a massive amount of votes, must collaborate to form the government, or the local councils. The parties earn seats depending on how large a percentage of the votes they get. A candidate from the party with the most votes is usually placed as prime minister, mayor, or similar positions (depending on the election) – but only if the largest party is able to (form a coalition with other parties in order to) hold the majority of seats.
The rose is the symbol for one of the parties. It does not necessarily mean it was the party I voted for. This rose, however, was given to me by a representative from that party and is the only election-related photo I have.
I have been struggling a lot this year deciding which party to vote for. In fact, I didn’t even make up my mind until I was on my way to vote. I always take an election seriously. A few parties I have eliminated long before I even start thinking about the election, but that still leaves a fair amount of parties to chose from.
This year I narrowed it down to four parties. I started looking at one part, studying the party’s pamphlets and flyers. I looked at their main concerns and goals – nodded, smiled, and I was content with what they were saying. Turned the page and I was happy. I was thrilled and hoped I would be able to make up my mind weeks before the actual election. But I was wrong. I turned the page again. I read a few lines and my heart sank. I sighed, I cursed, and try to find logic in their arguments. I read on, shook my head, sighed again, and felt hope leave my heart. I face-palmed the colourful leaflets. I turned to another party and a new doze of propaganda. History repeated itself: face-palms, sighs, curses, rolling eyes, and desperation. With every one of the four parties, the four parties I was left with after carefully eliminating every one of the others, history repeated itself. I turned to technology, the local newspaper has set up online tests to see which party you should vote for. My highest score was 37%. I could agree with “my” party in 37% of all cases. My other three parties scored somewhere between 32 and 35.
Of course I can’t not vote (yes, double negative, meaning I do have to vote) I at least I have to give my vote to anyone but the parties I early in the process eliminated. A few coin-flips and a few good discussions and a short walk to the ballot boxes later I was able to chose a party. Now, I have given them all I can, my one vote. The only one I got, and I hope they won’t let me down too much. If they do, I guess I have to consider a career in politics myself… (which I just couldn’t do – I find my choices logical, as will everyone else. Which would give me no competition against the other parties and make Norwegian politics logical and perfect, but also plain and boring – it would just be too unfair to everyone else, so I’ll refrain. You’re welcome!)