2013 Party election lists strikingly white / News / The Foreigner

2013 Party election lists strikingly white. UPDATED: Norway has a sizeable minority-ethnic population, but the country looks likely to elect very few non-white members in the parliamentary elections next year. The general election campaign is slowly gearing up. Nominations for the next parliament are in full swing, but the number of minority ethnic candidates near the top of the parties’ lists is strikingly low. The only political party to buck this trend is the Liberal Party, Venstre (V), which has Abid Raja of Akershus, of Pakistani origin, in first place. Proportional representation virtually guarantees Raja a seat in parliament.

norwaygeneralelection2013, immigrantpoliticiansnorway



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2013 Party election lists strikingly white

Published on Tuesday, 20th November, 2012 at 13:02 under the news category, by Ben McPherson.
Last Updated on 21st November 2012 at 20:45.

UPDATED: Norway has a sizeable minority-ethnic population, but the country looks likely to elect very few non-white members in the parliamentary elections next year.

Norwegian Parliament building
Norwegian Parliament building
Photo: Norwegian Parliament/Flickr


The general election campaign is slowly gearing up. Nominations for the next parliament are in full swing, but the number of minority ethnic candidates near the top of the parties’ lists is strikingly low.

The only political party to buck this trend is the Liberal Party, Venstre (V), which has Abid Raja of Akershus, of Pakistani origin, in first place. Proportional representation virtually guarantees Raja a seat in parliament.

“I know I have a different skin colour, but I don’t think anyone considers me as anything but Norwegian,” says Raja in an interview with Vårt Land.

Immigrants and Norwegians with immigrant backgrounds make up 13.1 per cent of the country’s population. In Oslo that figure rises to 30 per cent. Yet the number of non-white faces in parliament remains stubbornly low.

“There are quite a lot of candidates from minority ethnic backgrounds on the local party lists,” says Raja. “But not many of them who make it to the top in national politics. Many of them maybe haven’t wanted it enough, or been good enough.”

In a speech to new Norwegian citizens in June 2012 of this year the Minister of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion, Inga Marte Thorkildsen, said “Society has the same expectations of you as of all other Norwegian citizens. Everyone must contribute to Norwegian society according to their abilities.”

But others feel that Norway places obstacles in the way of new citizens and their descendants. Majoran Vivekananthan, editor in chief of multicultural Norwegian-language magazine Utrop, believes immigrants have to be overqualified to gain a seat in parliament.

Vivekananthan told VL, “It’s difficult for people from immigrant families to get a foothold [in Norway]. It isn’t enough to be as good as your competitors - you have to be a step ahead of them.”




Published on Tuesday, 20th November, 2012 at 13:02 under the news category, by Ben McPherson.
Last updated on 21st November 2012 at 20:45.

This post has the following tags: norwaygeneralelection2013, immigrantpoliticiansnorway.





  
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