No, I’m not blue. The city is. It’s the day after local elections, and Oslo and Bergen are blue (still), and Trondheim is red (still).
In the US, somebody fiddled with the colors on the chart showing where Republicans and Democrats are strongest and so went against an old tradition: That of assigning blue to the conservatives/right-wing and red to the liberals/left-wing. But in Norway, blue still means to the right (and our two right-winged parties have blue in their logos), and red to the left (so much so that the communist party renamed itself just Red).
That Oslo and Bergen continue to be blue is not the surprise. It’s how it happened: The Progressive party (Frp) has finally made a dent in the nation’s two largest cities, and the local news today is about what coalition Bergen’s Right party (Høyre) will enter into to form a local parliament. And if you think it’s only about counting votes, it isn’t. Høyres concern is the national election in 2009. Alliances formed now will influence that election. The middle-of-the-road parties, Christian Folk party (Krf) and Left (Venstre, but it’s not left-wing, it’s Norway’s oldest political party and in the middle) are insisting on Høyre turning to them, which has annoyed Frp, which got just as many votes as Høyre here in Bergen. (In Oslo, Labor could be in charge if it got all the centrum parties to go along.)
So in one sense, it’s a thriller. Will my city opt for the right or the middle? Who is really going to be in charge, coloring my local world for the next four years? How blue will we be?
Trondheim has no such worries. Labor (Ap) won a clear majority there, with 43.9% of the votes. That means they can be in power all by themselves.