WELCOME TO THE NORWEGIAN CENTRE PARTY
The Centre Party membership stock totals close to 22 000. The party organization consists of a central part with headquarters in Oslo, 19 county organizations and local organizations in most of the Norwegian municipalities. The party has a youth organization - the Centre Youth - and a women's organization - the Centre Party Women.
The ideology of the Norwegian Centre Party relies on three pillars:
- the idea of personal responsibility
- the idea of community and solidarity
- the idea of responible management of land and resources.
Central political issues for the Centre Party are:
- democracy and every persons right to political participation
- protection of the natural resources and environment
- decentralisation of settlement, power and capital
- equal living conditions for everybody
- international solidarity
The Centre Party wants a mixed economy, where privat property and private initiativ coexists with public regulations and service.
The Centre Party was founded in 1920. It originated as a party for the rural population, representing the farmers' interests and defending the rural culture and values against the pressure from the urban elites. When the green dimension grew more important in Norwegian politics in the late sixties/early seventies, the Centre Part tended towards the green pole. The party was central in the campaigns against Norwegian membership in the European Union before the national referendums about this question in 1972 and in 1994. Both times the majority of the voters said no to Norwegian membership in the EU.
From 1997 - 2000 the Centre Party took part of the Government, along with the Christian Democrats and the Liberals. We had six cabinet members and 11 members of parliament.
Hence, in the elections of 2001 the Centre Party went to the polls on a ticket with a coalition of the political left as an alternative for government. The results of the elections led to the Centre Party losing its privileged position of arbiter. The party was clearly in opposition to the politics implemented by the majority in Parliament. In the period prior to the 2005 National Elections, it became steadily clearer to all the Centre Party representatives, people holding positions of trust in the party, and all the Centre Party voters, that a coalition government dominated by the political right was totally detrimental to the political aims of the Centre Party.
As a result of this there gradually emerged a wish to form an alliance which would enhance a move in the direction of more Centre Party politics. An alliance with the Labour Party and the Socialist Left Party was unanimously agreed to by the National Congress in March 2005. The Centre Party thus for the first time went to the polls with a clearly stated aim of forming a red/green majority coalition government.
Red/green coalition government
The main Centre Party issues at the elections were local welfare (including county/local economy), transport and communication, business/industry, in addition to voluntarism, sports and culture. The red/green alliance won the elections and a platform for government where the Centre Party gained acceptance for a lot of “our” issues, was negotiated at Soria Moria Conference Centre.
The Centre Party now heads four ministries: Regional Development, Transport and Communication, Oil and Energy, and Agriculture and Food, in addition to having deputy ministers in the Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Finance.