The Intelligence Party Illegal voting
Intelligenspartiet is a new political party that is demanding a change in the Norwegian constitution. The change we are asking for is to give voting rights to those non-citizens who can vote in local elections but not in national elections. The paragraph we intend to change in Grunnloven is one of the paragraphs that has been changed the most historically. Groups of the population without voting rights have always had to fight hard for their rights, but it is a process that tends is to go in an inclusive and logical direction.
The party name, Intelligenspartiet, comes from an old Norwegian political party from the 1830’s. This party was in opposition to Patriotene, two parties that were started by two poets and would later come to establish Norways two first official political parties, Venstre and Høyre.
First of all, this 11% is included in the division of power in Norway. We are counted when it comes to dividing mandates across the country, this is done by calculating population and geographic size. Non-citizens over 18 are counted when dividing mandates in national elections, so the 11% does effect the outcome and division of power in Norway without having the right to have a say in what happens in that process. This is a democratic problem.
Secondly, we need a strong voice against the increase of anti-immigration rhetoric and fear mongering that is being used to manipulate the outcomes of elections in Norway and of course across the world. Far right opportunists are trying to scare people with an idea that we live in a changing world that is becoming increasingly dangerous and other less extreme and more mainstream political agendas are utilising these tactics as well. It is obvious that breeding fear and hate works in the fight for political power so we need a strong counter argument, and strength comes in the form of votes. Yes, the world is changing, but we need to be fighting with that change not against it.
This is an important question but it’s not in the constitution that you will find this law, you’ll find it in the voting laws – described in chapter 9 paragraph 5 of Lov om valg til Stortinget (valgloven). This is an important democratic principle that basically says that it is not the people at the voting booths who decide if you have the right to vote or not but rather valgstyret. This means that your vote will be registered regardless of your voting rights status and your name is put in to the system, thereby creating a digital trace of your participation and the creation of statistics that can be extracted. It should be mentioned that when Norway had its referendum to separate from Sweden in 1905, only men had the right to vote. About 300 000 men voted at that time, however, women did participate in that referendum unofficially and ended up collecting a quarter of a million signatures, a process that was very important in leading to Norway being the first independent country in the world to give women both voting rights and rights to run for office in 1913. Finland was before Norway but wasn’t independent in that sense since they belonged to Russia and New Zealand and Australia were also well ahead of Norway but only allowed women the right to vote, not to run for office.
So, with this in mind Intelligenspartiet is going to make Norway one of the first countries in the world to give non-citizens voting rights in national elections, Malawi, Chile, Ecuador and Uruguay, New Zealand allow this after a few years of residency but with varied immigration influx.