Little Bits of History

Young Liberals of Norway

Posted in History by patriciahysell on January 27, 2014
Unge Venstre

Unge Venstre

January 27, 1909: Unge Venstre (UV) forms. The literal translation for the Norwegian political group is Young Left, however that gives the English speaker the wrong connotation. They are not Socialists but rather Liberals and so it is more often translated into English as Young Liberals of Norway. They are the youth league of the Norwegian political party Venstre. There have been several unsuccessful attempts to change the name to be more reflective of the ideology but Liberal Ungdom (Liberal Youth) has consistently been defeated in successive congresses.

The UV are strongly in favor of fighting climate change and call it “the greatest threat of our time” on their website. In line with this cause, they support renewable energy and campaign against gas power station construction unless carbon capture and storage are part of the plan. Their goal of protecting the environment works across many different sectors. They believe in free trade and the removal of tariffs and are the most pro-immigrant group in Norway. However, they believe all people seeking citizenship must be able to speak the language. They support Norwegian membership in the EU. They advocate for the decriminalization of all drug use. They support the use of rehabilitation rather than punishment for drug addicts.

While the UV is closely related to Venstre, they are independent from the larger party. They cooperate and the leader of the UV is automatically a member of the Sentralstyret (the central governing body of the party). However, the two groups often differ with their party platforms and have some differing opinions on national policies. Some of the biggest differences revolve around Norway’s joining of the EU and the drug policies supported by the two groups. The younger group wishes to see clean heroin supplied to addicts, decriminalization as listed above, and intellectual property reform, especially with regard to file sharing of music.

The group was formed by Anders L. Kirkhusmo who was also the first President. Since the group is the Young portion of the liberal party, the leaders are only in place for a few years – until they become a bit too old. Kirkhusmo was really a bit too old to have the job. Born in 1865, he was 44 when he created the UV. Today, Tord Hustveit is President and is 22 years old. Alve Eide and Baard Salvesen are the Vice Presidents and are 21 and 23 respectively. Yvonne Ruyter is 19 and the youngest member of the central board and there are two 24 year olds serving, Sindre Horn and Ingrid Keenan.

The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently. – Friedrich Nietzsche

A man loves the meat in his youth that he cannot endure in his age. – William Shakespeare

The duty of youth is to challenge corruption. – Kurt Cobain

Youth is easily deceived because it is quick to hope. – Aristotle

Also on this day: Globetrotters – In 1927, the Harlem Globetrotters played their first game.
Guy Fawkes’s Trial – In 1606, Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators were brought to trial.
Apollo I Fire – In 1967, during a test flight the capsule of Apollo 1 burns, killing three.
It’s All Greek – In 1870, Kappa Alpha Theta was formed.