Hi reddit! I am Trine Skei Grande, leader of the Liberal Party of Norway, Venstre. I live in Oslo with my two cats, and am as far as I know the only person to quote Star Wars in a Norwegian parliamentary debate. Proof here. Ask me anything!

I have been a member of the Norwegian parliament from Oslo since 2001. There's a general election in Norway in September, and if the people wants me to, I'll stay there for a good while longer. We haven't been in government since 2005, so we're crossing our fingers for that.

While we're focused on the environment, small business, and education, civil rights are very important to us. Perhaps most importantly for reddit, we've been against criminalisation of non-commercial file sharing since 2007, and we've fought against the Data Retention Directive in Parliament and issues like the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement through our European friends in ALDE.

I presented a keynote in English to the Canadian organisation Equal Voice here, about the progress of women's rights in Norway. Sorry for the accent :o)

Here's Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and my Parliamentary bio.

Edit: Thanks for all the questions so far! I'll keep an eye on the thread and answer more questions, but I have to take a few breaks – got to pack for a trip to Svalbard tomorrow morning!

Comments: 210 • Responses: 17  • Date: 

Anecdotie44 karma

Norwegian students receive less financial support today than what they did in the 70's. Do you see this as an issue? and does your party intend to change the current situation?

trinesg15 karma

Sorry for the late answer! Yes, we want to change the situation. First of all, we want to expand the payments from 10 to 11 months, as some others have stated. Subsequently we'd like to make sure the payments are properly adjusted for the increase in consumer prices.

We would also like to give you more choice – if you want a bulk payment in January and budget it as you wish, you can get that, or you can keep your monthly payments. Add that we want to allow you to earn more than the current limit before losing your stipend... I'd say that's a good start, right? :o)

Warhawk_133 karma

Is it true that all Norwegians would glady trade their egalitarian society, responsible and progressive social policies, and all their natural resources for the chance to once again sail the seas in longboats and drink mead from the skulls of their enemies?

trinesg48 karma

We already do the last part at night. Not that much has changed in a thousand years – come visit and you'll see :o)

DownGoat32 karma

What is your view on the current drug politics in Norway, and what do you want to change about it? Do you see cannabis being decriminalized in the near future?

trinesg39 karma

There are obvious reasons to change the drug policies in Norway. We're highest in overdoses in Europe, for example, and it's clear that the war on drugs does not work.

We'll keep expanding the policies we created when we were in government last – treating drug addiction as a disease and not chasing them as criminals.

Our party has adopted a lot the policies that are in place in Portugal. There's a lot that can be done before we legalise, but the debate about drugs is one we will always have in the party. Our youth party is for decriminalisation and legalisation, but we're not quite there. To me, the most important thing is to change how we view drug addicts. They should be viewed as patients and people in need of help.

Pleonastic26 karma

What is your stance on prop 65 L 2012-2013 (businesses acting on behalf of the police in case of presumed copyright infringement), and if one is in opposition to it, what can be done?

trinesg19 karma

We're obviously highly skeptical. These are proposals that infringe on basic principles of a justice system. It contains privatization of police tasks on a scale never seen before in Norway. Blocking websites is also a sanction that we shouldn't import from oppressive countries we don't like to be compared with.

Here's our press release from when the proposal was handed to Parliament – maybe Google Translate does it justice :o)

As usual, we're working on alternative legislation – you'll hear more in the near future.

Pleonastic3 karma

Thank you for your answer,

However, I must ask: would you, if you were in a position to do so, try to repeal it? From what I have observed, the majority now supports it. Since no one has objected to the lacking legal considerations put into the proposition, I would think there is enough time for the current government to implement it. What then?

trinesg4 karma

First of all we would have to see what the other parties in Parliament think about the proposals first – we don't know exactly what the other opposition parties think about the proposals yet. But it's very important for us to stop or get rid of laws that are detrimental to civil rights!

Aliktren16 karma

Hai, What are the biggest current local environmental problems in Norway and what are you doing to tackle them or what should Norway be doing ?

trinesg21 karma

We're a huge country with few people, which means transportation is a bigger environmental issue than most people think about, both locally and globally. It means we need to invest heavily in infrastructure, preferably rail, and that our cities get the power and money to invest in public transport. And the cars that are left – for those who don't choose to use public transport – will have to emit as few pollutants as possible.

hoysnable14 karma


trinesg45 karma

It was the debate about the Data Retention Directive. The majority of Parliament, after a long day of debates and weeks of deliberations and dealings, voted to implement the directive in Norwegian law. This EU directive basically forces any telecom operator to store data regarding their customers' phone calls and other usage, including location data.

I quoted Padmé and said "so this is how democracy dies – with thunderous applause". I was appalled that over half of the representatives of the people could vote for such a thing.

ReleaseThePenguins12 karma

Hello Trine, I have two questions for you today:

  • As have been discussed in the media lately, there are too few teachers in Norway that have the required education, and also too few to fill Norway's future need of good teachers are applying for this education. Why do you think this is, and what will you do to fix it?

  • Are you for or against mandatory military service for men and women alike?

trinesg28 karma

About the teachers: we need five-year education for teachers, we need to give them better career options and treat them as proper academics. It also means they need better salaries, and proper access to go back to school for a bit later in their careers. Shortly put, we need to raise the respect for teachers in Norway.

I am for gender equality in military service.

Gavekort11 karma

As far as I know Venstre is very much against drilling for oil in Lofoten. How are you planning to protect this oil in the future and beyond your governments ruling?

trinesg16 karma

LoVeSe – Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja – should be granted UNESCO World Heritage status and be preserved for future generations. The Norwegian government should apply for it, and it would limit how much damage could be done to the area without losing the status.

We've proposed making an ocean nature reserve of the area in Parliament.

ConsequenceFree9 karma

Hi, with regards to your copyright policy, how do you think it will play out on the world stage, with places like the US pressuring others to crack down on copyright infringement. Also, is there 'whipped vote' in the Norwegian parliament?

trinesg10 karma

Politicians will always be too slow for technology. In my opinion, "analog" rights that we have fought for through centuries have to be valid in the digital world as well. Maybe part of the reason why politicians don't understand the digital world is because many of them has not lived it. That would mean that we'll see a greater understanding of technology in politics in the future, though.

There is definitely a party whip in the Norwegian Parliament. As people vote for parties more than they vote for people, you're expected to adhere to the party platform unless you have serious personal reservations. However, the whip isn't that big when you have a group of two people. It's more like a pair of tweezers :o)

Salacious-9 karma

This may be a difficult question: what part of American government do you admire or think works well?

trinesg12 karma

There's one thing in particular I really like with American government that we're not doing as well in Norway. You get things done when you've decided.

It struck me after the July 22 attacks in Norway that Parliament has voted for a lot of legislation and funding that just doesn't get implemented. It seems to me, even though Congress spends an immense amount of time agreeing on something, that when something is first decided, it gets done, at least more often than here.

bito898 karma

How did Norway and other Nordic nations become such socially and globally oriented countries? What problems still remain?

trinesg14 karma

We used to be a poor country that the rest of the world didn't care much about. Norway has been a country with relatively weak central institutions, which means the individual has had the opportunity to unfold as they wish. Women have also had rights quite early in Norway. You could take a look at my keynote for more on that.

When individuals are strong and free, society is better. Also, when you're a small country, you have to look to the rest of the world.

We still have great challenges regarding poverty and individual freedoms, though. For a liberal, society never finishes building.

Vimsefreet8 karma

Hello Trine (beautiful name by the way.)

I was wondering. Seeing as the norwegian parliament has A LOT of parties. What are the worst things with such a division, and why does the norwegian (or any) democracy need a liberal party?

trinesg23 karma

A good thing with having lots of parties is that it's easier for each individual to find a party that suits their views. In Norway, that results in a high turnout at elections. The downside is that each party needs to compromise and find solutions with other parties. But you need to do that inside large parties as well. I guess it's just a different dynamic.

All democracies need liberals – politicians who protect the traditions of liberal democracies and civil rights. Liberalism is one of the oldest living ideologies, it has survived the test of time, and it has a set of ideas that doesn't have a history to be embarrassed about. :o)

Ueland7 karma

1:Which would you rather fight: one horse-sized duck, or 100 duck-sized horses?

2: is there still any chance that DLD can be stopped? Or can we expect this to continue to become yet another blow to privacy?

trinesg22 karma

As a liberal, I'll have to defend the one – the horse sized duck – from the oppression of the masses – the 100 duck sized horses. So I guess the horses, then.

I think they're easier prey for my cats as well.

trinesg15 karma

On the Data Retention Directive: We're trying as best we can, and we're working on it with our liberal friends in Europe. There's also the chance that the agreement between Labor and the Conservatives in the Norwegian Parliament doesn't survive, as it's very impractical to implement, so we might get some more action in Parliament too!

th0mesen6 karma

How do you think a Government with Høyre in the lead will work towards better integration of immigrants?

trinesg5 karma

We did good things with Høyre when we last governed together. For instance, we were able to cooperate and give children of asylum seekers legal residence in the country.

The most important thing to get a fairer immigration policy is to make sure Labour and the Progress Party does not have a majority in Parliament together.

Falkvinge4 karma

Hi, Trine.

I still love the moment when you came out in full favor of sharing culture through file-sharing, having been briefed on the matter by the youth wing Unge Venstre, which lead to the Venstre landsmøte adopting one of the most progressive policies on information policy at the time.

Just wanted to say that, didn't really want to ask a question.

Cheers, Rick

trinesg6 karma

Well, thanks for the policies we pirated from you :o)