Progress Party's Youth
Progress Party’s Youth
|Secretary General||Andre Bråthen|
|Founded||10 February 1978|
|Headquarters||Karl Johans gate 25, Oslo|
|Mother party||Progress Party|
|European affiliation||European Young Conservatives|
The Progress Party’s Youth (Norwegian: Fremskrittspartiets Ungdom, FpU), is the youth wing of the Norwegian political party the Progress Party. It is generally considered to be more libertarian than the Progress Party itself. The organization has active chapters in all counties of Norway as well as in over 50 municipalities.
From 2012, Himanshu Gulati was the organisation's chairperson. Gulati is the first leader of a youth wing of a major Norwegian political party with multi-cultural background. After being selected to the post of State Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Gulati stepped down. And in 2014, Atle Simonsen was elected leader.
The organization was officially founded by members of the Progress Party on the annual Party convention 10.-11. February 1978, the same convention where Carl I. Hagen was elected chairman of the party. The organizations first leader was the future mayor of Oslo, Peter N. Myhre, who served until 1984.
The 1994 Bolkesjø Purge
As soon as in 1989 rifts appeared within the Progress Party between a liberal and conservative faction. In the 1989 election several hard-line libertarians such as Pål Atle Skjervengen and Tor Mikkel Wara gained seats in the Storting, and this further weakened the conservatives' position. The same year saw controversial proposals put forth by the liberals regarding gay marriage and immigration which sparked heated debates within among the youth members.
In 1992 the liberal Lars Grønntun was elected leader after a power struggle with Ingvar Myrvollen. This began a period of large-scale infighting which ultimately led to the board dissolving the organization, only to have the decision reversed by the party. After the expulsion of its entire liberal faction during the 1994 Progress Party national convention at Bolkesjø in Telemark, Ulf Leirstein became the new leader.
Norwegian secondary schools hold school elections. The organization consistently polls better there than its parent party, and emerged as the largest party natiowide in 1989, 2003, 2005 and 2009. Recently, however, they have been out-polled by their social-democratic rivals from AUF. In 2009 FpU set a new membership record of 3031 members; this number dipped to 2892 in 2010. Nevertheless, in the aftermath of the 2011 Norway attacks, all political youth-organizations experienced an upsurge in new members.
Ideology and political positions
In the organization's manifesto, it states that; "The Progress Party's Youth supports a free-marked economy, regulated by supply and demand, without interference from government officials. A market economy is the economical system which gives the individual person greatest freedom of action". It also wishes to reform the welfare state with private insurance arrangements and increase privatization in the health and education sector, for one making the public hospitals "compete" with the privately owned hospitals for best possible care. It supports the legalization of medicinal cannabis, and more liberal drug laws in general.
List of Chairpersons
- 1978-1984 : Peter N. Myhre
- 1984-1987 : Pål Atle Skjervengen
- 1987-1989 : Tor Mikkel Wara
- 1989-1992 : Jan Erik Fåne
- 1992-1994 : Lars Erik Grønntun
- 1994-1995 : Ulf Leirstein
- 1995-1996 : Klaus Jakobsen
- 1996-1996 : Anders Anundsen
- 1996-1998 : Reidar Helliesen
- 1998-1999 : Anders Anundsen
- 1999-2002 : Bård Hoksrud
- 2002-2008 : Trond Birkedal
- 2008-2012: Ove André Vanebo
- 2012-2014: Himanshu Gulati
- 2014-: Atle Simonsen
Current Central Committee
- Chairperson: Atle Simonsen
- 1. Vice-chairperson: Bjørn Kristian Svendsrud
- 2. Vice-chairperson: Peter Kaland Melsom
- Member: Bjørn Siem Knudsen
- Member: Sara Økland
- Member: Fredrik Juel Hagen
- Member: Tristan Dupré
- Eilif Frich Flydal: Hagen ute, ungdommen inne Dagbladet, 11. mai 2006
- Første fleirkulturelle leiar for ungdomsparti, NRK
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