Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg sent a message to Norway this week that they must continue to “embrace democracy and freedom”. Norway believes that they are a culture of openness; but now that they have produced a terrorist, security will become a central topic.
Anders Behring Brevik attacked both the largest government district in Norway which is Oslo and a Labour Party Youth Camp; he killed 76 people. Many have criticized police for their slow response in getting to the island where Brevik – dressed like a policeman – gathered children around himself and then opened fire on them. It is reported that he listened to music from the movie “The Lord of the Rings” to drown out the screams of his victims. Psychiatric examination of the attacker is being arranged by Norwegian authorities. Many Norwegians are disturbed because Brevik announced his hatred on the internet and planned his attack for years.
Jens Stoltenberg started out as a journalist for Arbeiderbladet; he also served as the Minister of Finance for Norway before becoming a Prime Minister in 2002. Harald V, King of Norway, holds what seems like a purely symbolic position. According to the constitution the king can veto laws, the kings of Norway, however, have never done so. Norway has a unicameral legislature which is called the Great Council”. The job of Prime Minister in Norway resembles the office of president in many countries.
Jens Stoltenberg is the leader of the Labour Party in Norway. Their slogan since the 1930’s has been “work for everyone”. The Labour Party is the ruling party in Norway today.
–Prime Minister David Cameron was a philosophy major when he attended Oxford University. He wants the people of Britain and their families to enjoy greater freedoms. Social responsibility and not control is his battle cry for government policies.
As leader of the Conservative Party, he became Prime Minister in May of 2010 when that party won 307 seats. He was first appointed to the office of Prime Minister in 2005. British elections focus on party politics and not personalities. It is unlikely that Ronald Reagan and Barrack Obama would have held the highest office in the land if Congress had been doing the voting. Britain votes for candidates because of their stand on governmental policies and platforms, not media manipulation and the candidates’ ability to smile.
Before David Cameron became Prime Minister he was a researcher for the Conservative Party. He was a special advisor to two high government officials. He worked for Carlton Communications for 7 years which is a leading U.K. media firm. David Cameron was a Member of Parliament.
The Prime Minister is leading the first coalition government since World War II. Many feel the current phone hacking scandal is not only an embarrassment to Scotland Yard but David Cameron as well. One Police Chief from Scotland Yard stated that some reforms Cameron is suggesting for the police are “simply stupid”.
Some members of the press are suggesting that the Cameron reforms in health care, banking, education, and pensions may split the country. Many have not appreciated the Prime Minister’s input on Libya.
–Spain is also governed by a constitutional monarchy. The ruling King is Juan Carlos i. The President, however, runs the government. He is sometimes called the Prime Minister. Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has been elected for two terms; he says that he will not run again. He is a member of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party.
The president is the leader of the victorious party after elections are held every four years. Once again it is the political platform that wins and not the personality.
President Zapatero and his family are known to be very private people. His wife is known to enjoy staying away from the limelight.
More to come on EU leadership!