|Test your party preference|
| [31.08.2007, 12:03am, Fri. GMT]|
|Local election campaigns are in full swing all over Norway, with the various parties vying for voters' favour. Aftenposten has created a means to help you choose the party that might best suit your views. All legal residents of Norway can vote in local elections (called valg in Norwegian), even without being a Norwegian citizen, but the array of politicial parties involved can be dizzying. Taking Aftenposten's so-called "Valgomat" test can help determine which party would best represent your views on a wide variety of issues in Norway. There are eight major parties hoping to win seats on local township and neighbourhood councils. Voters cast ballots for parties in Norway, not individual candidates, and Aftenposten also has written a rundown that offers brief descriptions of each party.More than 3.6 million Norwegians are eligible to cast ballots in the September 10 local elections, which occur every four years in Norway. They're important, because it's at the local level that the majority of funding is determined for such public services as nursing homes and schools.|
There's an election every two years in Norway, with local and national elections staggered and each occurring four years apart. Only Norwegian citizens, though, are allowed to vote in national elections or the seldom referenda, such as those held on the issue of whether Norway should join the European Union.
That means the political parties this year, with the more accessible local elections looming, are reaching out in force to immigrant groups, students and others in the hopes of winning the support of those eligible to cast ballots on September 10.
Battles at the booths
The various parties campaign vigorously from booths set up in local town squares. In Oslo, the booths traditionally line the capital's main boulevard, Karl Johans Gate, where voters can pose questions to party members and engage in debates.
Official Norwegian election campaigns, which at four to five weeks are generally much shorter than they are in most countries, also involve direct mail, media advertisements and frequent television debates among party leaders and local party officials.
Around 63,000 party faithful stand on election lists nationwide, hoping their party will get enough votes that they'll be appointed to city and neighbourhood councils. In Oslo, a coalition of the non-socialist parties led by the Conservatives and the Progress Party hopes to remain in power despite new candidates from the parties for specific offices.
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