Ninth International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns - Hirschluch, Germany 2002

Norway's “One page country report”

Hallgeir Langeland is the representative who proposed the Peace tax bill in Norway year 2000. After its rejection he recommended 47 members of Parliament as people to lobby. These we have approached. Two members took up Peacetax in their group meetings, with negative response. We have met 12 representatives, all of whom were initially in favour, but many of them say that our present Parliament is not congenial to the idea, because “reliance and belief in military importance is strong amongst representatives in power”.

We have had an analysis of our points/arguments presented of the bill vis a vis the answers given for its refusal, done as business companies do. This we have sent the Parliaments' president who passed it on to all the political parties. No response. On questioning the secretary in the finance committee about this, we were told that they, Government and Parliament, had no obligation to respond.

We have contacted an organisation, Anti-war network composed of 40 organisations, also recommended by Langeland, but they do not handle campaigns that have a long time perspective, even though they consider Peace tax very important.

We try to get our ‘toe in the door’ by interviews with newspapers (difficult to be successful with the larger ones). We have succeeded in a few programs on the radio, and we have had about 14 letters to the editor printed. There were special arrangements around the awarding of the Nobel Prize this year, and we had a stand there 2 days. We translated Kofi Annan's report ‘Prevention of Armed Conflict’ to Norwegian and this was printed as an article in several newspapers.

We have approached all the political party groups in one small community making known the cause, and have had support from the Socialist left party and the Left party groups. The Left sent a ‘Mail’ about it from the local group to the state Left group asking them to include it into their program. No luck yet but we will repeat this strategy, as it is important to work from the group up, using Human Rights argumentation. Norway's is incorporating some of the Human Rights conventions into Norwegian law. We have sent inquiry to the minister of Justice, who replied, giving us solid information concerning which parts have already become law and which not. This may be beneficial to Peace tax in the future.