Det Radikale Venstre

Det Radikale Venstre

name_english = Danish Social Liberal Party
name_native = Det Radikale Venstre
colorcode = #007FFF
leader =
chairman =
spokesperson =
leader1_title = Organizational leader
leader1_name = Søren Bald
leader2_title = Political leader
leader2_name = Margrethe Vestager
foundation = 1905
ideology = Social liberalism
headquarters = Christiansborg
1240 København K
international = Liberal International
website =

Det Radikale Venstre (literally: The Radical Left) is a social liberal party in Denmark. It is officially translated by the party as Danish Social Liberal Party. A more traditional English-language name is the Radical Liberal Party.

Origin and alliances

The party is a member of Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party. It was founded in 1905 as a split from the liberal "Venstre Reform Party". The literal translation "radical left" is nowadays somewhat misleading, as the party is traditionally described as being in the center of the left-right political scale. The use of the word for "left" in the name of the former mother party "Venstre" and the Norwegian party "Venstre" is meant to refer to Liberalism and not Socialism.

Electoral record

The party president is Søren Bald and it has nine members of parliament. By far the most prominent member, however, is political leader and spokesperson Margrethe Vestager. The party is currently in opposition.

The party performed well at the 2005 elections. It came out with 9.2% of the popular vote and 17 seats in Parliament, a gain of eight seats. After the 2007 elections, the party lost 8 seats and now has a total of 9. The party remains in opposition to the right-wing coalition, led by the Liberal Party.

Lately the party has been inspired by Richard Florida's book "The rise of the Creative Class". The party have also released their own book/political program called "Det kreative Danmark" ("The Creative Denmark").

Current issues high on the agenda for the party are:
* Strong opposition to the tight immigration policies of the current government, particularly the "24 year rule" (a measure that prevents foreign spouses of Danish citizens from gaining residence permits if either is under the age of 24, officially to avoid forced marriages).
* Opposition to the educational policies of the current government, which according to the party stresses centralization, nationalized testing and old-fashioned educational ideas over creativeness, methodical freedom of teachers and personal development of pupils.
* A major tax reform, which should simplify the tax system in such a way that income taxes will be reduced in favour of more environmental taxes, less tax deductions and higher taxes on real estate. The point of this is to make working more attractive and the hiring of service workers more attractive. This implies that the party is also opposed to the current government's "tax freeze" "(skattestop)" which prohibits any tax increases, but also changes of the taxation pattern.

Internal conflicts

In 2007 some prominent members of the party criticised the strategy as being too left-leaning and depending too much on the Social Democrats.

On 7 May 2007 MP Naser Khader and MEP Anders Samuelsen announced that they had left the party and founded the New Alliance party along with Conservative MEP Gitte Seeberg.

During the following debate the party first distanced itself from the Social Democrats, but after being criticized internally for that too, returned to an oppositional role.

In the election in November 2007 the party was reduced by almost half, some voters leaving for New Alliance, but even more for the Socialist People's Party.

2007 elections

At a press release on 15 June 2007, it was announced that MP Margrethe Vestager would take over the leadership of the party after Marianne Jelved, and that the party would rethink its strategy and will now consider forming a coalition government with either the left or right side of parliament.Haahr, Ulla (2007-06-15). [ "Vestager ny radikal dronning"] da icon. Danmarks Radio. Retrieved on 2007-12-11.]

Vestager clarified during the run-up to the 2007 election that her party would only be supporting a government lead by the Social Democrats. In the 2007 parliamentary elections, it received 5.1% of the vote, and 9 out of 179 seats.

Relationships to other parties

The party has traditionally kept it self in the center of the political scale, however since the nineties, they have cooperated mainly with the Social Democratic Party, and thus supported the left side of the parliament. During the recent 2007 election, the possibility of cooperating with Liberal/Conservative government has been a major source of debate inside the party, but was rejected by the parliamentary group leader Margrethe Vestager.

Prominent members

Party chairmen

* 1905-1915, Jørgen Hald
* 1915-1920, Kristen Tovborg Jensen
* 1920-1922, Anders Larsen
* 1922-1924, Erik Scavenius
* 1924-1929, Niels Peter Andreasen
* 1929-1936, Martin Sørensen
* 1936-1937, N. C. Andersen
* 1937-1960, Hans Jeppesen
* 1960-1964, Helge Pedersen
* 1964-1971, Søren Bjerregaard
* 1971-1974, Asger Baunsbak-Jensen
* 1974-1976, Gunnar Skov Andersen
* 1976-1978, Kresten Helveg Petersen
* 1978-1991, Thorkild Møller
* 1991-1993, Grethe Erichsen
* 1993-1997, Margrethe Vestager
* 1997-2000, Johannes Lebech
* 2000-2001, Lone Loklindt (acting)
* 2001-, Søren Bald:References: Pedersen, Sune; Lidegaard, Bo (eds.) (2005). "B radikalt 1905-2005" da icon. Copenhagen: Gyldendal, p. 392-93. ISBN 87-02-03315-1.]

Parliamentary group leaders

Parliamentary group leaders in the Folketing:
* 1905-1909, Carl Theodor Zahle
* 1909-1910, Ove Rode
* 1910-1913, Carl Theodor Zahle
* 1913-1916, Thorvald Povlsen
* 1916-1920, Carl Slengerik
* 1920-1928, Carl Theodor Zahle
* 1928-1929, Peter Rochegune Munch
* 1929-1934, Niels Frederiksen
* 1934-1935, Jørgen Jørgensen
* 1935-1945, Axel Marius Hansen
* 1945-1957, Jørgen Jørgensen
* 1957-1961, Aage Fogh
* 1962-1964, Jacob Kierkegaard
* 1964-1968, Karl Skytte
* 1968-1970, Bernhard Baunsgaard
* 1970-1971, Svend Haugaard
* 1971-1975, Hilmar Baunsgaard
* 1975-1978, Svend Haugaard
* 1978-1988, Niels Helveg Petersen
* 1988-1993, Marianne Jelved
* 1993-1994, Jens Bilgrav-Nielsen
* 1994-2000, Jørgen Estrup
* 2000-2001, Elisabeth Arnold
* 2001-2007, Marianne Jelved
* 2007-, Margrethe Vestager:References:

Political Leaders

Identical with Parliamentary group leaders in the Folketing except when the party was in government, and in certain periods there were forms of co-leadershipFact|date=January 2008. The time periods are disputableFact|date=January 2008 but they may be argued to be as presented here:
* 1905-1928, Carl Theodor Zahle
* 1928-1940, Peter Rochegune Munch
* 1940-1960, Jørgen Jørgensen
* 1960-1968, Karl Skytte
* 1968-1975, Hilmar Baunsgaard
* 1975-1978, Svend Haugaard
* 1978-1990, Niels Helveg Petersen
* 1990-2007, Marianne Jelved
* 2007-, Margrethe Vestager

* 1905-1927, Edvard Brandes
* 1905-1927, Ove Rode
* 1905-1928, Peter Rochegune Munch
* 1940-1945, Peter Rochegune Munch
* 1940-1961, Bertel Dahlgaard
* 1960-1961, Jørgen Jørgensen
* 1960-1961, Kjeld Philip
* 1966-1968, Hilmar Baunsgaard
* 1975-1976, Hilmar Baunsgaard
* 1977-1978, Niels Helveg Petersen

:References: [Bille, Lars (1997), Partier i forandring, Odense Universitetsforlag, ISBN 87-7838-314-5.] [Larsen, Helge (1980), Det Radikale Venstre i medvind og modvind, Tidens Tankers Forlag.] [Lund, Joakim (2003), Partier under pres, Gyldendal, ISBN 87-02-02174-9.] [Rasmussen, Erik & Roar Skovmand (1955), Det Radikale Venstre 1905-1955, Det danske Forlag.]

ee also

* Liberalism
* Contributions to liberal theory
* Liberalism worldwide
* List of liberal parties
* Liberal democracy
* Liberalism and radicalism in Denmark
* Radikal Ungdom the youth wing of the party


External links

* [ Det Radikale Venstre] official site
* [] official open community site
* [ English summary]
* [ Web site of the party's youth organisation] (mainly in Danish)

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