Talk:Venstre (Denmark)

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Requested move[edit]

I know that the name 'Liberal Party' is sometimes used to put Venstre in its international context, but actually the name 'Liberale Parti' is not mentioned once in Venstres webiste nor is it ever mentioned on the Danish version of the article. This article ought to be moved to 'Left (Denmark)'. Of course the origin and meaning of the name ought to be throughly explained. --Soman 16:42, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I suggest to move this party according to the naming conventions to 'Venstre (Denmark)', since in English this name is usually not translated into English. Please compare Det Radikale Venstre, where discussions led to the conclusions that the page should have the name in Danish. The literally translation is never used in any international context. Electionworld 07:11, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Do note that the party uses the Danish name Venstre on the English version of their website. The phrase 'Denmark's Liberal Party' is not given as a proper name, but just as a description following the Danish name.--Soman 17:14, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The last entry is not completely correct. The party is usually referred to as plain Venstre, but the official name was changed in the 1960s to Venstre, Danmarks Liberale Parti. This is the name used on the ballot paper, on the website of the Danish Parliament etc. Valentinian (talk) 00:01, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Support move to Left (Denmark)[edit]

  1. Support Soman 06:01, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Support move to Venstre (Denmark)[edit]

  1. Support, but strongly oppose the move to Left (Denmark) Electionworld 07:11, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  2. Support - SoM 17:02, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  3. Support - Peregrine981 02:52, Apr 27, 2005 (UTC)
  4. Support - Changed my mind on this one. The party's own naming should be more relevant in this case. Peter Isotalo 14:46, May 8, 2005 (UTC)
  5. Support - Agree with mr Isotalo. Jebur 16:36, 8 May 2005 (UTC)


  1. Support, according to Wikipedia policy to use the most common name in an English context, see my comment below. / Alarm 19:02, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  2. Support, agree with Alarm, see discussion. Peter Isotalo 12:18, May 1, 2005 (UTC)


I suggested at Liberal Party (Norway) to follow there the vote made here Venstre (Norway) Electionworld 07:11, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
According to well-established Wikipedia policy, articles should use the most common name in an English context. Although a Google test obviously has several problems, the margin I get trying what seems to be the best approach is rather convincing, IMO: "liberal party" denmark gets 55,400 English language hits while venstre denmark only gets 8,890. Also, note that the CIA World Factbook uses "Liberal Party" and nothing else. / Alarm 19:02, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I don't want to dump the responsibility of other editors' decisions in other issues on you guys, but there is definetly far too much quirky naming of articles going on with Scandinavian articles. Just have a look at the provinces of Sweden for some truly bizarre article naming. There is too much of a tendency to make straight translations of purely Danish/Norwegian/Swedish words, terms and names and expect them to work in English without any regard to actual usage. The most common terms as established by Googling and checking other reliable sources should be used, no question about it. The Left (Denmark) is especially poorly suited for an English language article and merely confusing for the purposes of a Wikipedia. Peter Isotalo 12:18, May 1, 2005 (UTC)
Well, the google search quantity method is to some extent a tautology, since many of the articles containing "liberal party" denmark are either copies of the wikipedia or the CIA Factbook. Also, I think the issue of the Swedish provinces is an entirely different problem. "The Left" is a well-used English term. In either case the name needs to be explained to the reader, no matter were the article is shifted. --Soman 13:14, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
In a political context though, "The Left" or "Left Wing" is always used as a general term in English - "Labour is the party of the Left", "He's on the Left Wing" of his party, etc. - SoM 18:56, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
I'm convinced. I vote for moving it to Venstre (Denmark). The offical name is more relevant in this case, but with a redirect from Liberal party (Denmark), of course. Peter Isotalo 14:46, May 8, 2005 (UTC)


This article has been renamed as the result of a move request. Venstre (Denmark) was the preferred choice. violet/riga (t) 18:05, 9 May 2005 (UTC)

Biggest party?[edit]

Is it possible to substantiate the claim that Venstre is the biggest party in Denmark? I know it received the highest number of votes in the last elections, but is it larger than the Social Democrats in terms of membership? - Soman

It changes from time to time. Venstre is the largest some periods, Social Democrats some periods. Polkaface (talk) 22:58, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Historical basis for the name[edit]

Right now, the article says: "Venstre occupied the more leftist position in the then Danish parliament" in the paragraph about the historical basis for the party. Actually, at that time, elected representatives were only meant to represent themselves in the parliament (and not parties), and the party name was therefore not official for a long time. At the time, it was not allowed to speak of political parties, so when legislative suggestions were made, the politicians would say something along the lines of "I and some of my friends have made this suggestion", instead of referring to a political party. People sat next to the people they agreed with in the actual Folketing chamber, the people later involved in founding Venstre were seated in the left side of the chamber, them being more or less "left wing" was only a part of the debate much later --Jakob mark 14:17, 28 February 2006 (UTC)


Since Venstre supports a welfare state quite like the one currently in place in Denmark (at least that's their official façade), I'd say they are more social liberalists. What do you think? Ghent 18:49, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Social liberalism is not the ideological basis for the current party. Both social liberalism and classical liberalism were mainstream views in "The United Venstre" formed in 1870, however classical liberalism dominated. The minority social liberal wing broke away in 1905 forming the Danish Social Liberal Party (Det Radikale Venstre). The classical liberalist majority stayed and changed the party name to the "Venstre Reform Party" and in 1910 plain "Venstre". Supporting a welfare state is not a "facade" it is the opinion held by every single party represented in the Danish Parliament, so by that token, they could all be labelled as "socialists" or "social liberals" (which makes very little sense). Regarding this issue, the main difference between the parties is merely how big such a system should be and how it should be structured. The definition should stay as it is. Valentinian (talk) 20:04, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
What does make them classical liberals then? It seems that Anders Fogh Rasmussen has followed the same ideological path of Guy Verhofstadt, for example. Intangible 17:45, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
They claim to be so, and they have cut back on the welfare state when they have been in power.Polkaface (talk) 23:00, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Classical liberalism[edit]

Freedom of speech and a distrust of government are not defining characteristics of classical liberalism. Intangible 18:29, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

I admit, my edit was rather short. I'm no philosopher, but I can at least list a few important characteristics of Venstre's traditional ideology. 1) The core value is the individual and consequently a mistrust of the state. An often used catch-phrase is "Frihed under ansvar", i.e. Freedom with responsibility. The meaning is that civil and economic liberties should be very wide, but they should be paired with a strong sense of responsibility from all citizens, but voluntarily, not because of legislation. 2) State sovereignty is seen as derived from a sum of individuals, and the state/society is thus a human-made intervention. 3) Everybody should be entitled to enjoy the fruits of his own labour. Such rewards belong to the individual, not the state or community. 4) Other important values are free trade, deregulation, a curb on monopolies and a reduction of government intervention in the operations of private enterprises. A small ideological dilemma is the EU's agricultural subsidies. Venstre's ideology is clearly against them, and they are often critized by Venstre politicians - although almost all farmers vote Venstre - but as might be expected, a segment of the party is quite pleased with keeping the subsidies, but that is the view of the minority. Unfortunately, I am not able to provide you with a single good reference about Venstre's ideology, since party literature is close to non-existent in this respect. As I understand the purpose of the infobox, they describe the (traditional) ideological basis behind the individual parties. Otherwise, all but two political parties in Denmark could be labelled as centre-something (in an international context) but I don't think that would be a good idea. Hmm, I don't have a copy of the "History of Venstre", but I might be able to find a copy of "Kort og godt om Venstre" which is a 100-page leaflet given to party members. I might be able to find more information there (if only I could remember where I had my copy). I'll try to find better sources. Regards. Valentinian (talk) 19:14, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Liberalism is a very broad ideology and you need to be careful when trying to categorize someone as a social liberal or classical liberal. In short, a social liberal believes that the government can exist to secure individual freedom whereas a classical liberal believes this is a contradiction. But even that is a generalization and one can easily argue against such a categorization. However, the vast majority of modern liberalists including Venstre do believe that the role of the government is to ensure personal freedom and that this role can be achieved by the government if nothing else then by making sure it sticks to its core duties such as keeping law and order. I have yet to hear of a contemporary liberal prty that supports privatization of the police and army. Very few if any notable liberal parties today truly belives that the state should be completely abolished. The discussion also gets blured by the fact that most people seem to be misled when it comes to the orign of liberalism. In particular there seems to be a widespread confusion about the fundamental differences between conservatism (which is pro-state/elite) and classical liberalism (which is very much against anyone having any direct power over others). Liberalism is not about wanting an unequal society rather it is about the belief that one can only achieve the desired social status by having what is considered to be true personal freedom. The state is seen as an obstacle in that regard. From that point of view the ideology and policies of Venstre can easily be seen as those of a classical liberal party. MartinDK 18:30, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
No classical liberal would ever support the welfare state, as Venstre and other parties in Denmark do. Venstre pretty much looks like the Dutch VVD, which is also not classical liberal. Intangible 19:17, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
I don't know enough about the Dutch situation, but in Denmark all political parties support the welfare state. But if this is the only criterium applied it would pretty much classify all Danish parties as "social democrats" which would be off the mark (the ideological base of the Red-Green Alliance is Communism, so they *do* stick somewhat out from the rest.) When the Social Liberal wing fraction broke out of the United Venstre in 1905 and formed the Danish Social Liberal Party the two remaining wings of the old partywere primarily based by classical Liberal values. However, in the traditional Danish "four-party-state" system, political ideology played a secondary role, a function which has only decreased since then. To greatly simplify the picture: Workers in industry voted Social Democrat (a minor share voted Communist); industrialists/capitalists, military people and small-scale businessowners voted Conservative; well-to-do farmers voted Venstre, and intellectuals and farmers who owned too little land to live of this alone voted for the Social Liberals. At this point in time, Venstre's (and the average farmer's) views were that the government should mind its own business and stay out of ordinary peoples' lives. the hostility towards high taxes was only part of the picture. Just to quote a poster from the 50s or 60s: "We don't want the State as a nanny". (Vi vil ikke have staten til barnepige).
In my ears, these values sound pretty much like classical liberalism, but it is also a fact that the last time any Danish political party seriously tried to launch a crusade against welfare rights was during the Venstre administration of Madsen-Mygdal during the 1920s. To say that his staunchness seriously hurt the party would be an understatement. Even in the elections of 2001, the Social Democrats used Madsen-Mygdal as a "scarecrow" in their campaign against Venstre. I stood as a candidate for Venstre back then and I know from personal experience.
Regarding the infobox, I think it would be better if it used the phrase "ideological roots" rather than "ideology". Given that we live in a media age and political parties look more and more like each other both on a national and international level, I believe such a description would make classification a little easier. I don't think this is kind of classification is just a Danish (or Dutch) problem, it no doubt applies to the politics of many nations. Valentinian (talk) / (contribs) 20:32, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
Classical liberalism does not imply that people cannot on a voluntary basis form a welfare state. Infact classical liberalism is bsed on the idea that people take care of each other on a voluntary basis. What sets classical liberalism apart form other ideologies is the undisputed respect for the individual and its possesions as well and most importantly the individuals right to express and unfold himself in any way he desires as long as this does not violate others right to do the same. Let's think about that for a moment.. if the Danish people consider themselves as a tribe (which they do) there is absolutey nothing that prohibits them from forming a welfare state as long as it does not imply that people are involuntarily deprived of their personal freedom. Also, classical liberalism means that you cannot be the judge of what others decide to do as long as it does not affect yourself.
It is a common and unfortunate misunderstanding that classical liberalism should imply that everyone can just do as they wish and not care about others. That has nothing to do with liberalism, it is an idea imposed upon liberalists by socialists and conservatives in certain countries around the world...
Also, it makes it very difficult to discuss this when you only reply with two lines. Could you guide me to some of your sources so I can get a better understanding of your point of view?MartinDK 07:24, 27 September 2006 (UTC)


Just to prevent an edit war, I'm starting a discussion about what should be in the "ideology" section. Valentinian and Karmus have been rv'ing eachother's edits about this. Personally, I agree with Valentinian. The ideology should be just liberalism. Neither centrism nor centre-right are really ideologies, just positions. In any case, we should try and agree on what to put in the article rather than starting an edit war. If anyone can cite an official Wikipedia policy for their opinion, that would be the best thing, I believe. Lilac Soul (talk contribs count) 09:53, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

The reason why I state Venstre as a center-oriented party, is because of their current politics and equalness with the Social Democrats as stated by numerous public medias of Denmark. And based on the fact that Anders Fogh (the leader) has expressed that 'liberalism is an outdated ideology' in one of the sources in the article. If liberalism is an 'outdated ideology' according to him, how come it is the only ideology in the fact-box? And if you look at the other parties, for instance Enhedslisten, you see that there are different ideologies listed in theirs. Furthermore, I can't see why it is disallowed to mark where the party stands on the political scale. The rubrique clearly says Official ideology/political position, which must mean that the position is not filled out. Can you see my point? As long as Valentinian is not an Wikipedia-admin, I pretend this as censoring buddies as he apparently cuts everything out he does not agree with. As you can see at his profile page, he is a member of Venstre himself and tries to put his own strong faith in his party politics on the agenda, killing opinions of those who look at Venstre with neutral eyes. Karmus (talk) 10:23, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, I'll have to agree with you on the "political position" thing, of course; I hadn't really noticed that. However, we should still stick to the "official" thing. Their official ideology, regardless of what commentators have said or Rasmussen's claim about liberalism, is certainly still liberalism. Indeed, their official Danish name, when translated, is "Venstre - Denmark's Liberal Party". As for the official political position, I guess it can be included if you can find a source on their official political position. Until you can do so, I'll have to trust Valentinian's claim that their website mentions nothing about an official political position, as my brief investigation has led me to the same conclusion. Lilac Soul (talk contribs count) 10:29, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
I disagree with the political position. It can be described in the text. The problem is that the position is specific to the Danish political scale and doesn't make sense outside Denmark. Besides it is an info-box, it should list the official data. If you have links to critics explaining that Venstre no longer follows their officially stated politics, please add it somewhere in the article. It is relevant, just not an official description. Carewolf (talk) 11:24, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Karmus, administrators have no authority over the content of articles, and personal attacks are not allowed on Wikipedia. I'm here as an editor, and I've personally *chosen* to state publicly that I am a member of this party, ok? In fact, I've also studied its roots, and I've over the course of 10 years spoken to hundreds of Venstre members about all sorts of policy issues, so I am entitled to draw my own conclusion about Venstre's position based on these observations. You have every right to disagree with my conclusions but not to attack me simply because I draw different conclusions than you. And at the end of the day, both of our personal analyses of Venstre's ideology are irrelevant. Both are the products of our two brains and can be disputed by others. What can be proven beyond reasonable doubt is that Venstre's official party programme passed in 2006 by the party convention, uses the word "Liberal" 14 times,[1] and "Liberal" is included in the official party name. "Centre-right" is not used at all in the party programme. Fogh's one-time statement is interesting, but only the annual party convention has the authority to decide Venstre's long-term policy. Carewolf is right that "Centre-right" only makes sense in a Danish context. This is an international project, and we have readers from around the world but primarily from the United States. From the point of view of a person used to the political system in the United States, all Danish political parties are left-wing / Socialist, and I would also oppose if an American decided to go through all articles about Danish political parties changing the description of their relevant ideologies to "Socialist". In contrast, describing political parties using their official ideologies is a straightforward solution, since such descriptions can be easily documented, and I support this solution for the articles about all political parties. Valentinian T / C 01:07, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Valentinian. centre-right is not useful as a description since that depends on where the center is currently located. Venstre does not describe themselves as a right-centrist party and neither should we. ·Maunus· ·ƛ· 16:47, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Liberal conservatism?[edit]

In what meaning is liberal conservatism listed here? As Conservative on moral and social issues, or as more libertarian, promoting individual liberty with economic freedom? Thanks --Novis-M (talk) 01:24, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

The name of the party[edit]

if venstre is a centre-right party then why on earth is it called venstre?(left) --Infestor (talk) 14:41, 4 September 2011 (UTC)

Because the political landscape in the second half of the 19th century (when the party was founded) was vastly different than it is today. Like in Norway, Denmark was then dominated by two main parties, namely Venstre or "Left" (the liberals) and Højre or "Right" (the conservatives). With the emergence of the Social Democratic parties, liberalism and conservatism now became centre to centre-right in the European context, while socialism/social democracy became "the left". – Bellatores (t.) 16:57, 4 September 2011 (UTC)

Change the title of the party "Venstre (Denmark)" to "Liberal Party (Denmark)"Marxistfounder (talk) 04:06, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

Nope. Because that is not its name. And there are two other liberal parties, one called Liberal Alliance, and the Social Liberal party called Radical Left.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 09:13, 4 July 2015 (UTC)
I wouldn't have objections to retitling the article Liberal Party (Denmark), but first we have to agree upon whether or not most English language sources title the party as Liberal Party rather than the Venstre (see WP:COMMONNAME). Personally, I have seen English language scholarly sources call it the Liberal Party, but they may not be the majority.--Autospark (talk) 15:57, 4 July 2015 (UTC)
In 2005 it was moved from Liberal Party (Denmark) to the current title Venstre (Denmark) at #Requested move. A new move would require a new requested move process. PrimeHunter (talk) 16:19, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

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New naming suggestion[edit]

I suggest renaming the Venstre party to The National Liberal party. This is because that they are a mildy nationalist and right leaning party, so it would make sense calling them National Liberals. Hifnakia (talk) 06:39, 4 June 2019 (UTC)

We don't give parties names based on what we think of them. ― Heb the best (talk) 07:20, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
You would have to send that suggestion to the party organization. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 07:29, 4 June 2019 (UTC)