Progress Party pledges to legalize moonshine
Norway's Progress Party has said it would end bans to poker, professional boxing, and home-distilled moonshine in a nakedly populist plan to remove 30 different prohibitions.
"When a country decides something should be banned, it should consider whether it is really necessary," Progress MP Anders Anundsen said as he announced the policy on Sunday. "We need to stop banning things that might as well be allowed."
Many of the targeted bans revolve around alcohol and tobacco.
The party wants to allow drinking on election day and in public places, allow wine to be sold in shops, and allow beer to be sold after 8pm on weekdays and after 6pm on Saturdays.
As for tobacco, it wants to remove a bans on hookah tobacco and on the display of tobacco and tobacco products in shops.
Anundsen defended the plan to allow home distilling, claiming it as part of Norwegian culture.
"In Norway that was actually an old tradition which you are now no longer allowed to do, despite it having no major result in terms of alcohol policy."
Other bans slated for the chop include ones most people would agree are unnecessary, such as those on liquorice pipes, corner fridges, Segways, and keeping reptiles as pets.
But they also include many calculated to annoy the socially conscientious, such as those on incandescent light bulbs, tanning beds for the under-17s, political advertising on television, product placement, and the requirement to have wheelchair access in all homes.
Audun Lysbakken, leader of Norway's Socialist Left party told TV 2 that the alcohol plans amounted to "dangerous" populism.
"The combination of allowing moonshine and liberalizing opening hours is dangerous because it will lead to increased consumption, and we know that this will affect vulnerable children and create more violence."
He conceded, however, that he too was partial to liquorice pipes, and would be happy to see the ban removed.
Anundsen dismissed such concerns about the health impacts of removing so many safeguards.
"You know, there are many prohibitions that would give even bigger effects. For example, if you are banned driving, all car accidents would disappear."