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Poll Shows Opposition To Oslo 2022 Grows


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Only 30% support nationwide is very bad and the numbers are moving the wrong direction. Under these circumstances, I think it would be flat out wrong for the government to support the bid.

I'm tending to agree with you now. A few months ago I was giving the Norwegian bid some slack, hoping that if Tokyo could turn round poor (though admittedly better than Oslo's) support figures, then so could Oslo. But these numbers are going in very much the wrong direction. What a shame.

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It isn't just "lesser" support. They've only got 30% in favor! As Moderator Rob has pointed out, based on his statistical analysis bids with 50% or less support have all been doomed. Bids with 60% or higher were all on relatively equal footing (in other words there's not any discernible advantage to having 90% public support rather than 65% public support).

You might be right in the end. But those were races that were in other non-dire times for the IOC. They're in a real pickle now. And unless the Oslo public starts blowing up some public landmarks, like the Swedes did with Stockholm 2004 back in 1997, the IOC may not care. Unless of course, Oslo does pull out afterall.

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What the IOC should do is cut a deal with the Norwegian government in which they support the bid, Then the IOC will award the Games to Oslo, then have Oslo pull a Denver 76. All the while, the IOC has a back up host (Salt Lake perhaps) lined up to step in. Far fetched, but it beats the idea of awarding the Games to Beijing or Almaty.

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What the IOC should do is cut a deal with the Norwegian government in which they support the bid, Then the IOC will award the Games to Oslo, then have Oslo pull a Denver 76. All the while, the IOC has a back up host (Salt Lake perhaps) lined up to step in. Far fetched, but it beats the idea of awarding the Games to Beijing or Almaty.

But if the truth ever got out, the IOC's name would be mud.

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Almaty Kazakhstan will be fresh air for IOC PR problems an new place an new culture a democracy unlike China, Stable country and a up and coming global power,

Kazakhstan is a dictatorship where dissenters are imprisoned and protesters are killed. China is bad, but it's more democratic than Kazakhstan.

What the IOC should do is cut a deal with the Norwegian government in which they support the bid, Then the IOC will award the Games to Oslo, then have Oslo pull a Denver 76. All the while, the IOC has a back up host (Salt Lake perhaps) lined up to step in. Far fetched, but it beats the idea of awarding the Games to Beijing or Almaty.

They can't just tell someone that they are the backup host. That city has to have the money, venues, etc prepared. They can no more force Salt Lake City to be their backup plan than they can make Oslo go forward with an unpopular bid.

A smoggy Beijing winter games wouldn't be the IOC's first choice, but Los Angeles would not have been very palatable to most voters back in 1984 either.

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Athensfan...Mud would actually be an improvement in the eyes of many.

Nacre...Of course, they couldn't force anybody into being a backup. I was not implying that they would coerce some city against its will. A city like Salt Lake with all it's ready made facilities might jump at this opportunity, especially since they would not have to spend a cent on the bidding process.

Like I said this is far-fetched, just some whimsical idea I concocted today when I got bored at work.

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Athensfan...Mud would actually be an improvement in the eyes of many.

Nacre...Of course, they couldn't force anybody into being a backup. I was not implying that they would coerce some city against its will. A city like Salt Lake with all it's ready made facilities might jump at this opportunity, especially since they would not have to spend a cent on the bidding process.

Like I said this is far-fetched, just some whimsical idea I concocted today when I got bored at work.

The problem is they'd be very hard pressed to find any takers. Nobody bid for these Games. Nobody wants 'em. The US is targeting 2024. I don't think there is a good "backup" out there.

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Almaty Kazakhstan will be fresh air for IOC PR problems an new place an new culture a democracy unlike China, Stable country and a up and coming global power,

China, I'd say is pretty "free". Other than the restricted internet, smog*, and humidity* It's really not that bad.

*not all of China is smoggy/humid

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Let's add some figures to the democracy debate...here's the list of the 2012 Economist Democracy Index including 167 countries (in German, but you'll get it):

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demokratieindex

The "new democracy" Kazakhstan ranks 143rd, classified as an authoritarian regime. It's even one place behind China and just a few ahead of Mugabestan. Kazakhstan scores similarly with other indices.

Also interesting to see who takes the number one spot there, an indication that it might be far more difficult in such a country to get overwhelming support...

But why bother, arguing with GCL is like arguing with a wall.

Concerning the lack of support for Oslo and the possibility for Beijing to use existing venues, the latter all sounds fine on paper, but at least building the high speed train links to the other sites, and the venues there, could easily spiral out of proportion costwise.

The IOC is really in a no-win situation here, completely has itself to blame for it, and in that sense it is different to past races. Also, there may only be 30% nationwide approval in Norway, but in and around Oslo the figures are still roughly 50/50 - just like they were in the referendum, which only got passed by a small majority. The IOC might want to look more favourably at the regional figures.

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there may only be 30% nationwide approval in Norway, but in and around Oslo the figures are still roughly 50/50 - just like they were in the referendum, which only got passed by a small majority. The IOC might want to look more favourably at the regional figures.

I really think that's playing with fire. The IOC has emphasized again and again that bids must be national ventures. That's even been cited as a weakness of recent American bids. Now they're suddenly going to change their tune as a way of trying to avoid extremely unpleasant data? It's not going to work -- especially when they're still demanding guarantees from the national government. In a country the size of Norway, the government must support the bid politically and financially for the Games to be feasible. How can the members of this government do that in good conscience when only 30% of their constituents support the project? If the IOC and their Norwegian supporters find a way to ramrod this through I can imagine it getting VERY ugly.

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I agree now with Athensfan that it'd be unwise (or at the very least very brave) for the Norwegian government to support this bid with seemingly falling support.

But I agree with Stefan that if Oslo is still there in July, the IOC will be foolhardy to go with any other city. Look at it this way, everyone and their dog expects the Norwegian Parliament to reject this bid when it's put up to a vote. If, somehow, they support it a lot of credit will have to go to the bid team, Oslo's mayor and any other stakeholders (possibly even the IOC who have been on Norway's case) for getting it through. Do you honestly think, that having overcome such a major hurdle, with a democratic mandate now in place, the IOC are going to do what the Norwegian government didn't, and reject Oslo's bid?

From a risk perspective, it depends how vociferous the majority of the opposition to the bid is. If it's the type of opposition that grumbles but then happily buys tickets in eight years, I think the IOC will happily vote for Oslo over its rivals and breathe a huge sigh of relief. If things get nasty with protests and even small riots, that's when we have a problem.

And certainly, from a moral point of view, going with a democratic mandate from the Norwegian government but ignoring the polls (which is what the IOC would be doing if they chose Oslo), would be easily the lesser of three evils! I'd feel sorry for the people of Norway who were ignored, but at least they'll put on a great Games with no issues. Every authoritarian regime that has put on a huge multi-sport event has been plagued by issues around workers' rights, have bulldozered their way through homes and moved resources away from communities to divert them to the Olympic complex, have arrested dissenters, etc. Which news stories are really the bigger risk for the IOC going forward?

Sorry to the disgruntled majority in Norway, but if your bid is still there in July, for the future of the Games AND from a moral perspective, I think and hope you'll be dead certs for the win.

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Every authoritarian regime that has put on a huge multi-sport event has been plagued by issues around workers' rights, have bulldozered their way through homes and moved resources away from communities to divert them to the Olympic complex, have arrested dissenters, etc.

so much for Olympics ideals now that this is the norm. everybody knows the Olympics, politicians, dictators, oil money and corrupt business deals are more important than the common man right? really off putting to think about.
Edited by paul
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so much for Olympics ideals now that this is the norm.

It's the norm for countries which do things in that way, but the norm for the Olympics, not really. London, Vancouver, Sydney, SLC, Athens, Torino etc. didn't do it that way. Really, we're "only" talking Sochi and Beijing here (and you can throw FIFA's Qatar World Cup in as the ultimate example too). But those examples have caused enough damage to the IOC that potential bid cities are now extremely cautious, or else completely uninterested.

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That's right, but with so many sketchy governments putting forward bids funded by new oil money and largely based on pushing the games as propaganda to increase their legitimacy is disturbing at least. When great western democracies find it more and more difficult to compete with those regimes and their new money the implications for the Olympics and broader issues are concerning.

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But I agree with Stefan that if Oslo is still there in July, the IOC will be foolhardy to go with any other city. Look at it this way, everyone and their dog expects the Norwegian Parliament to reject this bid when it's put up to a vote. If, somehow, they support it a lot of credit will have to go to the bid team, Oslo's mayor and any other stakeholders (possibly even the IOC who have been on Norway's case) for getting it through. Do you honestly think, that having overcome such a major hurdle, with a democratic mandate now in place, the IOC are going to do what the Norwegian government didn't, and reject Oslo's bid?

Agreed. It's almost like a catch-22, but that would look seemingly very bad for future bid races (at least where Europe would be concerned), when the likes of Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, etc had seen first-hand, that the Norwegian government bent over backwards & still supported the bid, despite with strong domestic opposition, only for the IOC to shove all that in their face & tell them no, in favor of yet another authoritarian regime. That wouldn't be a pretty picture in the end, either.

From a risk perspective, it depends how vociferous the majority of the opposition to the bid is. If it's the type of opposition that grumbles but then happily buys tickets in eight years, I think the IOC will happily vote for Oslo over its rivals and breathe a huge sigh of relief. If things get nasty with protests and even small riots, that's when we have a problem.

One could argue that the IOC has always emphasized bids to be of a national nature, but that takes into account when those previous races weren't as dire as this one. The IOC is truly in a bind here. Bach, even though he publicly says otherwise, must be shaking in his panties. But like I also mentioned earlier in this thread, unless some of the Oslo public goes on a bombing spree & send threatening letters to the IOC, like we saw with Stockholm's 2004 bid, or direct riots protesting big Olympic spending, like we've seen in Brazil, or the ones in Istanbul during the 2020 race (& even here, Istanbul still managed to get to the final ballot), the IOC might well just turn a blind eye, like they usually do, when it comes to their most benefit.

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As long as Oslo stays in, they have it won hands down barring a catastrophe, but if the recent polls are any indicator, I just don't see how the government goes forward with this without risking a backlash from the public at the ballot box. While I am not familiar with Norwegian politics, I would venture to say that their politicians, like most, have getting re-elected somewhere in their minds and they don't want to jeopardize that. Normally, I'd say the low public support would kill a bid, but when the IOC's choices are Beijing (whose problems have been mentioned at length) and a city in Almaty whose technical marks were so low they wouldn't have even been shortlisted if the likes of Krakow, Munich, and a Swiss bid were in the race, the IOC will overlook the public support when the final vote comes along.

If Oslo does drop out and I don't see how they stay in, Beijing will make history becoming the first city to host both a summer and winter Olympics. I always thought that honor would go to Munich, but I think the Chinese may beat them to it.

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The IOC has changed their tune whenever they saw it fit, so wouldn't surprise me the least if they did it here too.

I'm not denying the lack of support is a problem for Oslo, but I do think that if they make it to Kuala Lumpur somehow, they'll win.

Well, that's a different conversation. Of course Oslo will win if they're on the ballot. The IOC won't have the self-control or moral conscience to pass them up. I still think that situation has the makings of a potential disaster if public support remains around 30%. I couldn't vote for the bid in good conscience under those conditions, but I don't doubt a majority of the IOC would, thereby risking some really ugly fallout and perhaps even a Denver-like change of heart.

However, the odds of Oslo making it to KL appear to me to be getting longer and longer.

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If Oslo does drop out and I don't see how they stay in, Beijing will make history becoming the first city to host both a summer and winter Olympics. I always thought that honor would go to Munich, but I think the Chinese may beat them to it.

Just like years ago, many thought that the first South American Olympics would be in Buenos Aires. Just goes to show how the tide can change sometimes.

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Chances for re-election in Norway aren't usually that big - I think most (coalition) governments of the past two decades have been voted out after one, maximum two periods. So, there's always an imminent risk with the Norwegian electorate.

Next regular nationwide elections would be in 2017, by then the discussions about the bid might have been overshadowed by other issues, or even people would see positive develoments going on in the preparation for 2022.

Of course there is a scenario that the Progress Party leaves the coalition because of a dispute over the financial support and there would be early elections. Could happen, then again that party finally came to power for the first time last year, and they might not want to risk losing it again already a year later over something which seems more ideological than fact-based, given Norway's current wealth. Let's also assume that the Norwegian govt is fully aware that it currently has big leverage on the IOC and they could get the IOC to make concessions to keep Oslo in the race, concessions which might positively influence public opinion.

I do agree however that the Oslo bid must really ask themselves why they still haven't managed to get a turnaround in public opinion. They should really tackle the arguments against them and take them seriously - see the German/Swedish/Austrian/Swiss NOC paper published recently for some ideas.

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I have to say Beijing 2022 reminds me vaguely of Atlanta 1996. Both were superpower bids that were glaringly premature, neither expected to win when they bid, both happened to find themselves competing against weak fields that opened up a surprising path to victory.

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