The party leadership’s new views on file sharing sparked a spirited debate at the congress, held over the weekend in Norrköping in central Sweden.
Having previously come out against file sharing, the party’s governing board wants to approve a motion which recommends file sharing for personal use and uploading of copyrighted material, as long as it is not for commercial purposes.
The board, as well as members attending the congress, were split on the issue.
“It would be shameful if we worsen the ability of those working to produce culture to earn a living,” said Ann Mari Engel from the Stockholm area.
But a Left Party colleague also from Stockholm sees things differently.
“New technology undermines the rights of private owners, which copyright is a part of. That’s absolutely wonderful…exactly what we want in the long term,” said Dag Olaussson.
Elise Norberg Pilhem of the party’s board questioned whether it was possible to stop file sharing.
“We obviously want to be the cultural workers’ party in the future, but legislation which makes the majority of adult population criminals must be changed,” she said.
The Left Party also decided on Sunday that children could have more than two legal guardians.
The background to the suggestions is that there today are many families where children have more than two parents, such as families in which two same-sex couples have a common child together.
Currently, only two of the parents can be listed as legal guardians.
Should they die, the two other parents aren’t automatically granted custody of the child.
According to the Left Party, this situation creates insecurity for the child.
Later a long debate took place on the party’s stance on Cuba.
The congress delegates finally decided that Cuba doesn’t fulfill the minimum standards required of a democracy. But there were several clear opponents to the position.
Vilmar Andersson discussed both social progress and Cuba’s environmental policies. But the argument didn’t sway everyone.
“I want to live in socialism with democracy in the Western sense,” he said.
The person who put forward the motion obviously has a different view of democracy, said Claes Wallenius from Värmland.
The congress also concluded that the party needs a new healthcare policy.
The party leadership will therefore receive, against its will, the assignment of coming up with a new policy in time for the 2010 parliamentary elections.
The party’s leadership was also overruled in the question of privatizing public property.
The congress voted for a motion that would prepare a restoration program for the privatization policies of recent decades.
Also included was a suggestion to prepare a strategy for how collective ownership could be protected for a time frame beyond the four-year parliamentary election cycle.
Other suggestions which won backing at congress were a law to prevent the indebtedness of children, improving repayment conditions for student loans, as well as changing the law on minerals to ensure that the return to society be at least 10 percent of the profits from all mineral extraction.