Folketinget, also known as the Danish Parliament in English, is a unicameral national legislature of the Kingdom of Denmark-Denmark proper along with the Faroe Islands and Greenland . Founded in 1849, until 1953 the Folketinget was not the lower house of the bicameral parliament, called Rigsdag ; the upper house was LANDSTINGET . It meets at Christiansborg Palace , on the island of Slotsholmen in the center of Copenhagen .
Folketinget adopts all laws, approves the cabinet and monitors the work of the government. It is also responsible for adopting public budgets and approving public accounts. According to the Danish Constitution, the Folketinget shares power with the ruling monarch. In practice, however, the role of the monarch is limited to signing laws passed by the legislature; this must be done within 30 days after adoption.
The Folketinget consists of 179 representatives, including two from Greenland and two from the Faroe Islands. General elections must be held every four years, but the Prime Minister has the right to request the monarch to announce elections before the end of the term. If there is a vote of no confidence, Folketinget may force an individual minister or the entire government to resign.
Members are democratically elected on the basis of proportional representation: 135 people in the districts by the D'Ondt method and 40 equal seats. The Danish political system has traditionally created coalitions. Most post-war governments were minority coalitions that ruled with the support of non-governmental parties. Queen Margaret II is usually present at the first meeting of the house.
From 1849 to 1953 the Folketinget was one of the two houses of the bicameral parliament known as Rigsdag; the other house was known as Landstinget. Since both houses, in principle, had equal power, the terms "upper house" and "lower house" were not usually used. The difference between the houses was the representation of voters.
Folketinget was elected by a general vote of men and consisted mainly of independent farmers, traders and merchants, as well as educated classes. From 1866 to 1915, the right to vote in the Landsting was limited to the richest, and some of its members were appointed by the king, so it mainly represented landlords and other conservatives. From 1915, both men and women were eligible to vote in both chambers, and Landsting was elected by general vote, although indirectly and with a higher age limit than Folketinget. In the following decades, lawmaking took place mostly in the Folketing, and Landsting was seen as an unnecessary stamp.
In 1953, a revised constitution was adopted by popular vote. Among the changes was the abolition of the Landsting and the introduction of a unicameral parliament known only as Folketinget. Christiansborg Palace (also known as Borgen, which means castle in Danish) was the seat of Parliament from 1849. The palace is located in the heart of Copenhagen.
It only takes 2% of the vote to be represented in parliament. With such a low electoral threshold, a large number of parties are represented in the House, making it almost impossible for one party to get 90 seats, which is necessary to obtain a majority. No party has achieved this since 1901. Since then, all Danish governments have been coalitions or one-party minority governments. For this reason, a longstanding constitutional provision allows a government to take office without receiving a vote of confidence and remain in office until it loses the vote of no confidence. One consequence of this is that, unlike most other parliamentary systems, the Danish government can never be sure that its legislative agenda will be adopted, and it must gather a majority for each individual piece of legislation.