Folketing facts for kids
The Folketing (Danish: Folketinget) is the national parliament of Denmark. The name means "People's thing" (a thing in this case is a governing assembly). It is the highest legislative body in the Kingdom of Denmark and decides most of the laws for Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. The Folketing meets in Christiansborg Palace, in the Danish capital, Copenhagen. 179 members sit in the Folketing (175 from Denmark, 2 from Greenland and 2 from the Faroe Islands) and are democratically elected.
Greenland and the Faroe Islands also have their own, less powerful, parliaments and are allowed to make some laws on their own.
The Folketing is where many political parties in Denmark meet to discuss important issues affecting Danish people, and to pass laws they agree on. The Folketing is also where the Government of Denmark is formed, when several parties who are in agreement decide to join together and form a coalition government (the parties forming a government must have over half of the total members of the Folketing; a majority). The voting system used in Denmark is proportional, meaning the distribution of seats reflects the distribution of votes. This means that many parties and different political views are represented, including some extreme views.
The leader of the Folketing is the Speaker who sits at the front. The members sit in front of the speaker in the shape of a semicircle.
From 1849 to 1953, the Folketing was one of the two houses in a parliament. It was known as the "Rigsdag". The other house was known as the "Landsting". The members of the Folketing included farmers, traders and merchants. The Landsting was made up of the rich members of society. It included the nobility. These members were chosen by the King to become members. In 1953 the Landsting was gotten rid of. This left the Folketing as the only house of parliament. The Rigsdag became the Folketing.
The most recent general election took place on 15 September 2011.
The centre-right coalition that was in power before the election, led by the Liberal Party, lost to a centre-left coalition led by the Social Democrats. The Social Liberal Party and the Socialist People's Party became part of the three-party government, which holds 89 seats in the Folketing.
Images for kids
Christiansborg Palace, the seat of the three branches of government: the Folketing, the Prime Minister's Office and the Supreme Court. Here it is surrounded by posters, a typical scene during an election season.
Folketing Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.