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I. Institutions of Danish (Nordic) government  A. Parliamentary system  1. If any party has a majority, the party with the majority in the Folketing.

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Presentation on theme: "I. Institutions of Danish (Nordic) government  A. Parliamentary system  1. If any party has a majority, the party with the majority in the Folketing."— Presentation transcript:

1 I. Institutions of Danish (Nordic) government  A. Parliamentary system  1. If any party has a majority, the party with the majority in the Folketing - Parliament - forms the government. Leader is elected by party's convention and he is given a free hand to appoint the cabinet. This never happens in Denmark.  2. If no party has a majority, a coalition of parties with majority who can come to agreement on a common program will form the government  3. If no majority coalition emerges, the party or coalition of parties with the most parliamentary seats forms the government. This has actually been the most frequent situation.

2  B. Unitary government  C. Unicameralism  D. Local government  Local governments administer a wide range of health, education, and welfare services.  E. Proportional representation  There is a threshold of 2%. If you get 2% of the vote, you will get the number seats exactly proportional the number of votes. For example, if a party gets 25% of the national vote, it will get 44 seats (25% of 175 seats).  Four seats are reserved for representatives from Faroe and Greenland.  F. Candidate selection and party discipline  The parties can control who is elected because they make up the candidate lists. Though "personal votes" lessen the degree of party control of who is elected among its candidates, the party controls the who the nominees are in the first place. The voters vote for the first and foremost for the party.

3 Danish Political Institutions: Summary With a concentration of political power and no checks and balances, the parties with the parliamentary majority can do what it or they want. The electoral system insures that those parties will have the support of the majority of voters.

4 II. Party System  A. The Socialist Bloc  1. Social Democratic Party Main planks are full employment and expansion of welfare state Closely associated with the blue collar union central organization, LO Moderate on environmental issues. From the mid-1960s on, feminism, gender egalitarianism has been increasingly important in the party's election manifestos and policies. Traditionally, very strong support from blue collar workers. More recently, support from public employees, women, and seniors. Most frequent party in government; the prime minister was most often a social democrat.

5  2. Left socialist parties Socialist People's Party Unity List, the Red-Greens.  B. The Bourgeois Bloc  1. Conservative parties Conservative People's Party –Substantial cuts in taxes; privatization of public enterprises; privatization of the delivery of public services –Middle and upper class voters Left –Formerly a farmers party and still has substantial support among farmers –Was centrist but moved to the right in the 1980s Radical right protest and nationalist parties –Progress Party –Danish People's Party

6  2. Centrist Parties Radical Left Center Democrats Strong environmentalist stand since the mid sixties Voters: farmers and urban middle class Christian People's Party –Not a Catholic party. Christian fundamentalist. –Main issues are the defense of the traditional family (male breadwinner, stay at home mom) and religion.  C. Party financing State subsidies Free television and radio time during election campaigns


8 III. Labor Market Institutions  Very strong and centralized unions and employers organizations.  DA - the Danish Employers' Federation  LO - central organization of the unions of manual workers  FTF - central organization of the unions of non-manual workers.  AC - union of employees with higher education  75% of wage and salary workers are union members (1993)  Recent bargaining rounds have kept Danish wage increases within the "European norm"

9 IV. Two Types of Welfare States: Social Democratic and Residual  A. Institutional or Social Democratic welfare state  General principles – a wide range of government transfers and public services are rights of citizenship  Transfer payments should provide:  basic security to every person as a citizenship right  income security to all who work  Services:  wide range of goods and services  public funded and publicly delivered  Means testing infrequent

10  B. Residual welfare state  Public provided transfers, goods and services should be minimal, they should be a safety net, to prevent destitution  Markets should be allowed to operate whenever possible  Means testing frequent

11 Replacement rates: % of working income a person gets in case of work interruption or termination



14 Public health, education and welfare employment: % of the working age population working in public health, education and welfare jobs

15 Public share of spending on health care: % of health care paid for by the government

16 Public share of health care employment: % of health care employees who work for the government

17 Redistributive effect of tax and transfers system: percentage reduction in income inequality effected by government transfer payments and direct taxes.

18 % of groups in poverty - poverty line is 50% of the median household income in the country Median income: Half of households have more income and half have less.


20 GDP - Gross Domestic Product - value of all goods and services produced in a year

21 V. Highly skilled workforce

22 How is the high skilled work force produced?  Investment in public education  Active labor market policy  Feedback of vocational education on general education  Life long learning  High quality day care  Impact of general levels of inequality on academic skills of lower strata

23 Public Spending on Education as a % of GDP 2002

24 Active Labor Market Policy Spending as a % of GDP, 2001

25 % of Age Group in Public Day Care

26 High Levels of Employment and Low Levels of Unemployment: Denmark as “best practices” identified by the European Union’s “Open Method of Coordination”  Traditional policies  ALMP  “work line” sickness and disability policies  Very low payroll taxes  private service employment  “Flexicurity” Modest employment protection laws High replacement rates  Other policies leading to high quality workforce  Work and family reconciliation policies Day care Parental leave


28 Parental Leave Generosity, 1999

29  New “Third Way” policies  Welfare to work policies Cut duration of unemployment insurance Increase requirements to accept employment or enter training or education More ALMP Address demand side, public sector jobs and subsidized job in the private sector  Life long learning

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