Norway Travel Guide
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The Norwegian parliament; Stortinget
The Norwegian parliament is the Storting. It currently has 169 members. The members are elected from the 19 counties for four-year terms according to a system of proportional representation. An additional 19 seats ("levelling seats") are allocated on a nationwide basis to make the representation in parliament correspond better with the popular vote. There is a 4 percent election threshold to gain levelling seats. The word Storting means "Great Thing", a thing being an assembly.
The Storting is a qualified unicameral body. After elections it elects a quarter of its membership to form the Lagting, a sort of upper house, with the remaining three quarters forming the Odelsting, a lower house. When voting the two chambers divide, and this division of chambers is also used on very rare occasions such as impeachment. The original idea in 1814 was probably to have the Lagting act as an actual upper house, and the senior and more experienced members of the Storting were placed here. Laws are in most cases proposed by the government through a Member of the Council of State, or in some cases by a member of the Odelsting in case of repeated disagreement in the joint Storting. In modern times the Lagting rarely disagrees, effectively rubber-stamping the Odelsting's decisions.
Impeachment cases are very rare and may be brought against Members of the Council of State, of the Supreme Court, or of the Storting for criminal offenses which they may have committed in their official capacity. The last case was in 1927, when Prime Minister Abraham Berge was acquitted.
Constitutional amendments of 20 February 2007 provide for:
The abolition of division after the 2009 general election (making the Storting fully unicameral). Legislation will go through two readings, or three in case of dissent, before being passed and sent to the King for assent.
Changes in impeachment procedures. The current system (indictments raised by the Odelsting and judged by the Lagting and the Supreme Court justices as part of the High Court of the Realm) will be replaced by new system
Source: Wikipedia Encyclopedia
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