Christiansborg Palace, where nowadays the Danish Parliament (Folketinget) is situated, had been suffering from fire and other destruction for many centuries. But finally, in 1918 the present manifestation was built in neo-baroque style. However, as some people might say, bad karma and fate made its evil deal, and in 1992 one part of the palace was ruined by fire again.
Anyway, Danish сitizens used to call this place “the cradle of democracy”.
The Parliament consists of 179 members and there were two chambers until the constitutional reform in 1953 when the members of the Upper Chamber, mainly large estate owners, were dismissed.
Eventually, during our guided tour on 25th of January, arranged especially for the NFGL members of Lund University, we were informed that the Danish democracy could be quite cruel sometimes.
For instance, once the issue of a protection of children’s rights was being debated, and there were many elderly people who had come to support the reform. This discussion was so intense that the elderly started shouting and the Parliament staff had to call police… Can you imagine how equipped and well-armed the policemen were when they arrived to the Parliament to detain these people?
Another incident occurred when the MPs were debating the rights of birds in cages! One visitor just let birds fly, and they proceeded to crap on the heads of the MPs. That was really funny for media, but not for MPs and Green Peace activists. So, yes, this is called Danish democracy!
Afterwards, we also visited the Tower of Christiansborg, the highest tower in the city, which was built in 1928.
Comparing to the other two parliaments I’ve already visited in Sweden and Germany, the most democratic, in my opinion, is Swedish Riksdag. Danish Folketinget I would put in second place, and German Bundestag – in third (because you can only visit a roof there).
But if you want to arrange your tour to these places, it is very easy to do, just write an e-mail to a contact person:
[email protected]– German Bundestag
[email protected]– Danish Folketinget
[email protected]– Swedish Riksdag.
Galyna Paliychuk, The Head of the Board of the NFGL network in Lund