Folketinget – Assembly room in Copenhagen.
The heart of western democracies is the assembly, the parliament. Its Germanic origin is the thing, also called ting, ding or þing in other Germanic languages. Today, national assemblies in Scandinavian countries still refer to this ancient tradition. For example, the parliament of Åland (Sweden) is called Lagting, of Faroe Løgting, of Greenland Landsting, of Iceland Alþingi, and of Norway Storting. The oldest written documentation of the thing is produced by a bunch of Frisian mercenaries in the Roman Army, fighting in Britannia. This was in the third century, almost 2,000 years ago. So, the Germanic assemblies can boast of an old and successful tradition. The thing is, however, that today’s criticism on the effectiveness of these assemblies in representative consensus-building is still growing.
The Folketing (Danish: Folketinget, pronounced [ˈfʌlkəˌtsʰe̝ŋˀð̩]; lit. ’The people’s thing‘ or ‘People’s assembly‘), also known as the Parliament of Denmark or the Danish Parliament in English, is the unicameralnational legislature (parliament) of the Kingdom of Denmark—Denmark proper together with the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Established in 1849, until 1953 the Folketing was the lower house of a bicameral parliament, called the Rigsdag; the upper house was Landstinget. It meets in Christiansborg Palace, on the islet of Slotsholmen in central Copenhagen.
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