Norway: six exceptions to the rule



The position of the referendum in the Norwegian constitution is easily stated: no written rules exist whatsoever. The constitution unambiguously adopts the representative system, with the Storting (parliament) as the centre of democratically based power. However, legal interpreters can make even silent texts speak. Thus, the formal vacuum has been filled by interpretations and practice; this has not encompassed either the compulsory or the binding referendum variant, but has created an undisputed opening for the ad hoc and consultative forms. The Storting is empowered, by simple majority, to consult the voters at any time and on any issue. But it is not authorised to delegate to them the final decision on any topic.


Party System Direct Democracy Constitutional Amendment Centre Party Parliamentary System 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1996

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