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The Danish political system is a parliamentary tapestry of parties, the differences between them not always being readily apparent to the non-Dane. In the interest of comprehension, I will here present a brief overview of the most significant political parties in Denmark.

1. Parties in the Folketing

The Folketing, the Danish parliament, consists of 179 members. This includes 2 members from Greenland and 2 from the Faeroe Islands. The 175 members elected in Denmark proper are nearly always elected on the party tickets of the ten-twelve dominant parties. The composition of the political spectrum has varied during the Folketing's existence (meaning, for the past century and a half), and what follows is the composition after the February 8, 2005 election.

In Danish elections, each party is represented by a letter, as a mnemonic aid for voters. The list is arranged alphabetically according to these letters.

2. Other significant parties

This list comprises parties not currently in the Folketing, but with a reasonable chance of regaining representation there, or with long-term voter appeal in municipal elections.

  • D: Centrumdemokraterne
    (Central Democratic Party)
    A spin-off party from the Social Democratic Party, CD represented the middle class socialists - but have gradually moved to a more right wing position. At the last-but-one election, they failed to achieve seats in the Folketing, but they remain a significant force in local politics.

  • Q: Kristdemokraterne (formerly: Kristeligt Folkeparti)
    (Christian Democrat Party)
    Always a small party, the moderate Christian Democrat Party was represented in the last Folketing with 4 seats, but fell below the minimum and is not currently represented.

3. Has-been or wannabe parties

  • E: Retsforbundet
    (Georgist Party)
    With a name literally meaning "The Justice League", Retsforbundet builds on the political theories of Henry George, who believed that all taxation should be property tax, and nothing else. They haven't been in the Folketing for decades, but continue to do well in local elections.

  • M: Minoritetspartiet
    (Minority Party)
    A small party hoping to ride into the Folketing sooner or later, on a wave of popular support fuelled by disgust at the openly discriminatory politics engendered by Dank Folkeparti and their ilk. As idealistic as this sounds, they are unlikely to be a significant force in Danish politics, whether in the long or the short term.

  • Z: Fremskridtspartiet
    (Progress Party)
    Of all the Danish parties, the "Progress Party" is probably the most openly discriminatory towards immigrants and particularly towards Muslims. Founded by the highly idiosyncratic (to put it gently) Mogens Glistrup, the party was originally voted into the Folketing in a landslide election in 1973. Supplanted by the breakaway Danish People's Party, however, they lost voters and did not manage to achieve representation at the last election.


This is not a complete list. I could mention the regional Schleswig Party, or the many local parties that participate in municipal elections and nowehere else - but I think I'll leave it at this, to keep the big picture.

BTW, arranged according to their position in the left-right spectrum, the eight parties currently (or recently) in the Folketing would be:

Ø - F - A - B - (D) - Q - V - C - O - (Z)

Arranged according to the more useful two-dimensional Political Compass system, agraph of the party political alignment looks like this:



                              Authoritarian

                                   /|\                          
                                    |                          
                             A      |                C         
                                    |                          
                                    |                          
                                    |                          
                                    |                          
                                    |                          
                                    |                          
                                    |              V           
                                    |  B                       
                                    |      D                   
                                    |                          
                                    |           Q              
 Classic                            |                            Classic
  Left    <---------F---------------|-------------------------->  Right
  Wing                              |                             Wing
                                    |                          
                                    |                          
                                    |                          
                                    |                          
                                    |                          
                                    |                          
                                    |                          
                                    |                          
                                    |                          
                                    |                          
                                    |                    O      
                                    |                          
           Ø                        |                        Z 
                                   \|/                          

                           Anti-authoritarian

Unsurprisingly, all the parties below the line dividing Authoritarian from Anti-authoritarian are against Danish membership in the European Union, and the ones above the line are in favour. The Socialist People's Party ("F") which is shown on the line, is of two minds on the subject, but tends to favour the anti-EU stance. Though the Christian People's Party ("Q") has stated that it is neutral on the EU, it is obvious from past political actions that they are merely being coy - and are in fact pro-EU.

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