Suffrage Universel
le droit de vote des étrangers

pages apparentées

La Lettre de la Citoyenneté

le droit de vote des étrangers ailleurs

La Norvège, société plurielle

Elus d'origine non-européenne en Norvège

Ethnicité et élections ailleurs: France, Belgique, Danemark, Allemagne, Pays-Bas

La sécession de la Norvège

Aftenposten in English

The Norway Post

Voting rights in Norway

Immigrants misled about voting (Aftenposten Interactive/NTB 13.07.99)

The election information brochure sent by the Immigrant directorate to Norway's foreigners is riddled with serious errors. Instructions for balloting conflict with existing laws.

If immigrants follow the guidelines put forth in the brochure they risk having their ballots invalidated. The Directorate are now hurrying to send out a new, corrected version.

One example instructed voters to follow outdated procedures from the 1995 election that no longer apply. The ballots depicted in the brochure are also obsolete, and the new version is considerably different.

Everyone listed in the national register for the past three years is eligible to vote in the fall elections.

Campaign launched to get immigrants to vote in local elections (NTB 15.08.99)

According to the Anti-Racist Center, only 35 percent of Norway's immigrants voted last time round due to uncertainty about the voting system.

The campaign is backed by Britain's Operation Black Vote.

The scheme set up by the Anti-Racist Center is politically independent. The Center says immigrants know what the various parties stand for, but they are unsure whether or not they should vote.

People with foreign voting experience may be passive about going to the polls in Norway.

The Center says also that many politicians hesitate to take up immigrant issues.

No support for immigrant voting from unions and industry (NTB 18.08.99)

The two bodies representing trade unions and Norway's business sector (LO and NHO) won't fund a campaign by the Antiracist center to get more immigrants to vote in the forthcoming local elections.

Conservatives (Høyre) make a play for immigrant vote (Aftenposten 18.08.99)

The Conservative party (Høyre) held a barbecue party for Oslo's immigrants on Tuesday in an effort to secure their votes in the forthcoming local elections. Around 200 guests enjoyed halal slaughtered lamb.

The Parliamentary System and Universal Suffrage

From 1859 and onwards, relations between the Norwegian Parliament and the Swedish king were dominated by conflict. A disagreement over the status of the king's Governor General in Norway led to the king being considered purely Swedish, and his right to nominate the government a threat to Norwegian autonomy. During the reign of Oscar II, who ruled in Norway from 1872 to 1905, matters came to a climax when the conservative government three times in a row refused to pass a bill that the Parliament had accepted. After an impeachment trial, the government was forced to resign. The Parliament thus established its decisive influence on the government, making Norway the first Scandinavian country to be governed by parliamentarianism. Suffrage was, however, limited to men holding a certain amount of property. Universal male suffrage was introduced in 1898, and in 1913 women were given the vote as well.

Election day 1882. 5.2 % of the population had the vote, nearly 75% of them actually used their right, making it the best attended election until then.

Externally, Norway was still represented by the Swedish king and the Foreign Minister. During the 1880s however, demands were made for a separate Norwegian consular service. In 1892, the Parliament tried to carry out this reform independently, but was forced to back down after threats of military action. Negotiations were entered into, and though Sweden made concessions to Norwegian demands, it had become all too clear that the incompatibilities were too marked to make a compromise possible. In 1905, the Parliament decided to establish a consular service of its own, but the bill was vetoed by the king. The government headed by Christian Michelsen, who had sponsored the bill, then resigned. Under the circumstances, the king was unable to form a new government, and on that pretext the Parliament declared "the Union with Sweden dissolved as a result of the King ceasing to function as Norwegian King". After a short, but tense, period of military mobilisation, negotiations on the conditions for the dissolution of the union were entered into. A final agreement was made in Karlstad in September 1905. The same year, a referendum was held to decide whether Norway should become a republic or elect a new king. A great majority favored continued monarchy, and shortly thereafter Prince Karl of Denmark was elected King of Norway. He was crowned in Nidaros in 1906 as Haakon VII, and soon gained great popularity. For the first time since 1397, Norway was again a totally free and independent country. [AE]