Sunday, 29 March 2009

New books: Essays on the Norwegian Parliament

Some days ago Det Norske Samlaget published Senatet som aldri vart – Essay frå Stortinget, a collection of essays by Morten Søberg, a political advisor to the Centre Party’s parliamentary group. The essays deal with various political topics, including the fiscal budget, the role of the state secretaries, why the Bank of Norway was located in Trondheim for nearly a century and the history of the Lagting, the senior of the two divisions in the Norwegian parliament, which was intended to be some sort of senate but has ended up as a rather superfluous parliamentary body – and will accordingly be abolished when a pure unicameral system replaces the current semi-bicameral system this autumn. The book deals with many interesting issues, but its weakness is that both the essays in themselves and the book in general jump from one thing to another and include too much “a little of this and a little of that” – which sometimes makes it difficult to keep the thread.

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