David Arter
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The Nordic parliaments
An alternative model?
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The two main components in the organisational infrastructure of the Nordic parliaments have comprised the system of specialist and permanent standing committees, and the network of parliamentary party groups (PPGs). PPGs are central parliamentary actors: they participate in the formation and policy-making of governments, whilst for the opposition PPGs are policy sub-systems in their own right, generating policy alternatives, not least in the form of a 'shadow budget'. The chapter sets the scene by mapping a series of common denominators, that is, properties and practices that are shared by the parliaments across the region. Anders Sannerstedt has referred to a distinctively Scandinavian form of parliamentarism, precisely because in Denmark, Norway and Sweden minority cabinets have been obliged to engage in dialogue with parties in opposition. In his words, 'negotiations between the political parties in the parliament are more common in the "Nordic model" than in other types of democratic systems'.

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