A Government Backed by a Legislative Majority

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The government has the executive power. The government is composed of ministers, and it is the ministers and their ministries who put the laws passed by parliament into practice.

Parliamentarism is the principle which ensures that the government has a majority of the parliament behind it and may pass its laws with a majority vote.

In Denmark and some other countries, however, there is something called "negative parliamentarism". This means that the government remains in office as long as there is no majority opposing it--in other words, if the opposition is too divided to successfully demand and back another government. Under negative parliamentarism every bill nevertheless requires a majority vote to be passed, which means that the government must negotiate with the opposition in every case and thus secure a majority vote in favour of the bill.

Next chapter: Secret Ballots