Danish constitutional referendum, 1939

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A constitutional referendum was held in Denmark on 23 May 1939.[1] Voters were asked whether they approved of a new constitution. Although it was approved by 91.9% of those who voted, a turnout of only 48.9% meant that the percentage of eligible voters approving it was only 44.46%, below the 45% required by the existing constitution of 1915.[2]

Proposed changes from the existing constitution[edit]

The two primary changes in the proposed constitution from 1939 was lowering the electoral age from 25 to 23 years, and replacing the Landsting with a new chamber of parliament, the Rigsting.[3] Additionally, the united parliament (Danish: den forenede rigsdag) consisting of the members of the two other chambers was to become a third chamber of parliament.[4] The united parliament would handle the more important types of bills, including the Budget and proposed changes to the constitution.[3] Other bills could be proposed in either the Folketing or the Rigsting, and in order to pass they would have to go through three readings in the chamber, in which they were proposed, and two readings in the other.[4] This would have been a simplification of the existing process where all bills had to go through three readings in each of the two chambers.

Results[edit]

Choice Votes %
For 966,277 91.9
Against 85,717 8.1
Invalid/blank votes 11,770
Total 1,063,764 100
Registered voters/turnout 2,173,420 48.9
Source: Nohlen & Stöver

Aftermath[edit]

The Danish constitution was finally altered to its present form following a 1953 referendum.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p524 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p505
  3. ^ a b Wendt, Frantz W. (1951). "Rigsdagen 1915-40", in Bomholt, J., Fabricius, K., Hjelholt, H., Mackeprang, M. & Møller, A. (eds.): Den Danske Rigsdag 1849-1949 bind II - Rigsdagens histore 1866-1949 (Danish). Copenhagen: J. H. Schultz Forlag, pp. 554-556.
  4. ^ a b Skou, Kaare R. (2005). Dansk politik A-Å (Danish). Aschehoug, pp. 579-580. ISBN 87-11-11652-8.