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Deputy representatives at Storting[edit]

Hello, I was wondering if I could get some clarification from anyone who knows anything about Norwegian politics/elections. In cleaning up some orphaned articles, I came across Asle Amundsen, who is listed as a deputy representative from 1985-1989. He was never a regular representative, apparently. Can anyone clarify what this means in terms of what a deputy rep actually does politically? Is a deputy rep an elected official in the same way that a regular representative is? Are they like an assistant to the representative? Are they considered to be fully members of the legislature in the same way that a regular representative is?

I guess what I'm trying to determine is, overall, how notable is a deputy representative compared to a representative. Obviously a regular representative is notable by way of the notability guideline for politicians, but I'm not sure where a deputy rep would fall on that guideline. Any help would be fantastic, thanks :) ♠PMC(talk) 11:42, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

The importance of a vararepresentant (I'm not sure deputy is a good word for this) will vary. In the last hundred years or so (except wartime), the cabinet has been made up of at least some elected members of parliament (usually at least the party leader[s]). Since you can't be both a minister and a member of parliament, their position in parliament must be filled by a replacement. Assuming the cabinet does not resign or gets overthrown by the Storting, this replacement will basically function as any other representative throughout the entire four year period between elections (but it is made clear that they are not). If the cabinet falls, its elected members return to parliament and their replacements must give their seats back. Others may just fill the position of a regular representative who is absent. In any case, they are simply the next person on the list of candidates for the same party in the same county that didn't get elected or is already serving as vararepresentant. If the party had just gotten more votes in that county, they would have been proper representatives. According to Norwegian Wikipedia, the same is the case if a representative dies. That is at least how I understand it as a voter, complemented by Norwegian Wikipedia. Ters (talk) 20:47, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, apologies about the terminology, that seems to be what is used all over enwiki so I used that. So...okay. Someone who is the vararepresentant would probably be notable if they served in place of the representative for the whole term, or if they stepped in because the representative died, because it seems like they are basically functioning as a member of Parliament. But if they only stepped in temporarily while the representative was on vacation and never otherwise functioned as a member of Parliament, they would probably not be notable? (Thanks for your swift response by the way, I appreciate it!) ♠PMC(talk) 00:41, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
(For all I know, it might be the Storting itself that came up with using the word deputy, but at the time I answered, it wasn't a familiar use of that word. Having since consulted a few dictionaries, it appears that the word deputy has a broader range of meanings than I knew of. In this case, it means substitute, and not representative or envoy.) I think a deputy member of parliament can make as much of an impact as a regular member, considering that their votes (in parliament) does not count less (that would ruin the point of filling the vacant seat), that there are a lot of members of parliament that are unknown to most people and that the party leaders often keep their party members in line. Given a strong enough personality, they can affect the course of the country as much as any other. That would likely cause enough publicity to take notice of beyond just being on a list of representatives, though. It should however be noted that the absence of a member of parliament isn't always filled by a replacement. The press did some writing last year about members of parliament, especially party leaders, being AWOL a lot. Ters (talk) 07:18, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
As a native speaker of (American) English and a long-time resident of Norway, I find the use of "deputy" here very wrong. "Substitute" is the first term that comes to mind. Whenever even a small, local organization elects officers/committee chairs/other representatives, "vara" are elected at the same time. (Until recently, the word was "varamann, varamenn" or the long "vararepresentant", but since changing man to woman was a bother, the word "vara" is now accepted as a noun.) Some people are elected year after year and never do anything but receive minutes of meetings. Others are officially active for shorter or longer periods. They act as substitutes and certainly never (or rarely) as deputies. Fairly often in organizations, the first "vara" is allowed/encouraged to meet without the right to vote but with rights to speak (these are the ones who actually read the minutes they receive). "Deputy" is the wrong word. --Hordaland (talk) 08:25, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I'm totally neutral on the terminology. I'm only using what is being used in a number of articles on enwiki already. My concern is whether or not someone who was only ever a vara and never a regular representative might be considered a "member" of the Storting, for the purposes of determining notability by way of WP:NPOL. ♠PMC(talk) 08:43, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

The Storting certainly makes an effort of listing all representatives and "vara" representatives, and they are elected through the same formal process. However, the "vare" representatives are explicitly listed as a such in most listings I find, and one of them[1] makes a distinction between those that "permanently" substitute for others (that is, those substituting for cabinet members) and the others. It seems that most of these lists, including the one I link to, are only available in Norwegian. Ters (talk) 19:43, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
I found a dictionary which states that Substitute Member of the Storting is the official English for vararepresentant according to the Storting itself. Ters (talk) 17:33, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
It seems to me like the terminology ("substitute" member) is suggestive that they aren't fully "members" of the Storting and might therefore fail WP:NPOL. I'm going to take Asle Amundsen to AFD as a test case, pointing people to this discussion, to see what the general community thinks. I personally think there is a reasonable distinction in terms of notability between people who sub in for a week while their representative is on vacation and the people who sub in for four years because their representative is part of cabinet and can't remain on the Storting, but I would like to see what the community's thoughts are. I'm going to leave this discussion up for another couple days before starting the AfD, but I'll leave a note here when I do in case anyone who has participated here wants to chip in. I appreciate your help, Ters and Hordaland. ♠PMC(talk) 07:05, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
Hey, just a heads up, I have nominated Asle Amundsen for deletion as a test case for the notability of vara, if you want to weigh in, please head to the AfD here. Thanks! ♠PMC(talk) 05:16, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
A couple of notes on the text in the nomination: A vara is elected just the same way as a regular representative through exactly the same process at exactly the same time. They just sort of "lost" the election. Since the Norwegian election process includes not only voting for a party list with candidates ranked by the party, but also for voting candidates up and down on the list, there is actually a partially active decision of the voters on who it is going to be. It could even be the original top candidate. Not that this really changes the notability of "vara" representatives significantly in my opinion. (A top candidate might often have other claims to fame.) The statement just seemed strange to me. The other thing is that when a representative dies is not the same case as when a representative becomes a cabinet member, as the last sentence of the first paragraph seems to suggest. In the former case, the position is not filled in by a "vara", but by a permanent representative that was until that point a "vara". (I guess that means that if a person is filling in for a cabinet member, but another representative for the same party from the same county dies, the former person becomes a permanent member replacing the dead one, while the next vara takes over substituting for the cabinet member. And if it was the cabinet member who died, the long-term substitute becomes a permanent representative. If that also person also takes over the same or another cabinet post, which is very unlikely, but possible, you end up having a vara substituting for a former vara.) Ters (talk) 07:08, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
I clarified per your response. Does that make more sense? I apologize for the errors, I was trying to condense and explain as concisely as possible. I hope it's more accurate now. ♠PMC(talk) 08:23, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

I don't follow this discussion page. Any deputy who actually meets in parliamentary session are considered MPs. We have first, second, third deputies and so on, and the fourth or fifth deputy might never meet in Parliament and are thus not notable. Cheers, Geschichte (talk) 22:02, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

While a "vara" is not legally a lesser member of parliament when in session (as has been pointed out already), nor more subordinate than any other than the party leaders, it might be worth noticing that the Storting does differentiate between representatives, "vara" representatives filling in for a cabinet member and the other "vara"s in their lists. The latter group doesn't even appear in any English list that I could find at the Storting's website. But I guess the question that is supposed to be settled is whether someone is notable just for having certain powers for a few hours, even if all they did was play games on their smartphones. (For this particular representative, smartphones hadn't been invented yet during his term and he spent more than a few hours on the benches, so that particular extreme is not a problem. No MP has been caught playing games on their smartphones for four years straight, yet.) Ters (talk) 07:03, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
Representatives that were originally deputies, but "møtte fast" or "rykket opp", are categorized as full members of Parliament here at Wikipedia. Geschichte (talk) 19:09, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
In the latter case, that seems correct, although one should perhaps categorize them as both full members and substitutes. In the former case, the Storting itself seems to be clear that they are not "full members" (because they can be kicked out at any moment, I guess), however, the category doesn't say anything about being "full", so that doesn't matter. In fact, if it did, having deputies as a sub-category would be wrong, which is also why promoted substitutes are not categorized as both. I guess. (Reminds me a bit about the controversy over "planet". In general; I haven't followed any such debate on Wikipedia.) Ters (talk) 06:39, 13 March 2017 (UTC)


Hey folks! Can anyone confirm that Sandbakken, Sarpsborg is indeed a place? I can't find any mention of it on Google or Google Books (except for a school which appears to be called Sandbakken, but I can't figure out if it's in Sandbakken). The search hits I can find are otherwise all of people surnamed Sandbakken. If I search Geonames the only populated place that comes up is in Oslo. (Also if it is indeed a place and you can add a reference to the article, you'll be my hero). Any help would be much appreciated! Thanks! Ajpolino (talk) 01:38, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

Also the listed coordinates appear to lead to a field in the middle of nowhere... Ajpolino (talk) 01:40, 9 April 2017 (UTC)
Fixed. And don't waste time open it in the waste of space that is Google, use Open Street Maps, it shows Sandbakken. I don't know if I get this option because I live where I live, but on the right side of the list, I get a choice of Norwegian maps as well, try one of those if you get them (at least the Gule sider map showed Sandbakken). Paaln (talk) 18:52, 9 April 2017 (UTC)
As for the list of Norwegian maps, the one called Norgeskart should be the most authorative there is, although the URL is outdated (a redirect seems to be in place for now). I'm not sure if "urban settlement" is the most correct description of Sandbakken. The name is registered in the Norwegian place name registry as something that might be translated as "part of urban area", although the place name registry appears to use a somewhat different and less formal definition of urban area than what is described in urban area. It could be something like a neighborhood. Apparently within the city of Sarpsborg and the urban area of Fredrikstad/Sarpsborg (the slash is part of the name). Ters (talk) 19:12, 9 April 2017 (UTC)
Thanks a million! I'm having some trouble navigating the Norgeskart site (probably because I don't speak Norwegian and Google translate is having trouble translating text within the search box suggestions). If someone could add a reference of some kind to the article that would be fantastic. (Also, Open Street Maps does indeed show it very clearly. Not sure why Google Maps does so poorly there. Thanks for the tip!). Happy editing! Ajpolino (talk) 18:48, 10 April 2017 (UTC)

Majorstuen and Helsfyr as boroughs/districts of Oslo[edit]

Majorstuen and Helsfyr are redirected as boroughs/districts of Oslo. Is there any reasons for or discussions foregoing this nonsense? Helge Høifødt (talk) 18:00, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

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Day and month of the Battle of Maldon[edit]

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