Seeking Broad Consensus Even With an Absolute Majority

Seeking Broad Consensus Even With an Absolute Majority

12 delegates from DIPD partners in Myanmar, Tanzania, Kenya, Swaziland and Kenya are in Denmark to share experiences and learn more about dialogue and conflict transformation. During their visit, the delegates visited the Mayor of Roskilde, Joy Mogensen.

Joy Mogensen spoke about the very new situation that has arisen in that the Social Democratic party have an absolute majority in the new city council in Roskilde. This is a very rare situation in local and national politics – mainly due to the proportional representation system. However, the popularity of the Mayor and the Social Democractic party in Roskilde resulted in a great increase of votes and thus seats in the city council. The Mayor stressed the importance of seeking broad consensus even with an absolute majority and the importance of allocating the committee chairs to other parties as well.

The course participants asked many questions regarding the involvement of civil society in municipal planning, about party politics, negotiations and about the accountability and oversight functions. They also invited the Mayor to speak about conflict mediation and the Mayor shared that in Danish politics it is okay to disagree – that in itself takes many steps down the conflict ladder. Joy Mogensen also pointed out that “it is important to enter in and out of a conflict with an open mind”. The one party that you disagree with on social issues may be the party that you can establish a coalition with on environmental protection. Finally, she stressed that “making a compromise is not a defeat – it can rather be seen as a win-win situation”.

Hanne Lund Madsen, Head of global programmes, DIPD, explains that the dialogue and conflict course is an important input into the multiparty dialogue processes that DIPD facilitates in several countries in Africa and Asia where parties get an opportunity to discuss issues of common concern and possibly agree on joint reform initiatives.

During their visit, the delegates participate in the Danida Fellowship Centre course in Dialogue and Conflict Transformation. Read more about the course here: