As we all are making jokes about the election which Lars Løkke Rasmussen isn’t calling, a word about the rules in the Danish constitution.
We are looking at section 32 which states that the election term is four years. Curiously, the text states that the King can call an election at any time but that it is the Prime Minister‘s duty to ensure that an election is called before the end of the term. (Actually, there is some logic behind this formulation as the King cannot be held responsible under the Danish constitution but ministers are responsible for the government’s actions).
So, the question which people half-jokingly have asked is: What if Lars Løkke Rasmussen fails to call an election before 20 October 2011? (This is three weeks before the last Thursday in the term)
First, Løkke Rasmussen would have failed in his constitutional duties and be liable to face trial in the Constitutional Court. (Which raises the highly uncomfortable question how a centre-right majority in the next Folketing would act).
Second, the Royal Court would probably (extremely grudgingly as it doesn’t want to have the Queen appear as a political agent) have to intervene and announce an election date. Most likely 10 November 2011.1
Still, in the real world I cannot see this happening. Even if he should opt for a November election, Lars Løkke Rasmussen would be receiving some very impatient phone calls from the Court reminding him of his duties in the days before 20 October.
Update: Okay, we joke about Løkke not calling the election but Jyllands-Posten today has a story about what would happen if…