There will be no fancy dining and dancing for Members of Parliament and their partners just after New Year. Controversial plans to spend NOK 770,000 on a New Year’s Ball have been dropped, in favour of a summer party.
Newspaper Dagens Næringliv (DN) had first brought the news that the Parliament’s leadership, including two top politicians from the ruling Conservative Party, were planning to host a ball in January. It called for a gala dinner at Oslo’s Grand Hotel and then a stroll across the street to the Parliament Building itself, which would be decorated and ready for dancing and other forms of entertainment.
Several parliamentarian leaders from various political parties bashed the plans, though, as “snobbish and old-fashioned” and an unnecessary use of taxpayers’ money. They also feared it would distance politicians from the people and claimed they already have enough “fancy dinners” throughout the year. Just last week, for example, the government and Members of Parliament gathered at the Royal Palace for an annual formal banquet.
Ingjerd Schou of the Conservative Party, who was the most active proponent of the ball, isn’t giving up her party plans completely, though. She still wants MPs to socialize more with one another and be able to bring partners and family members from all over the country for a social event in Oslo, to see where they work. Plans are now brewing for a summer party instead.