• Sweden edition
 
Bodström chooses family over Riksdag

Bodström chooses family over Riksdag

Published: 15 Oct 2010 07:43 GMT+02:00
Updated: 15 Oct 2010 07:43 GMT+02:00

Bodström informed party leader Mona Sahlin of his decision late Thursday night, according to the Aftonbladet newspaper.

Bodström told the paper that he would have regrets the rest of his life if he didn’t choose to be with his children.

Sahlin told Bodström that she wanted him to remain in politics, but that his family should be his first priority.

Bodström’s wife and four children have been living in western Massachusetts for the past six weeks.

“I’ve spoken with my wife and I don’t want to make my children suffer by giving up this dream. We’ve planned this for such a long time,” he told Aftonbladet.

Bodström explained that many leading Social Democratic colleagues, including former prime minister Göran Persson, under whom Bodström served in the last Social Democratic-led government, advised him to think about his family.

Writing on his blog, Bodström also cited the many votes he received in the recent elections as another complicating factor in his decision. He said he also discussed his situation with Social Democratic colleagues Mona Sahlin, Ulrica Messing, Jens Orback, Mikael Damberg, and others in the party.

“They want me to continue in politics but also say I should think about my family. I’ve obviously also discussed the situation with my wife and children,” he wrote.

“It feels like I’ve made the right decision. My children are becoming more entrenched in their lives here in school, sports, and with friends. If I suddenly yanked them out and broke off their year ahead of time it would have major consequences for them. This is something we’ve planned for a long time.”

On Wednesday, Bodström learned that his request for a leave of absence from the Riksdag had been denied. He had applied to take parental leave from October 4th through December 3rd.

He had traveled to the United States with his family following Sweden’s September 19th general elections, prior to learning that his application for leave had been rejected.

Bodström was disappointed by the decision, arguing that the Riksdag ought to make it easier for politicians to balance work and family.

He explained that taking time off from the Riksdag ought to be easier to manage than in many other workplaces because there are substitute MPs who can easily take over the responsibility of another parliamentarian in the case of an absence.

Instead, he was forced to choose between letting down his family or giving up his seat in the Riksdag.

“It’s hard to say no to the job and it’s hard to say no to one’s family. But life is full of hard choices,” Bodström told the TT news agency earlier in the week.

The Riksdag has strict rules governing leave for elected representatives. According to the regulations, leave requests are only granted for international assignments, illness, or parental leave. And in those cases rules stipulate that the leave be full-time, not only part-time.

However, according to Sweden’s National Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan), Bodström only has the right to part-time parental leave because his youngest son attends school in the United States.

The decision was hard, Bodström told Aftonbladet, but that he received a lot of support from his fellow Social Democrats, some of whom argued that taking time off from the Riksdag could be beneficial.

The decision to give up his Riksdag seat doesn't necessarily mean that Bodström is giving up politics completely, as he has indicated he will continue working to help the Social Democrats take back power.

“I’m always going to be a Social Democrat and I’m ready to be there if Mona Sahlin needs my support,” he said.

Bodström will be replaced in the Riksdag by 47-year-old Yilmaz Kerimo from Södertälje.

Kerimo, a native of Turkey who has lived in Sweden for 32 years, was first elected to the Riksdag in 1998, but lost his seat following the Social Democrats’ poor showing in the 2010 elections.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

08:34 October 15, 2010 by Nomark
This is all a little ridiculous. He should have sought a definitive legal opinion on his proposed leave of absence before he went to the States.
08:38 October 15, 2010 by miss79
leave sweden, good decision as sweden wont be a tolerate country anymore..good choice...lol
08:40 October 15, 2010 by ChrisEdmSkiBum
I think this is really good! Our politicians are just as much human as we all are and need their families and friends too. Why should some people be treted so differently? Go Bodström! It shows that our red greens have hearts!
09:05 October 15, 2010 by Rap43
Ah... I sense a candidate for party leader in the making...
09:08 October 15, 2010 by Puffin
@Rap43

He was already offered the party leadership and turned it down in 2006

Sahlin was around the 4th or 5th choice - no-one wanted the job
10:12 October 15, 2010 by Walevska
Respect, Bodstrom
10:44 October 15, 2010 by Audrian
Does anybody knows why his family has moved to the US?
11:15 October 15, 2010 by Alf Garnett
@ Audrian: MONEY innit!!
11:25 October 15, 2010 by Åskar
@Audrian

If I remember correctly he's going to collect data for a book comparing the US and Sweden (or something like that).
11:53 October 15, 2010 by Syftfel
Why would he come to the US? Isnt't that disengenuous? Wouldn't it be more appropriate for this Mona lapdog to move to North Korea, Venezuela or Cuba? After all, those are the policies he has been promoting as a social dem. He'll be happier in those places no doubt? Anyway,the temporary democrat experiment in the US will come to an abrubt end with our midterm elections on November 2nd. So stay home Bodström, or move to China!
12:23 October 15, 2010 by Puffin
Many Swedes like the idea of their children living abroad for a term or a year and experiencing other cultures and ecoming naturally billigual

His professions are also perfect as he may be able to do some legal work remotely and he is also a novellist - so taking a year out to write is not a problem. His wife is a teacher and university lecturer so it is possble that she is working
13:18 October 15, 2010 by NickM
I'm gld he´s gone. This is the man who used a government helicopter at public expense to fly home his family from a holiday in Gotland. He's in the top 10 most absent politicians from votes at the Riksdag because he's too busy trying to make money from his law firm. He was trying to rip off the system here again by having the best of both worlds - a secure 50,000 a month job in the Riksdag while taking a 3 month "time-out" living it up in America at public expense. Good riddens.
00:14 October 16, 2010 by Toonie
Not content with a safe parliamentary seat under a 'list', proportional representation system, he wants a year off as well. How many Swedes, when facing difficulties, can appeal directly to their MPs for help against the arbitrary decisions of civil servants? I'd be interested to know. In truly representative systems, MPs represent and assist hundreds, if not thousands, of constituents every year. Has this man ever shown that much commitment to constituents, in order to deserve a year off?
02:28 October 16, 2010 by james7
@NickM, If he did all that in Sweden, he should run for office in the US. He would fit right in.
Today's headlines
Boy receives cancer vaccine by mistake
Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT

Boy receives cancer vaccine by mistake

A boy scheduled to be vaccinated against mumps, measles, and rubella instead received a vaccine against cervical cancer. His family has now reported the blunder for inspection. READ  

Sweden grants additional funds to jobs agency
Photo: Bertil Enevåg Ericson/TT

Sweden grants additional funds to jobs agency

The Swedish government has announced that it will increase funding to the jobs agency (Arbetsförmedlingen) in 2015, primarily to cover personnel costs but also to prevent long-term unemployment. READ  

Police 'powerless' against street racers
Police on E4 highway. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police 'powerless' against street racers

Stockholm police said they were powerless to react when streetracers took over at "insane speeds" on a large highway on Friday night. READ  

Saab carmaker wins receivership
Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

Saab carmaker wins receivership

After initial rejection, a Chinese-owned company set up to take over Saab's assets after the troubled Swedish carmaker's bankruptcy said on Friday it had succeeded in being placed in receivership. READ  

Woman suffers cardiac arrest while giving birth
Photo: Tomas Oneborg/TT

Woman suffers cardiac arrest while giving birth

A 30-year-old woman went into cardiac arrest while giving birth at a Stockholm clinic - without hospital staff noticing that anything was wrong. She remains in a critical condition on Friday. READ  

Champions League
History repeats for Malmö fifty years later
Striker Magnus Eriksson during Malmö's 3-0 win over Salzburg in a Champions League qualifier. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

History repeats for Malmö fifty years later

Malmö's entry into the Champions League serves as a reminder of times gone by in European football. With Spain's champions bound for Sweden things just couldn't be better, writes contributor Lee Roden. READ  

Elections 2014
Löfven promises jobs to 50,000 young Swedes
Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Löfven promises jobs to 50,000 young Swedes

Social Democrat party leader Stefan Löfven announced on Friday his "most important election promise", a 90-day job guarantee programme for young Swedes. READ  

 Sweden to buy fighter jets despite Swiss pullout
The Jas Gripen fighter aircraft. File photo: Wikimedia

Sweden to buy fighter jets despite Swiss pullout

Sweden said Friday it would go ahead with the purchase of a new generation of Saab Gripen fighter jets, despite Switzerland pulling out of a major co-financing deal. READ  

Three hurt after northern knife attack

Three hurt after northern knife attack

Three people are in hospital after they were stabbed during what police suspect was a gang-related attack in Umeå. READ  

Stockholm 'thief' turns out to be trainee ninja

Stockholm 'thief' turns out to be trainee ninja

Stockholm police rushed to the scene when a worried Swede reported that their neighbours were the victim of a break-in - but when officers arrived, they found nothing but a ninja in the middle of practice. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
People-watching August 27
Gallery
Top ten false friends in Swedish
National
Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Society
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Blog updates

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 

25 August

The Dollar Store (Blogweiser) »

"A dollar store in Sweden. Blog post: http://t.co/tNuuvcP1q0 #USD #greenbacks #sweden #sverige pic.twitter.com/RHFAYf7U1k — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) August 23, 2014 There’s a chain here in Sweden called The DollarStore. This name always stood out to me in a country where they don’t use dollars. I went there for the first time this weekend. They actually accepted greenbacks..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
National
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
Society
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
National
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Gallery
People-watching August 22-24
National
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
National
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Gallery
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Gallery
See the destruction from the southern Sweden floods
Politics
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Society
Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching August 20th
Society
Did you know the Bronx in NYC was named after a Swede?
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

759
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se