• Sweden's news in English
 
EU Election 2014
'My Swedish girlfriend told me who to vote for'
Advance voting booths are already open in Sweden. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

'My Swedish girlfriend told me who to vote for'

Published: 20 May 2014 17:19 GMT+02:00

EU elections are around the corner, and if you're from elsewhere in the EU, you have the right to vote in either Sweden or your home country.
 
We talked to a mix of EU expats, and even a Swede living abroad, to see what they're thinking.
 
Katherine Trigarszky, UK, voted already
 
"I've applied for Swedish citizenship but I haven't got it yet, so my only way to make a difference and make my opinion known is via the EU election process. I think it's important to make use of the votes I have. I have two small children, so schools and family are important to me, and also the environment. I pretty much always vote the same way. I've been umming and aahing over two or three parties. I also think being a member of the EU is pretty important for Sweden, it's a good way of making sure Europe is more united." 
 
Lisa Signor, US
 
"I am a Swede living in Utah, and gosh darned it, I made the effort to contact the Swedish consulate of Salt Lake City and obtained EU voting material. Only some 29 Swedes have picked up ballots from the consulate. Basically, there's not a very high interest in the EU election. But I want to exercise my right to vote and I get a kick out of learning the ropes. So many parties and young candidates! A good question is, do we want Europe to be more like the United States? Hmm. Well, then vote."
 
Martin Burns, 45, Edinburgh
 
"I've only been here since January and I don't think I'll vote. This would mark the first time I've not voted since I've been able to. I don't think I know the Swedish parties well enough to cast an informed vote. I mean, I've seen all the posters around Stockholm and there are some clear and interesting messages, some that I feel I could stand behind, but I don't know the background deeply enough to know whether I should believe what I'm reading.
 
I've also noticed some posters around the city for parties that are anti-Europe, and I was interested to see that many of them have been defaced. It's funny to compare it to the UK where everyone's rhetoric is national issues and about keeping "those horrible foreigners" out - well now I am one of those horrible foreigners.
 
The UK doesn't realize that borders aren't what they were in the 19th century. The UK has always had the sea border, it's always been possible to keep people and ideas out if you don't like them. But here, you can see that a border is an artificial line on a map. You can see Europe from a different perspective. And I want to make sure I can continue to live and work here. People have to understand that in Europe, we can pool resources and consciously keep the union strong. Rich countries with the broadest shoulders must bear more costs. In the future, it may well go the other way. If we want a growing market and we want to support jobs and exports, then we need economies that work. If that means we have to support them while things aren't working there, then so be it." 
 
Cameron Thorne, 24, UK 
 
"Yeah, I'm planning to vote, but it's a little confusing. I've always been a Labour voter back home apart from the last election. I'm not that informed on Swedish politics, however. The one party I really don't agree with is the Sweden Democrats, they remind me of the Ukip situation. I'm a bit undecided, but I will vote in Sweden. I read a bit of the manifesto for the Green Party and I liked it, I essentially tend to be very left sided, but think i need to educate myself a bit more. My quality of life in Stockholm is one hundred times better than in England. I'm not particularly motivated to be a catalyst for change as depressing as it may sound."
 
Stan Dimitrov, 31, Bulgaria 
 
"I'll be voting, but not in Sweden. There is much more of a need for my vote in Bulgaria right now, people aren't active there and my vote will count for a lot more. There is a particular need for a discussion about oil and gas back home, we're heavily dependent on Russia for both. The party I'll vote for has promised to be a little more active in the area of economic growth and the capacity for innovation. 
 
If I had to vote in Sweden, I would vote for the party that promises more integration in the EU between the different countries. More openness in terms of people travelling across borders for work. Also on parties more focused on economic growth."
 
Elisabeth, Austria
 
"I'm going to vote in the EU-Election in Sweden, even though I'm an Austrian citizen. It's important to vote, even if you think one vote doesn't matter. It does. I think if you don't vote, other parties will benefit from your silence. The more I hear and read in the media, the more I see how important it is to use the right to vote. 
 
And since it's so easy to vote - with advanced voting and via mail - there's really no excuse not to."
 
Cathal O'Hare, Ireland
 
"I voted in Sweden. My Swedish girlfriend contacted the election authorities and they sent out some forms which asked where I had been registered to vote previously - the electoral area in Ireland. They then sent out a voting card and I voted in the local library.
 
My girlfriend was very keen for me to vote for Feminist Initiative so I told her that if she organized everything I would do it. I don't usually vote when I'm in Ireland but Swedes seem to be more engaged in politics than people from the British Isles. Feminist Initiative are the flavour of the month among lefties and hipsters at the minute I think - their leader is apparently quite charismatic and they have been backed by some high profile celebrities."

Oliver Gee (oliver.gee@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
The Local investigates
'It was a long journey and some of my friends died'
Princess and Lloyd Justus from Nigeria are seeking asylum along with their baby daughter. Photo: The Local

'It was a long journey and some of my friends died'

A week after the Swedish Migration Board announced it was tripling the maximum number of residents allowed at asylum centres, The Local brings you a special report from inside Märsta, the country's busiest asylum application centre just outside Stockholm, where hundreds of refugees spend their first nights in Sweden each week. READ  

Sweden pledges extra aid for war-torn Syria
Syrian Kurdish refugees who fled Kobani, in a refugee camp in Suruc, on the Turkey-Syria border, October 2014. Photo: AP/TT

Sweden pledges extra aid for war-torn Syria

Sweden has earmarked 1.5 billion kronor ($174 million) in aid to Syria for the coming years, the country’s foreign and development aid ministers revealed on Monday. READ  

Push for bullied kids to get more support
A Swedish classroom. Photo: Lena Granefeldt/Image Bank Sweden

Push for bullied kids to get more support

Sweden has a global reputation for promoting children’s rights, but the country’s ombudsman for children argues that school pupils need better protection from bullying. READ  

My Swedish Career
'We give you the chance to drink through history'
Tiffany Alnefelt (left) giving her debut tour: Photo: Private

'We give you the chance to drink through history'

History buff Tiffany Alnefelt, 30, met her Swedish husband while she was studying in Ireland and the pair now run an alternative tour for visitors to Stockholm - via some of the city's oldest pubs. READ  

Swedish talk show in Åkesson storm

Swedish talk show in Åkesson storm

Friday night’s prime time interview with returning Sweden Democrat head Jimmie Åkesson on the Swedish TV talk show Skavlan has resulted in a storm of complaints over the weekend both on home soil and in Norway, where the programme is also broadcast. READ  

UN council seat focus of Löfven’s US trip
Photo: AFP

UN council seat focus of Löfven’s US trip

Sweden’s candidacy for a seat on the UN Security Council will dominate Stefan Löfven’s trip to New York and Washington, DC. While in the US, he will also meet Vice-President Joe Biden. READ  

New trial to start over 8-year-old’s death
Photo: TT

New trial to start over 8-year-old’s death

An appeal gets underway on Monday in the case of 8-year-old Yara Alnajjar, a girl from Gaza who was beaten to death in Sweden last year. A female guardian was charged with murder while the girl’s uncle received a lesser sentence. READ  

Pub shooters wore skull masks and police vests
Photo: TT

Pub shooters wore skull masks and police vests

The two men who opened fire at a Gothenburg pub on March 18 were wearing skull masks and police vests, surveillance cameras footage reveals. Two people were killed and eight injured in the incident. READ  

PM brings up death penalty on China trip
Photo: TT

PM brings up death penalty on China trip

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven broached sensitive subjects such as the death penalty and human right in a Saturday meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping. READ  

Saudi ambassador to return to Stockholm
Photo: TT

Saudi ambassador to return to Stockholm

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Sweden will soon return to Stockholm after a diplomatic spat, Swedish officials said Saturday. But an envoy sent to Riyadh stopped short of offering the Saudis an apology. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Travelling over Easter? Don't miss our guide to rail disruption
National
Sweden remembers Nobel laureate Tomas Tranströmer
What's on in Sweden: March 26th - April 2nd
Stieg Larsson's partner blasts Millennium trilogy sequel
Society
How to never miss your favourite weekly features on The Local
Blog updates

27 March

Celebrating Three Great English Exports In 2015 (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Deputy Head of Mission Aidan Liddle joins us for another guest blog today. In 2015, England..." READ »

 

27 March

Editor’s blog, March 27th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Europe remains in shock following the Germanwings plane crash in the Alps that killed 150..." READ »

 
 
 
Gallery
People-watching: March 25th
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm is the 'Boston of Europe'
National
Which words are changing in Sweden's latest dictionary?
Sponsored Article
'Sweden must embrace openness and diversity'
National
Is this house 'un-Swedish'?
National
Sweden pays tribute to victims of Germanwings Alps crash
National
Neo-Nazi activity rising in Sweden
National
How to make Swedish Waffles
Gallery
Property of the week: Torslanda - Hjuvik
National
Stray dog Arthur moves in with Swedish owners
Sponsored Article
Ten tips for succeeding as a start-up in Sweden
National
Sweden triples maximum limit at asylum centres
Gallery
People-watching: March 21st
National
Why elderly Swedes are among the world's happiest people
National
TIMELINE: Gothenburg shootings
National
Can Sweden's feminist party score success in neighbouring Norway?
National
Why Brits can't get enough of Sweden
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's solar eclipse
National
What's on in Sweden this week
Royal wedding countdown begins
National
Viking ring reveals Islamic ties
National
TIMELINE: Julian Assange sex allegations in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: March 18th
National
One in three Russian diplomats are spies, says Sweden's Security Service
National
Hitchcock opera set to hit Gothenburg stage
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Northern Lights on show across Sweden
Technology
Why Swedish pop star Robyn is pushing for more girls in tech
Gallery
Property of the week: Umeå
National
Introducing Sweden's Eurovision 2015 entry Måns Zelmerlöw
Gallery
People-watching: March 13th - 15th
National
Why have Swedish prosecutors made a U-turn in Julian Assange case?
Sponsored Article
How Sweden and India can work together
Politics
Who's the new young leader of the Christian Democrats?
Travel
Why are Swedes so obsessed with Mallorca?
Gallery
Princess Estelle celebrates her mother's name day in Stockholm
National
What's on in Sweden this week
National
Obama's anti-Semitism team heads to Stockholm and Malmö
Gallery
People-watching: March 11th
Technology
How a Swedish app is teaching children to empathize
Swedish grandparents put on disguises to snatch baby
National
Why Sweden may not be as gender equal as you think
Politics
Why does Russia blame Sweden for the crisis in Ukraine?
Sponsored Article
Expert US tax preparation for Americans in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Stockholm job fair helps immigrant entrepreneurs
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

3,437
jobs available
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:
psdmedia.se