• Sweden's news in English
 

Top ten: An idiot's guide to Swedish politics

Published: 23 May 2014 06:02 GMT+02:00
Updated: 23 May 2014 15:02 GMT+02:00

(In alphabetical order after the parties' Swedish names) 
 
Centre Party (Centerpartiet)
 
Top candidate: Kent Johansson 
 
The party has always had close ties to rural Sweden and environmental issues, and was founded over 100 years ago as the Farmers' League (Bondeförbundet). It joined a coalition in 2006 to succesfully dethrone the Social Democrats. They have an EU policy platform available and promise "a leaner and sharper EU". In Brussels, they are part of the liberal group in parliament.
 
Key points:
 
- No to the euro 
- No to EU micromanagement.
- Yes to the EU doing fewer things "but doing them better"
- Yes to investing in green tech as a way out of the economic crisis  
 
 
 
Feminist Initiative (Feministiskt initiativ)
 
Top candidate: Soraya Post
 
The party that has surprised some, delighted others with its steady climb in the polls and hopes to send Sweden's only Roma candidate to Brussels. Their slogan is the feisty "Out with the racists, in with the feminists". It argues that feminism is applicable to all attempts to break up unequal representation and a tool to combat discrimination. "We challenge the image of Sweden and Europe as the paradise of gender equality," the party writes in English." This is a false image that diminishes the existing problems and stands in the way of genuine change."
 
- Yes to open borders - "everyone has a right to safety" 
- No to militarization and weapons exports
- No to men's violence, trafficking, prostitution
- Yes to prioritizing gender equality
 
 
Liberal Party (Folkpartiet)
 
Top candidate: Marit Paulsen 
 
Part of the governing Alliance, the Liberals are Sweden's fourth largest party and boast three seats in the European Parliament. They are, as the name suggests, Liberals. But they have thrown in their lot with the Alliance, which is dominated by the Moderates further to the right. You can read their EU goals PDF in English on this page. The party is also a strong advocate for the euro, making it a bit of a loner on that issue on the Swedish political landscape. Paulsen refers to herself as an old biddy (tant) on her election posters.
 
Key points:
 
- Yes to a "European FBI"
- Yes to finding ways to adapt to climate change 
- Yes to a net zero carbon footprint
- Yes to a closer look at human rights
 
 
 
Christian Democrats (Kristdemokraterna)
 
Top candidate: Lars Adaktusson
 
Another small party in the Alliance. One EU seat. With roots in the free-church movement, the party morphed into a movement focusing on the inalienable rights of the individual but also on promoting family values.They say members needn't be religious to join. Since joining the coalition government it has tried to carve out a role in social affairs, focusing on pensioners' rights and policies to allow parents to stay home with their kids. Top candidate Adaktusson is a former reporter - a "stubborn reporter" the campaign posters say.
 
Key points
 
- Yes to EU putting human rights on centre stage
- Yes to ditching Europe's reliance on Russian energy 
- Yes to a free trade agreement between the EU and the US 
- No to the EU meddling in member country's social security systems, such as parental leave
 
 
Green Party (Miljöpartiet)
 
Top candidate: Isabella Lövin 
 
The Green party tried to topple the government in 2010 by joining forces with the Social Democrats and the Left Party, but the coalition failed at the polls. Instead, the Greens cut a deal with the Alliance to co-legislate in migration policy, in order to keep the Sweden Democrats at arms length from new arrivals to Sweden. Their top candidate and incumbent MEP is a former environmental journalist most famous for crafty alliance-building in Brussels to finally cap fishing quotas. 
 
Key points: 
 
- Yes to fighting climate change
- No to mass surveillance
- Yes to greater insight into the EU's decision-making process
- Yes to recycling and collective transport
 
 
 
The Moderates (Moderaterna)
 
Top candidate: Gunnar Hökmark
 
The Moderates have been in power in Sweden since 2006 in part thanks to tacking to the centre, partly thanks to tax cuts and in part due to teaming up with The Liberals (Folkpartiet), the Centre Party, and the Christian Democrats - a unified front to break up decades of Social Democrat dominance. A pro free-market party that has put all its rhetorical focus on jobs, and has dubbed its opposition the social-benefits party. They currently have four seats in the European Parliament. Top candidate Hökmark studied business, reached as high as lieutenant in Sweden's armed forces, and currently sits in the European Parliament.
 
Key points
 
- Yes to making sure the free movement of goods, labour, and services works
- No to EU taxes
- Yes to a  a banking law to protect taxpayer money
- Yes to more careful monitoring of the EU's financial frameworks
 
 
 
The Pirate Party (Piratpartiet)
 
Top candidate: Christian Engström 
 
The Pirates performed pitifully in domestic elections (they have no Riksdag seats) but managed to pick up two seats in the European parliament in 2009 - although polls suggest they will lose one of them on Sunday. While file-sharing was their philosophical petri dish, the relative newcomers have turned into defenders of net freedom and strong civil liberties. 
 
Key points: 
 
- No to mass surveillance
- Yes to legalizing file sharing
- Yes to a free internet
 
 
Social Democrats (Socialdemokraterna)
 
Top candidate: Marita Ulvskog
The workers party that dominated post-war Sweden until the 1990s. Short-lived leaderships by Mona Sahlin then Håkan Juholt after their disastrous election in 2006 left the party in the poll doldrums. And it remained there until Metal Union heavyweight Stefan Löfven, who is not an MP, was persuaded to take over. The party has climbed steadily in the polls ever since. It has seats in Brussels. Their lead candidate Marita Ulvskog, who was previously a government minister, is on the left of the party.
 
- Yes to foreign workers having the same pay and conditions in Sweden that Swedes do 
- No to worse work-place conditions
- Yes to combating tax avoidance and evasion 
- Yes to board-room quotas for men and women
 
 
Sweden Democrats (Sverigedemokraterna)
 
Top candidate: Kristina Winberg 
 
 
For the first time, the Sweden Democrats are taking aim at Brussels. At home, it got 5.7 percent of the public's votes in 2010. The party's slogan is "The Sweden-friendly party" and "Security and tradition". They are fundamentally against Swedish membership to the EU, which it says has undermined Swedes' ability to influence policy-making. SD only offers their policies for the EU in Swedish. The party has pointed out that its candidates are "normal people". Neither candidate has studied past high school. 
 
Key points
 
- No to European federalism
- No to centralized support systems, such as the common agricultural policy (CAP)
- Yes to a "democracy commission" to look into whether the EU has curtailed citizens' influence
- Yes to putting Swedish membership to a new referendum 
 
 
Left Party (Vänsterpartiet) 
 
Top candidate: Malin Björk 
 
The most left-wing party in the Swedish parliament, the Leftists want to protect public assets and welfare -  in the EU too. Their battle cry is "Not for sale", a reference to the privatization wave in Sweden but also across Europe. Top candidate Malin Björk calls the European Union clumsy and undemocratic.
 
Key points:

- Yes to a more generous refugee policy
- Yes to a EU strategy to combat violence against women
- No to wage-dumping
- No to the current proposed version of the EU-US free trade deal
 

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Video exposes Swedish 'anti-gay discrimination'
Straight and gay job seekers were treated differently. Photo: STHLM Panda screenshot

Video exposes Swedish 'anti-gay discrimination'

A member of a Swedish duo who went undercover to expose how employers treat gay job seekers has spoken to The Local about the video, which casts a dark shadow over Sweden's tolerant image. READ  

Swedish 'cannabis fika' lands guests in hospital
This is not the intoxicating chocolate cake in the story. Cannabis cake photo: Shutterstock

Swedish 'cannabis fika' lands guests in hospital

What was supposed to be a friendly Swedish-style 'fika' turned into drama when a man poisoned his two guests with a chocolate mud cake laced with cannabis. READ  

Tentative promise of summer's Sweden return
This could be you this week. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Tentative promise of summer's Sweden return

As thunderstorms were moving in over parts of Sweden on Wednesday, meteorologists promised that the summer sun was set to make a comeback. READ  

1,000 join demo against anti-begging campaign
Around 1,000 people turned out at the protest in Norrmalmstorg. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg / TT

1,000 join demo against anti-begging campaign

Around 1,000 people turned out to protest against an anti-begging advertising campaign in the Stockholm underground by the Sweden Democrat party. READ  

The Local List
Swedes: six top tips on how to date a foreigner
Explain when a 'fika' is really a date. Photo: Miriam Preis/imagebank.sweden.se

Swedes: six top tips on how to date a foreigner

From fika to forward planning, the Swedish dating scene can be tricky to navigate for people from other countries. The Local has put together a list of ways Swedes can make the experience a bit easier for their foreign dates. READ  

Three stabbings within hours in Malmö
A Swedish police car. File photo: Mikel Fritzon/TT

Three stabbings within hours in Malmö

Three men were stabbed within hours of each other in separate incidents in the southern Swedish city of Malmö overnight. It’s just the latest spate of violence to hit the city this summer. READ  

Lenny Kravitz lets it rip on stage in Sweden
Lenny Kravitz performing at Gröna Lund in Stockholm. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Lenny Kravitz lets it rip on stage in Sweden

US artist Lenny Kravitz made headlines when he rocked his pants off at a rip-roaring gig in Stockholm last night – literally. READ  

'Hate speech' probe into Swedish anti-begging ad
The ad campaign at Östermalmstorg station has been strongly criticized. Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

'Hate speech' probe into Swedish anti-begging ad

UPDATED: The Swedish Chancellor of Justice has launched an investigation into whether or not a controversial anti-begging campaign on the Stockholm underground constitutes hate speech. READ  

Swedish workers' lucky escape in bridge collapse
A concrete slab fell off the bridge in Sundsvall. Photo: Jango17/Wikimedia Commons

Swedish workers' lucky escape in bridge collapse

A number of Swedish workers were on Tuesday thankful to be alive after their company car was crushed by a 30-tonne block of concrete that fell off a bridge in northern Sweden. READ  

One injured in Stockholm suburb drive-by shooting
A man was shot in the Bredäng area of Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

One injured in Stockholm suburb drive-by shooting

A person was taken to hospital on Tuesday afternoon after a drive-by shooting in a Stockholm suburb. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Russia slams Sweden in row over diplomats
National
Are Swedish sharks heading towards extinction?
Business & Money
Swedes get ready for new money, money, money
Gallery
Property of the week: Huddinge, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Getting pregnant the Swedish way
Blog updates

31 July

Editor’s blog, July 31st (The Local Sweden) »

"Dear readers, As the Stockholm Pride Festival kicked off this week, we spoke to the chairman of..." READ »

 

15 July

Climate Change: A New Risk Assessment (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Climate change is one of the most serious threats facing the world today.   The UK is..." READ »

 
 
 
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Joyful celebrations at Stockholm's Pride Parade 2015
National
Snoop Dogg's initial drug test positive say Swedish police
How did a banana help a Swedish man avoid speeding fines?
Gallery
People-watching: July 31st - August 2nd
Technology
Modern mugging: Swedish thieves use smartphone app to rob man
National
How a century-old Russian sub wreck got Sweden into a frenzy
Gallery
People-watching: July 29th
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
National
How to become a Swedish woman
National
Free bus cards for refugees in Sweden
Lifestyle
New snaps of Sweden's baby prince
National
Why are Swedes so scared of Russian submarines?
Gallery
Property of the week: Simrishamn, Skåne
Features
Five outrageously harsh tourist comments about Sweden
Sponsored Article
Why is Sweden still working with Russia?
Gallery
People-watching: July 24th-26th
Travel
Seven ways to beat the Swedish rain
National
Should Sweden's alcohol stores be open on weekends?
National
How to become a Swedish man
Gallery
People-watching: July 22nd
Lifestyle
How to never miss your favourite features on The Local
National
Royal husband on 'breadwinner' role
National
Stockholm to ban all cars for one day
Gallery
Property of the week: Sölvesborg, Blekinge
National
Questions over who would replace Swedish PM in a crisis
Gallery
People-watching: July 17th-19th
National
Why are Swedish women joining Isis?
Travel
Ten Stockholm streets you just have to walk down
Sponsored Article
'Swedish women must demand their partners use a condom'
Sport
Did UK football parents threaten Swedish kids?
Technology
Stockholm scientists find world's oldest sperm
Gallery
People-watching: July 15th
National
Angry Swede uses bird nest as fake speed camera
National
Meatball row as Ikea changes recipe
National
Sweden's new princess in spotlight
National
Slimy slugs go on sale to raise cash for EU migrants in Sweden
National
Crown Princess Victoria turns 38
Sponsored Article
Harstena: Life in Sweden's secret archipelago
National
Is this the best marriage proposal story in Malmö's history?
Sponsored Article
'Biofuels critical for climate-friendly flights'
Sponsored Article
Gaps don't have to kill your Swedish CV
National
Why summer could be the best time to invest in a Swedish property
Gallery
Property of the week: Bollnäs, Hälsingland
National
Swedish house on sale for one krona
National
Would you give this ugly food a home?
Sponsored Article
'Swedish industry needs US trade deal'
Sponsored Article
Sweden's 'incredible' chance to connect
Sponsored Article
'Today's refugees could be tomorrow's Zlatan'
Sponsored Article
Crans-Montana: International expat hub
Sponsored Article
‘I don’t feel Swedish, I feel international’
Sponsored Article
VIP Mingle at Almedalen's hottest event
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

3,291
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