• Sweden edition
 
European Parliamentary Elections
Top ten: An idiot's guide to Swedish politics
Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

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
Science
Swedish women in two-year sex pill study
Contraceptive pills have been linked to mood swings. Photo: Shutterstock

Swedish women in two-year sex pill study

Three hundred women from across Sweden are taking part in a study designed to demonstrate that modern contraceptive pills don't lead to decreased libido or mood swings. READ  

National
Stockholm 'sinking' oil spill ship safe
The ship was rescued on Thursday. Photo: Swedish Coast Guard

Stockholm 'sinking' oil spill ship safe

After fears a ship carrying around 52 tonnes of oil could sink in Stockholm's archipelago, Sweden's Coast Guard said the vessel had been towed to safety. READ  

National
Dog attack policewoman acquitted on appeal
A scene from a video of the attack published by Dagens Nyheter

Dog attack policewoman acquitted on appeal

A policewoman accused of letting her dog attack a drunk man while she repeatedly hit him with a baton, has had her conviction overturned by a court in Stockholm. READ  

Entertainment
What's On: October 31st - November 7th
Uma Thurman will soon be on her way to Stockholm. Photo: TT

What's On: October 31st - November 7th

Halloween fun and an international film festival are the big events hitting Stockholm this week. We cast our eye over the capital and the rest of the country for the best activities to check out this week. READ  

International
Pirate Bay Swede found guilty in Denmark
Gottrid Svartholm Warg. File photo: TT

Pirate Bay Swede found guilty in Denmark

Sweden's Pirate Bay Founder Gottrid Svartholm Warg was found guilty of hacking crimes in a Danish court on Thursday. READ  

National
Malmö loses out as rare toads move in
The European green toad. Photo: H. Krisp (WikiCommons)

Malmö loses out as rare toads move in

After a rare species of toad moved into southern Sweden's Malmö, builders have had to tone down massive expansion plans in the area. READ  

Politics
Palestine recognized as state by Sweden
Sweden's Foreign Minister is Margot Wallström. Photo: TT

Palestine recognized as state by Sweden

The Swedish government has officially decided to recognize Palestine, with the move announced in a speech by the country's new Foreign Minister Margot Wallström. READ  

Interview
Stockholm's shocking take on Halloween
For ten days, Globen is transformed into a giant pumpkin. Photo: Shockholm

Stockholm's shocking take on Halloween

American Bill Schacht missed the spooky outfits, family feasts and charity events he associated with Halloween when he moved to Sweden. So he did something about it. The Local meets the founder of the capital's annual Shockholm parade. READ  

Business & Money
Huge losses for energy giant Vattenfall
A Vattenfall plant in Germany. Photo: TT

Huge losses for energy giant Vattenfall

Swedish energy company Vattenfall has reported losses for the third quarter in a row. READ  

International
Malala donates prize winnings to Gaza
Malala receives the Children's Prize from Queen Silvia. Photo: TT

Malala donates prize winnings to Gaza

UPDATED: Girls' rights champion Malala Yousafzai, who was in Sweden to accept the World's Children's Prize on Wednesday, said she would use all her winnings to help rebuild schools in war-ravaged Gaza. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
People-watching: October 30th
National
Sweden remains fourth best for gender equality
National
Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
Sport
World Cup ski race on 'fake' Stockholm slope
Blog updates

29 October

Scariest day (Blogweiser) »

"This is what’s frightening me on Halloween. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4OFZVCu8J0&list=UUJu5J7jG4uoYSjWbpFsJBuQ Follow my posts on FB. ..." READ »

 

24 October

Editor’s blog, October 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Get ready to read our weekly digest of Swedish news in less than 60 seconds. The..." READ »

 
 
 
Society
An Arctic tradition: hunting and handicraft
Society
Stockholm taxis offer free therapy sessions
National
The Local meets Health Minister Gabriel Wikström
Gallery
Property of the week: Österåker
Society
Homeless turtles get Stockholm police ride
National
Construction worker has 'Sweden's best beard'
National
Italian musician jazzes up Sweden's Lapland
Gallery
Zlatan's career in pictures
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching: October 25th and 26th
Lifestyle
'Swedes are funnier than they think'
National
Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
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

994
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
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN