• 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)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines

Swedish government promises cash to combat Russia threat

Sweden's government has pledged to invest an extra 1.3 billion kronor in the military as Russia ramps up its activities in the Baltic Sea area. READ  

Two terror plots stopped in Sweden
Swedish Security Service Headquarters in Stockholm Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Two terror plots stopped in Sweden

The Swedish Security Service (Säpo) says it has stopped two terror attacks being planned by violent Islamist extremists living inside the country. READ  

Late summer sun set to hit Sweden

Late summer sun set to hit Sweden

Forecasters have predicted sunshine across Sweden this week, with a warm front moving in from Russia and temperatures of up to 25C. READ  

International police hunt
Swedish killer arrested after European hunt
Photo: Police

Swedish killer arrested after European hunt

UPDATED: Police arrested a man on Tuesday afternoon after he went missing from a psychiatric ward in western Sweden at the weekend. The man had been convicted of murdering a five-year-old schoolgirl in 2003. READ  

Music
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Swedish singer Tove Lo. Photot: TT

The five best Swedish songs of the month

The summer may be (almost) over but the music will keep on playing here at The Local. Our resident music guru Paul Connolly will be selecting his top new Swedish tracks for us in a new monthly feature. READ  

Hedgehog pet craze sweeps Sweden

Hedgehog pet craze sweeps Sweden

African pygmy hedgehogs are being bought by growing numbers of Swedes, as a trend for keeping exotic pets sweeps the country, the Department for Animal Welfare and Health tells The Local. READ  

Poisonous mushrooms cause stir in Sweden
The mushroom in this picture is not the same as the one from the story. Photo: Shutterstock

Poisonous mushrooms cause stir in Sweden

A person selling freshly-picked mushrooms in Gothenburg has come under fire after it turned out the delicacies were not only poisonous but also hallucinogenic. READ  

Pirate Bay founder case starts in confusion

Pirate Bay founder case starts in confusion

The largest hacking case in Danish history began in confusion on Tuesday, after lawyers representing Swedish Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg accused the prosecution of "unreasonable" tactics. READ  

Swedfund joins H&M in Ethiopia expansion

Swedfund joins H&M in Ethiopia expansion

As H&M expands into Ethiopia, Sweden's state venture capital unit Swedfund has announced that it will back the clothing giant, in a move hoped to create more jobs for local women. READ  

Elections 2014
Social Democrats reveal election manifesto
Photo: TT

Social Democrats reveal election manifesto

UPDATED: Sweden's main opposition party the Social Democrats has revealed its election manifesto at a press conference at a high school in Stockholm, with a key focus on education and welfare benefits. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
National
Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods
Politics
Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto
Tech
Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year
Blog updates

02 September

America night (Blogweiser) »

" There was an event this weekend for the ‘Americans in Sweden’ Facebook group. I’m a member, and I brought my girls to the evening. The gathering was at a Boston-themed sportsbar in a mall. There were loads of screens, a bowling alley, a game room and a jumbotron. It was as good a place as any to..." READ »

 

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 »

 
 
 
Politics
How immigration became a key election issue
Society
Brit's life in Sweden becomes BBC radio show
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'
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
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

756
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