Introducing the Moderates
Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 7 Sep 2010, 11:28
Published: 07 Sep 2010 11:28 GMT+02:00
Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt is the party leader. The party has a further nine ministers – Finance Minister Anders Borg, Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, Justice Minister Beatrice Ask, Culture Minister Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, Migration Minister Tobias Billström, Trade Minister Ewa Björling, Development Aid Minister Gunilla Carlsson, Social Insurance Minister Christina Husmark Pehrsson, and Defence Minister Sten Tolgfors.
History and ideology
The Moderates are a centre-right, liberal conservative political party founded on October 17th 1904.
By the early 1970s, and under the stewardship of Gösta Bohman, the party shifted from traditionalist conservatism to a more liberal approach to the economy and the party governed in various coalition constellations from 1976 until 1982.
After the crisis government and reform years under Carl Bildt between 1991 and 1994, the party had a long period in opposition. Having lost the 2002 in disastrous fashion, the Moderates elected Fredrik Reinfeldt as party leader and a process of change towards the political centre was begun.
Reinfeldt relaunched the party in Blairite fashion as ”the New Moderates” and worked to form a viable political alternative to the Social Democrats as part of the four-party Alliance for Sweden.
Fredrik Reinfeldt's ”New Moderates” campaigned as the ”New Workers' Party” on a platform of job creation and adressing alienation in Swedish society, winning 26.23 percent of the vote to help the Alliance to victory.
In power the Moderates have dominated government policy holding key ministerial posts in the finance, defence, trade and foreign ministries.
Job creation has remained the focus of the mandate period with measures such as in-work tax credits, lower payroll charges for the young, and the RUT deduction for household services, key initiatives.
The Moderates have also pushed through the end of national service and the abolition of wealth tax.
2010 election platform
The Moderates campaign is very much focused on Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and Finance Minister Anders Borg. The party is pushing its line on jobs and crime, and argues that it is the party to trust with the public purse.
*Tough line on crime, with measures proposed to modernise an expanded police force, higher punishments for violent crimes and measures to tackle youth crime including random search
*A fifth in-work tax credit directed at low and middle-income earners
*Greater integration of the Swedish defence forces with EU crisis management with an eventual NATO membership
*Encourage labor migration and work to create a uniform asylum process within the EU
*Increase climate investments in other countries as a means to meet global emissions goals
*Work to encourage private sponsorship of culture and the arts, with policy focused on Sweden's cultural heritage and institutions such as the National Opera and National Museum
The Moderates have stated their ambition to wrestle the role of default party of government from the Social Democrats and recent opinion polls indicate that it could become the largest parliamentary party.
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