A few posts ago I launched into the Swedish political system. Today, it is the political parties that make up Swedish political life. In the U.S., we have two sides of the same coin, Republicans on the right and Democrats on the left and, increasingly, there is not a nickel’s worth of difference between them as it affects the man on the street.
In Sweden there are also two main parties, the Social Democrats (who stand for an ideology of democratic socialism) on the left and the Moderates on the right (who stand for conservatism and liberalism), though “right” in Sweden still means a light year to the left of Obama. Neither of these two parties receives enough votes to have a majority in the parliament (Riksdag), though the Social Democrats did achieve this twice. They basically ran Sweden for six decades beginning in the 1930s and established the welfare system that exists in the country.
Besides these two main parties, however, there are seven others who are major players: the Green Party, which has an environmental ideology; the Liberal People’s Party, with a social liberalism slant; the Center Party, which seems to be a mixture of agrarianism, green liberalism (whatever that is) and centrism; the Sweden Democrats, who are heavily nationalistic and anti-multicultural (which, as you might imagine does not play well with any of the other parties); the Pirate Party, which sounds like a joke but their ideology stresses intellectual property reform; the Christian Democrats, who favor Christian Democracy; and the Left Party, which is socialist and feminist.
Any party that receives more than 1% of votes in a general election receives official support and has their ballots printed and distributed. All nine of the above qualify.
But the political fun does not stop there in this country. There are a host of minor parties which include:
- Centre Democrats (Centrumdemokraterna)
- Classical Liberal Party, (Klassiskt Liberala Partiet) (KLP)
- Communist Party (Kommunistiska Partiet)
- Communist Party of Sweden (Sveriges Kommunistiska Parti)
- European Worker’s Party (Europeiska Arbetarpartiet)
- Health Care Party (Sjukvårdspartiet) (svp)
- National Democrats (Nationaldemokraterna)
- Party of the Swedes (Svenskarnas Parti)
- Right-wing Party the Conservatives (Högerpartiet de konservativa)
- Socialist Party (Socialistiska Partiet)
- Socialist Justice Party (Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna)
- Communist League (Kommunistiska Förbundet)
- Swedish Senior Citizen Interest Party (Sveriges Pensionärers Intresseparti) (spi)
- Social Party (Sociala Partiet) (SP)
- Unique Party (Unika partiet)
- Unity (Enhet)
- Liquor Party (Spritpartiet)
- Will of the People Party (Folkets Vilja) – founded December 11, 2005, mainly focuses on opposition to 3G and TETRA mobile-phone masts. Won 881 votes nation-wide in the Swedish general election of 2006.