Open main menu

The Riksdag (Swedish: riksdagen or Sveriges riksdag) is the national legislature and the supreme decision-making body of Sweden. Since 1971, the Riksdag has been a unicameral legislature with 349 members (Swedish: riksdagsledamöter), elected proportionally and serving, from 1994 onwards, on fixed four-year terms.

Riksdag of Sweden

Sveriges riksdag
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type
Leadership
Andreas Norlén, (M)
Since 24 September 2018
Åsa Lindestam, (S)
Since 24 September 2018
Lotta Johnsson Fornarve, (V)
Since 24 September 2018
Kerstin Lundgren, (C)
Since 24 September 2018
Structure
Seats349
Current Structure of the Riksdag
Political groups
Government (116)
(Caretaker government)

Confidence and supply (28)

Main Opposition (The Alliance) (143)

Other Opposition (62)

Elections
Party-list proportional representation
Sainte-Laguë method
See Elections in Sweden
Last election
9 September 2018
Next election
On or before September 2022
Meeting place
Parliament House, Stockholm
Parliament House
Helgeandsholmen
Stockholm, 100 12
Kingdom of Sweden
Website
www.riksdagen.se

The constitutional functions of the Riksdag are enumerated in the Instrument of Government (Swedish: Regeringsformen), and its internal workings are specified in greater detail in the Riksdag Act (Swedish: Riksdagsordningen).[1][2]

The seat of the Riksdag is at Parliament House (Swedish: Riksdagshuset), on the island of Helgeandsholmen in the central parts of Stockholm. The Riksdag has its institutional roots in the feudal Riksdag of the Estates, by tradition thought to have first assembled in Arboga in 1435, and in 1866 following reforms of the 1809 Instrument of Government that body was transformed into a bicameral legislature with an upper chamber (Swedish: Första Kammaren) and a lower chamber (Swedish: Andra Kammaren).

The most recent general election was held on 9 September 2018.

The Old Parliament House on Riddarholmen was the seat of the Riksdag from 1833 to 1905.
Kulturhuset at Sergels torg served as a temporary seat for the Riksdag, from 1971 to 1983, while the Riksdag building on Helgeandsholmen underwent renovation.

Contents

NameEdit

The Swedish word riksdag, in definite form riksdagen, is a general term for "parliament" or "assembly", but it is typically only used for Sweden's legislature and certain related institutions.[3][4][5] In addition to Sweden's parliament, it is also used for the Parliament of Finland and the Estonian Riigikogu, as well as the historical German Reichstag and the Danish Rigsdagen.[5] In Swedish use, riksdagen is usually uncapitalized.[6] Riksdag derives from the genitive of rike, referring to royal power, and dag, meaning diet or conference; the German word Reichstag and the Danish Rigsdag are cognate.[7] The Oxford English Dictionary traces English use of the term "Riksdag" in reference to the Swedish assembly back to 1855.[7]

HistoryEdit

The roots of the modern Riksdag can be found in a 1435 meeting of the Swedish nobility in the city of Arboga. This informal organization was modified in 1527 by the first modern Swedish king Gustav I Vasa to include representatives from all the four social estates: the nobility, the clergy, the burghers (property-owning commoners in the towns such as merchants etc.), and the yeomanry (freehold farmers). This form of Ständestaat representation lasted until 1865, when representation by estate was abolished and the modern bicameral parliament established. Effectively, however, it did not become a parliament in the modern sense until parliamentary principles were established in the political system in Sweden, in 1917.

On 22 June 1866, the Riksdag decided to reconstitute itself as a bicameral legislature, consisting of Första kammaren or the First Chamber, with 155 members and Andra kammaren or the Second Chamber with 233 members. The First Chamber was indirectly elected by county and city councillors, while the Second Chamber was directly elected by universal suffrage. This reform was a result of great malcontent with the old Estates, which, following the changes brought by the beginnings of the industrial revolution, was no longer able to provide representation for large segments of the population.

By an amendment to the 1809 Instrument of Government, the general election of 1970 was the first to a unicameral assembly with 350 seats. The following general election to the unicameral Riksdag in 1973 only gave the Government the support of 175 members, while the opposition could mobilize an equal force of 175 members. In a number of cases a tied vote ensued, and the final decision had to be determined by lot. To avoid any reccurrence of this unstable situation, the number of seats in the Riksdag was reduced to 349, from 1976 onwards.

Powers and structureEdit

The Riksdag performs the normal functions of a legislature in a parliamentary democracy. It enacts laws, amends the constitution and appoints a government. In most parliamentary democracies, the head of state commissions a politician to form a government. Under the new Instrument of Government[8] (one of the four fundamental laws of the Constitution) enacted in 1974, that task was removed from the Monarch of Sweden and given to the Speaker of the Riksdag. To make changes to the Constitution under the new Instrument of Government, amendments must be approved twice, in two successive electoral periods with a regular general election held in between.

There are 15 parliamentary committees in the Riksdag.[9]

MembershipEdit

As of February 2013, 44.7 percent of the members of the Riksdag are women. This is the world's fourth highest proportion of females in a national legislature—behind only the Parliaments of Rwanda, Andorra, and Cuba – hence the second-highest in the developed world and among parliamentary democracies.[10] Following the 2014 elections, in which the share of Liberal female members of parliament (MPs) plunged (from 42% to 26%, mainly due to a reduction to a single seat in most constituencies) and the Sweden Democrats more than doubled their seats (though increasing the number of female MPs from three to eight), the figure dropped to 43,5%. Only the Left Party has a majority of female MPs; 12 of 21 as of 2014.[11]

Members of the Riksdag are full-time legislators with a salary of 66 900 SEK (around $7 400) per month.[12]

According to a survey investigation by the sociologist Jenny Hansson, Members of the Riksdag have an average work week of 66 hours, including side responsibilities. Hansson's investigation further reports that the average member sleeps 6.5 hours per night.[13]

 
The former second chamber, nowadays used for committee meetings.
 
The Riksdag building exterior, from the west, at night.

PresidiumEdit

The presidium consists of a speaker and three deputy speakers. They are elected for a 4-year term.

GovernmentEdit

After holding talks with leaders of the various party groups in the Riksdag, the speaker of the Riksdag nominates a Prime Minister (Swedish: Statsminister literally minister of state). The nomination is then put to a vote. The nomination is rejected (meaning the Speaker must find a new nominee) only if an absolute majority of the members (175 members) vote "no"; otherwise, it is confirmed. This means the Riksdag can consent to a Prime Minister without casting any "yes" votes.

After being elected the Prime Minister appoints the cabinet ministers and announces them to the Riksdag. The new Government takes office at a special council held at the Royal Palace before the Monarch, at which the Speaker of the Riksdag formally announces to the Monarch that the Riksdag has elected a new Prime Minister and that the Prime Minister has chosen his cabinet ministers.

The Riksdag can cast a vote of no confidence against any single cabinet minister (Swedish: Statsråd), thus forcing a resignation. To succeed a vote of no confidence must be supported by an absolute majority (175 members) or it has failed.

If a vote of no confidence is cast against the Prime Minister this means the entire government is rejected. A losing government has one week to call for a general election or else the procedure of nominating a new Prime Minister starts anew.

PartiesEdit

Political parties are strong in Sweden, with members of the Riksdag usually supporting their parties in parliamentary votes. In most cases, governments can command the support of the majority in the Riksdag, allowing the government to control the parliamentary agenda.

No single party has won a majority in the Riksdag since 1968. Political parties with similar agendas consequently cooperate on several issues, forming coalition governments or other formalized alliances. Two major blocs exist in parliament, the socialist/green Red-Greens and the conservative/liberal Alliance for Sweden. The latter—consisting of the Moderate Party, Liberal, Centre Party, and Christian Democrats—governed Sweden from 2006 through most of 2014 (after 2010 through a minority government). The Red-Greens combination disbanded on 26 October 2010 but continued to be considered the main opposition until the 2014 election. After that election the Social Democrats and the Green Party formed a government, with support from the Left Party, which takes part in budget negotiations with the government.[14]

The Sweden Democrats party is not a member of either bloc. During the Alliance government the Sweden Democrats sided with the Alliance in most votes.[15][unreliable source?] After the Social Democrats took power in 2014 the Sweden Democrats have sided with the center-left government in most votes.[16]

Current party representation in the Riksdag[17]
Parties[b] Leaders Seats[c] Seat Share
  Social Democratic Party Stefan Löfven 100 28.65%
  Moderate Party Ulf Kristersson 70 20.06%
  Sweden Democrats Jimmie Åkesson 62 17.77%
  Centre Party Annie Lööf 31 8.88%
  Left Party Jonas Sjöstedt 28 8.02%
  Christian Democratic Party Ebba Busch Thor 22 6.3%
  Liberals Jan Björklund 20 5.73%
  Green Party Isabella Lövin and Gustav Fridolin 16 4.58%
Total 349 100%

ElectionsEdit

 
The offices of the parliament are housed in several buildings, including the former Royal mint on Mynttorget square.

All 349 members of the Riksdag are elected in the general elections held every four years. All Swedish citizens who turn 18 years old no later than on the day of the election are eligible to vote in and stand for elections. A minimum of 4% of the national vote is required for a party to enter the Riksdag, alternatively 12% or more within a constituency. Substitutes for each deputy are elected at the same time as each election, so by-elections are rare. In the event of a snap election, the newly elected members merely serve the remainder of the four-year term.

Constituencies and national apportionment of seatsEdit

The electoral system in Sweden is proportional. Of the 349 seats in the unicameral Riksdag, 310 are fixed constituency seats allocated to 29 multi-member constituencies in relation to the number of people entitled to vote in each constituency. The remaining 39 adjustment seats are used to correct the deviations from proportional national distribution that may arise when allocating the fixed constituency seats. There is a constraint in the system that means that only a party that has received at least four per cent of the votes in the whole country participates in the distribution of seats. However, a party that has received at least twelve per cent of the votes in a constituency participates in the distribution of the fixed constituency seats in that constituency.[18]

2018 election resultsEdit

Party Votes % Seats +/−
Social Democratic Party S 1,830,386 28.26 100 −13
Moderate Party M 1,284,698 19.84 70 −14
Sweden Democrats SD 1,135,627 17.53 62 +13
Centre Party C 557,500 8.61 31 +9
Left Party V 518,454 8.00 28 +7
Christian Democrats KD 409,478 6.32 22 +6
Liberals L 355,546 5.49 20 +1
Green Party MP 285,899 4.41 16 −9
Feminist Initiative FI 29,665 0.46 0 ±0
Alternative for Sweden AfS 20,290 0.31 0 New
Citizens' Coalition MED 13,056 0.20 0 New
Pirate Party PP 7,326 0.11 0 ±0
Direktdemokraterna DD 5,153 0.08 0 ±0
Landsbygdspartiet Oberoende LPo 4,962 0.08 0 New
Enhet ENH 4,647 0.07 0 ±0
Animal Party DjuP 3,648 0.06 0 ±0
Christian Values Party KrVP 3,202 0.05 0 ±0
Nordic Resistance Movement NMR 2,106 0.03 0 New
Liberala partiet KLP 1,504 0.01 0 ±0
Communist Party of Sweden SKP 702 0.01 0 ±0
Basic Income Party 632 0.01 0 New
Initiative 615 0.01 0 New
Security Party TRP 511 0.01 0 New
Scania Party SKÅ 296 0.00 0 ±0
Norrlandspartiet 60 0.00 0 New
Libertarian Freedom Party FRP 53 0.00 0 New
European Workers Party EAP 52 0.00 0 ±0
NY Reform 32 0.00 0 New
Common Sense in Sweden CSIS 21 0.00 0 New
Our Country – Sweden 9 0.00 0 New
Reformist Neutral Party RNP 4 0.00 0 ±0
People's Home Sweden 2 0.00 0 New
Gula Party Gup 1 0.00 0 ±0
Parties not on the ballot 588 0.01 0
Invalid/blank votes 58,546
Total 6,535,271 100 349 0
Registered voters/turnout 7,495,936 87.18
Source: VAL
Alliance Votes % Seats +/−
Red-Greens (S+MP+V)[19] 2,634,739 40.68 144 −15
The Alliance (M+C+L+KD) 2,607,222 40.26 143 +2
Sweden Democrats (SD) 1,135,627 17.53 62 +13
Invalid/blank votes 58,546
Total 6,535,271 100 349 0
Registered voters/turnout 7,495,936 87.18
Source: VAL

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ New speakers will be elected by the new riksdag on 24 september 2018
  2. ^ Party name and leaders current as of 11 June 2018
  3. ^ Seat numbers current as of 11 June 2018

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Instrument of Government, as of 2012. Retrieved on 2012-11-16. Archived October 8, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ The Riksdag Act, as of 2012. Retrieved on 2012-11-16. Archived February 1, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Nöjd, Ruben; Tornberg, Astrid; Angström, Margareta (1978). "Riksdag (riksdagen)". Mckay's Modern English-Swedish and Swedish-English Dictionary. David Mckay. p. 147. ISBN 0-679-10079-2.
  4. ^ Gullberg, Ingvar (1977). "Riksdag". Svensk-Engelsk Fackordbok. PA Norstedt & Söners Förlag. p. 741. ISBN 91-1-775052-0.
  5. ^ a b "Riksdag". Nationalencyklopedin. 2014. Retrieved May 14, 2014.
  6. ^ Holmes, Philip; Hinchliffe, Ian (2013). Swedish: A Comprehensive Grammar. Routledge. p. 670. ISBN 1134119984. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Riksdag, n.". Oxford English Dictionary. June 2012. Retrieved May 14, 2014.
  8. ^ The Swedish Constitution, Riksdagen Archived January 10, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ "The 15 parliamentary committees". Sveriges Riksdag / The Swedish Parliament. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. Retrieved May 29, 2012.
  11. ^ Carp, Robert Holender, Ossi (21 September 2014). "Antalet kvinnor i riksdagen fortsätter minska - DN.SE".
  12. ^ Riksdagsförvaltningen. "Frågor & svar samt statistik över ledamöternas arvoden". www.riksdagen.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 2018-11-04.
  13. ^ "Hansson, Jenny (2008). De Folkvaldas Livsvillkor. Umea: Umea University" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-03.
  14. ^ Regeringskansliet, Regeringen och (2017-08-26). ""Vi accepterar inte att Sveriges framtid, jobben och klimatet sätts på spel"". Regeringskansliet (in Swedish). Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  15. ^ "Alliansens femte parti". Aftonbladet. 2011-04-20.
  16. ^ hannes.delling@svd.se, Hannes Delling |. "SD röstar mer som S än M". SvD.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 2017-08-10.
  17. ^ Riksdagsförvaltningen. "Ledamöter & partier". www.riksdagen.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  18. ^ See e.g.: SOU 2008:125 En reformerad grundlag (Constitutional Reform), Prime Ministers Office.
  19. ^ with F! 41.14 %
Bibliography

External linksEdit