Riksdagen

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The Swedish parliament (Riksdagen)

The Swedish parliament is appointed by public votes. There are several political parties that you can vote for. Public votes take place every 4 years. The parliament represents the people, and vote in many different questions, i e laws. It also appoints a government by an internal vote.

There are 349 seats in parliament, to assure that no votes will ever end 50-50 (which they might anyway, if someone abstains his/her vote). The seats are shared between the parties by the number of votes they acquired, with a minimum of 4% of the votes required to obtain a seat in parliament at all.

The parliament institutes laws, by majority votes. To change the constitution, two seperate governments must vote in favor of a change, and there needs to have been a parliamentary election. Parliament both controls and is controlled by the government. Political parties are strong in Sweden, and the parliamentary politicians vote as their party decides, and the government is appointed by the majority party of the parliament. This ensures that the parliament and the government nearly never disagree. The parliament can cast a vote of no confidence against any single member of the government, thus forcing a resignment. If a vote of no confidence is cast against the Minister of State, the entire government must resign. The parliament will then proceed to vote for another government.

For a long time, no single political party in Sweden has managed to gain more than 50% of the votes, so political parties with similar agendas cooperate on several issues. They are divided into two major blocks, the reds and blues, or socialists and the capitalists. The socialists are generally more popular, and nearly always win the elections. It is important to point out that the form of socialism practiced by the reds in Sweden is generally very moderate, and has very few things in common with communists. The capitalist block is generally less capitalistic than most of the American political parties, even the more socialistic ones.