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A look at the Swedish political system

by high5 Fri Jun 17th, 2005 at 01:51:11 AM EST

The Swedes, who pat themselves on the back for being the descendants of the Vikings and romantically longs for the days of being a great power on the european scene have penalized their King accordingly.

Today our King cannot utter dismay or approval of any matter whatsoever without being considered out of bounds.

Ah, the good old days. Part of our national anthem actually goes like

      You reside on the memories of ancient great days
      when honored your name traveled the earth
      I know that you are and you'll be what you were
      Yes, I will live and I will die in the North

I guess our European brethren doesn't know what's coming their way. :)

For the intricacies of the Swedish system of goverment I lazily refer
you to Wikipedia

On the mechanics of voting I offer what I once wrote in response to
a quiery on what was The New European Times (now The New International

"Sweden's voting system is a lot like Switzerlands. We automatically get the voting papers without having to do any special registering. If we aren't able to attend at the voting place at election day we can vote 'absentee' before election day. Actually, 'absentee' voting isn't that different: at designated post offices there is in fact a 'regular' voting place where the 'absentee' voting is done prior to the the general election day.

As for our citizen registry amounting to a 'police state': I think it's much more of a 'police state' to have to register your political affiliation as is the case in the US. Here, registering such personal data is a criminal offense.

As for the ballots. What I've heard about ballot design in the US is such a joke. In Sweden we don't have one ballot in which to select a number of choices. I think that's one of the reasons counting is such a convoluted process in America. Rather, we have one 'ballot' per party. We pick the 'ballot' for the party of our choice, put it in an envelope and drop it in the 'ballot' box. Counting is a simple process. After election time, unlock the box, pile up the 'ballots' in one pile per party, and count the piles.

Ok, it's a little bit more complicated than that. On the 'ballot' for the party we choose there's an enumeration of the candidates to parliament for that party. If there is a certain candidate we prefer we can indicate that with an 'x' beside that candidates name. We're allowed to 'recommend' two candidates. If a candidate gets enough 'recommendations' a seat in parliament is guaranteed for that candidate.

So, getting to know which party won the election is fairly easy, compiling the seats in parliament is another matter."

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