Political Parties

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The Sweden Democrats, founded in , is a social conservative party based on nationalism.

Political parties in Sweden

The party is first and foremost associated with the issue of migration. In the election the party gained seats in parliament for the first time, with 5. The Centre Party focuses on national economy, the environment and integration. In the election the Centre Party got 6 per cent of the votes.

Its focus areas are jobs, welfare services and gender equality. The party was against Sweden joining the EU in and still advocates an exit. The Christian Democratic Party was founded in and was voted into parliament in The party believes that stable families should form the basis of society. The four main issues that the Christian Democrats focuses on are: In the election the Christian democrats got 4. Read more about the Christian Democratic Party. The party has always claimed a middle position in the political landscape but is considered to have become more conservative over the last few years.

Improving the school system is a key issue for the party, but it also wants to join NATO and invest in nuclear power. At the election the Liberals was the seventh largest party in Sweden.

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The Green Party has a clear focus on environmental issues. The party was founded in and had its breakthrough in , when it won seats in parliament for the first time. Instead of a party leader, the Green Party has two spokespersons, always one man and one woman. The party focuses on stopping climate change and protecting the environment, fighting nuclear power and promoting European integration.

Since the election the Green Party is in government together with the Social Democrats and was the fourth largest party in Sweden at the election. A complex party organization tends to give a great deal of influence to those who have responsibility at various levels in the hierarchy , resulting in certain oligarchical tendencies. The socialist parties made an effort to control this tendency by developing democratic procedures in the choice of leaders. At every level those in responsible positions were elected by members of the party.

Every local party group would elect delegates to regional and national congresses, at which party candidates and party leaders would be chosen and party policy decided. The type of mass-based party described above was imitated by many nonsocialist parties. Some cadre-type parties in Europe, both conservative and liberal, attempted to transform themselves along similar lines. The Christian Democratic parties often developed organizations copied even more directly from the mass-based model.

But nonsocialist parties were generally less successful in establishing rigid and disciplined organizations. The first communist parties were splinter groups of existing socialist parties and at first adopted the organization of these parties. After , as a result of a decision of the Comintern the Third International, or federation of working-class parties , all communist parties were transformed along the lines of the Soviet model, becoming mass parties based on the membership of the largest possible number of citizens, although membership was limited to those who embraced and espoused the ideology of Marxism-Leninism.

The communist parties developed a new structural organization: The workplace cell was the first original element in communist party organization. It grouped together all party members who depended upon the same firm, workshop, or store or the same professional institution school or university, for example.

Party members thus tended to be tightly organized, their solidarity, resulting from a common occupation, being stronger than that based upon residence. The workplace cell system proved to be effective, and other parties tried to imitate it, generally without success. Such an organization led each cell to concern itself with problems of a corporate and professional nature rather than with those of a more political nature.

These basic groups, however—smaller and, therefore, more numerous than the socialist sections—tended to go their separate way. It was necessary to have a very strong party structure and for party leaders to have extensive authority if the groups were to resist such centrifugal pressure. This resulted in a second distinctive characteristic of the communist parties: Although all mass-based parties tend to be centralized, communist parties were more so than others.

There was, in principle, free discussion, which was supposedly developed at every level before a decision was made, but afterward all had to adhere to the decision that had been made by the central body see democratic centralism. The splintering that has from time to time divided or paralyzed the socialist parties was forbidden in communist parties, which generally succeeded in maintaining their unity. A further distinctive characteristic of communist parties was the importance given to ideology.

All parties had a doctrine or at least a platform. The European socialist parties, which were doctrinaire before and between the two World Wars, later became more pragmatic , not to say opportunistic. But in communist parties, ideology occupied a much more fundamental place, a primary concern of the party being to indoctrinate its members with Marxism. Their teaching was authoritarian and elitist.

Political party

They thought that societies should be directed by the most talented and capable people—by an elite. The party leadership, grouped under the absolute authority of a supreme head, constituted such an elite. Party structure had as its goal the assurance of the obedience of the elite.

This structure resembled that of armies, which are also organized in such a way as to ensure, by means of rigorous discipline, the obedience of a large number of individuals to an elite leadership. The party structure, therefore, made use of a military-type organization, consisting of a pyramid made up of units that at the base were very tiny but that, when joined with other units, formed groups that got larger and larger. Uniforms, ranks, orders, salutes, marches, and unquestioning obedience were all aspects of fascist parties. This similarity rests upon another factor—namely, that fascist doctrine taught that power must be seized by organized minorities making use of force.

The party thus made use of a militia intended to assure victory in the struggle for control over the unorganized masses. Large parties built upon the fascist model developed between the two wars in Italy and Germany , where they actually came to power. Fascist parties also appeared in most other countries of western Europe during this period but were unable to achieve power.

The less-developed countries of eastern Europe and Latin America were equally infected by the movement. The victory of the Allies in , as well as the revelation of the horrors of Nazism , temporarily stopped the growth of the fascists and provoked their decline. In the decades after the war, however, neofascist political parties and movements, which had much in common with their fascist forebears, arose in several European countries, though by the early 21st century none had come to power.

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Political parties in Sweden

Next page Parties and political power. Learn More in these related Britannica articles: The Indian party system is complex. Based on performance in past elections, some parties are recognized as national parties and others as state parties. Parties are allocated symbols e. The Federalist administration and the formation of parties. Parties did not yet aspire to national objectives, however, and, when the Federalist John Adams was elected president, the Democrat-Republican Jefferson, as the presidential candidate with the second greatest number of votes, became vice president.

See primary source document: The political party is the other chief instrument of constitutional democracy, for it is the agency through which the electorate is involved in both the exercise and transfer of power. In contrast with the centralized, autocratic direction of the totalitarian single-party organization, with its emphasis on…. More generally, parties with a broad base of support across regions or among economic and other interest groups, have a great chance of winning the necessary plurality in the U.

The tremendous land area and large population of the country are formidable challenges to political parties with a narrow appeal. The UK political system, while technically a multi-party system , has functioned generally as a two-party sometimes called a "two-and-a-half party" system; since the s the two largest political parties have been the Conservative Party and the Labour Party. Before the Labour Party rose in British politics the Liberal Party was the other major political party along with the Conservatives.

Though coalition and minority governments have been an occasional feature of parliamentary politics, the first-past-the-post electoral system used for general elections tends to maintain the dominance of these two parties, though each has in the past century relied upon a third party to deliver a working majority in Parliament. Multi-party systems are systems in which more than two parties are represented and elected to public office. Australia, Canada, Nepal , Pakistan, India, Ireland, United Kingdom and Norway are examples of countries with two strong parties and additional smaller parties that have also obtained representation.

The smaller or "third" parties may hold the balance of power in a parliamentary system, and thus may be invited to form a part of a coalition government together with one of the larger parties, or may provide a supply and confidence agreement to the government; or may instead act independently from the dominant parties. More commonly, in cases where there are three or more parties, no one party is likely to gain power alone, and parties have to work with each other to form coalition governments.

This is almost always the case in Germany on national and state level, and in most constituencies at the communal level. Furthermore, since the forming of the Republic of Iceland there has never been a government not led by a coalition, usually involving the Independence Party or the Progressive Party. A similar situation exists in the Republic of Ireland , where no one party has held power on its own since Since then, numerous coalition governments have been formed. Political change is often easier with a coalition government than in one-party or two-party dominant systems.

Still coalition governments struggle, sometimes for years, to change policy and often fail altogether, post World War II France and Italy being prime examples. When one party in a two-party system controls all elective branches, however, policy changes can be both swift and significant.

Barack Obama briefly had such an advantage between and Political parties, still called factions by some, especially those in the governmental apparatus, are lobbied vigorously by organizations, businesses and special interest groups such as trade unions. Money and gifts-in-kind to a party, or its leading members, may be offered as incentives. Such donations are the traditional source of funding for all right-of-centre cadre parties.


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Starting in the late 19th century these parties were opposed by the newly founded left-of-centre workers' parties. They started a new party type, the mass membership party, and a new source of political fundraising, membership dues.


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From the second half of the 20th century on parties which continued to rely on donations or membership subscriptions ran into mounting problems. Along with the increased scrutiny of donations there has been a long-term decline in party memberships in most western democracies which itself places more strains on funding.

Although these examples may be rare nowadays, " rent-seeking " continues to be a feature of many political parties around the world. In the United Kingdom, it has been alleged that peerages have been awarded to contributors to party funds, the benefactors becoming members of the House of Lords and thus being in a position to participate in legislating. Famously, Lloyd George was found to have been selling peerages. To prevent such corruption in the future, Parliament passed the Honours Prevention of Abuses Act into law. Thus the outright sale of peerages and similar honours became a criminal act.

However, some benefactors are alleged to have attempted to circumvent this by cloaking their contributions as loans, giving rise to the ' Cash for Peerages ' scandal. Such activities as well as assumed " influence peddling " have given rise to demands that the scale of donations should be capped.

As the costs of electioneering escalate, so the demands made on party funds increase. In the UK some politicians are advocating that parties should be funded by the state ; a proposition that promises to give rise to interesting debate in a country that was the first to regulate campaign expenses in In many other democracies such subsidies for party activity in general or just for campaign purposes have been introduced decades ago. There are two broad categories of public funding, direct, which entails a monetary transfer to a party, and indirect, which includes broadcasting time on state media , use of the mail service or supplies.

Funding may be equal for all parties or depend on the results of previous elections or the number of candidates participating in an election. In fledgling democracies funding can also be provided by foreign aid. International donors provide financing to political parties in developing countries as a means to promote democracy and good governance. Support can be purely financial or otherwise. Frequently it is provided as capacity development activities including the development of party manifestos, party constitutions and campaigning skills.

Other donors work on a more neutral basis, where multiple donors provide grants in countries accessible by all parties for various aims defined by the recipients. Generally speaking, over the world, political parties associate themselves with colors, primarily for identification, especially for voter recognition during elections. Similarly, brown is sometimes associated with Nazism , going back to the Nazi Party 's tan-uniformed storm troopers. Color associations are useful for mnemonics when voter illiteracy is significant. Political color schemes in the United States diverge from international norms.

Since , red has become associated with the right-wing Republican Party and blue with the left-wing Democratic Party. However, unlike political color schemes of other countries, the parties did not choose those colors; they were used in news coverage of election results and ensuing legal battle and caught on in popular usage.

Prior to the election the media typically alternated which color represented which party each presidential election cycle. The color scheme happened to get inordinate attention that year, so the cycle was stopped lest it cause confusion the following election. The emblem of socialist parties is often a red rose held in a fist.

Communist parties often use a hammer to represent the worker, a sickle to represent the farmer, or both a hammer and a sickle to refer to both at the same time. The emblem of Nazism , the swastika or " hakenkreuz " , has been adopted as a near-universal symbol for almost any organised white supremacist group, even though it dates from more ancient times. Symbols can be very important when the overall electorate is illiterate. In the Kenyan constitutional referendum, , supporters of the constitution used the banana as their symbol, while the "no" used an orange. During the 19th and 20th century, many national political parties organized themselves into international organizations along similar policy lines.

Organized in Italy in , the International Communist Party , since headquartered in Florence has sections in six countries. Hong Kong outlaw formal linkages between local and foreign political organizations, effectively outlawing international political parties. French political scientist Maurice Duverger drew a distinction between "cadre" parties and "mass" parties. Cadre parties were political elites that were concerned with contesting elections and restricted the influence of outsiders, who were only required to assist in election campaigns. Mass parties tried to recruit new members who were a source of party income and were often expected to spread party ideology as well as assist in elections.

Socialist parties are examples of mass parties, while the Conservative Party in the UK and the German Christian Democratic Union in Germany are examples of hybrid parties.

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In the United States, where both major parties were cadre parties, the introduction of primaries and other reforms has transformed them so that power is held by activists who compete over influence and nomination of candidates. Klaus von Beyme categorised European parties into nine families, which described most parties.

He was able to arrange seven of them from left to right: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the journal, see Party Politics. For the racehorse, see Party Politics horse. For the book, see Political Parties.