“Sweden is a parliamentary democracy that is governed at the national, regional, local and European level. General elections at the national (parliamentary), regional and local levels are held every four years. In the elections, political parties are elected to represent the citizens in the three political assemblies, that is, the municipal, county council or regional assembly and the national parliament (Riksdag). All Swedish citizens aged 18 years or older are entitled to vote in the parliamentary and EU elections. To be entitled to vote in the municipal and county council/regional elections, individuals are required to be at least 18 years of age and a resident of the municipality and county concerned for the past three years. In the 2010 national election, election participation was almost 85% (Election Authority, 2011).
“At the national level, the Swedish people are represented by the Riksdag, which is the supreme political decision-making body in Sweden with 349 seats. The government implements the Riksdag’s decisions and draws up proposals for new laws or law amendments. The Riksdag appoints the Prime Minister, who is requested to form a government. The government is assisted in its work by the government offices, comprising a number of ministries and some 300 central government agencies and public administrative bodies. The task of the government agencies is to implement the decisions made by the Riksdag and the government. They are autonomous in the sense that they act on their own responsibility, in accordance with the law and the guidelines laid down by the government. The work and results are, however, monitored and evaluated by the government.
“The political parties are usually divided into a centre-right-wing bloc and a centre-left-wing bloc in Sweden. The centre-right-wing bloc is made up of the Centre Party, the Liberal Party, the Moderate Party and the Christian Democrats. The centre-left-wing bloc consists of the Social Democrats and the Left Party. The Green Party has traditionally been regarded as belonging to the centre-left-wing bloc, but in some areas the party holds the balance of power and may support either bloc on a particular issue. Since the 2010 election the Sweden Democrats, a far-right nationalist party, is also represented in the parliament. Since 2006, Sweden has been governed at the central level by Moderaterna and the Alliance for Sweden, a centre-right-wing bloc including the four above-mentioned political parties. In 2010, the coalition was re-elected for another four years, although they had to form a minority government. Prior to the election in 2006, Sweden had been governed by the Social Democrat Party, primarily supported by a left-wing majority since the 1930s, except for the periods 1976–1982 and 1991–1994.
“With respect to governance indicators, Sweden was ranked between 95% and 99% for the indicators Voice and Accountability, Government Effectiveness, Regulatory Quality, Control of Corruption and Rule of Law in both the 2004 and 2009 measurements. The indicator Political Stability and Lack of Violence/Terrorism was ranked at 88% in 2009 since government stability was affected by the fact that there is a minority government in power (World Bank, 2010).”
Source: Anell A, Glenngård AH, Merkur S. Sweden: Health system review. Health Systems in Transition, 2012, 14(5):1–159.