Many people in Scandinavia identify a lot with the Swedish royal family. But even though Sweden is a monarchy, the central legislative element of its democracy is the parliament. Sveriges Riksdag, as it is called, is of course located in the capital city of Stockholm. You can find it on its own little island called Helgeandsholmen.

Until the year 1970, the parliament consisted of 2 separated chambers with a long legislative period of 9 years. Today, there is a single chamber with 349 seats elected by proportional representation and a 4 percent hurdle. In the first years there were 350 seats, resulting in regular ties that had to be resolved by lottery drawing, but this situation was cleared quickly.

Since September 2014 the parliament consists of  8 different parties covering the whole spectrum from left to right. These are twice as many parties as in the German parliament. The prime minister Stefan Löfvén comes from the Social Democrats (Socialdemokraterna), the biggest party in parliament, that currently governs Sweden in a coalition with the Green Party (Miljöpartiet/De Gröna) in a minority government.

Having so many parties in parliament and forming a minority government are two things that show the differences that exist between the Swedish political system and the one in other European states. They are only possible because of a special kind of consensus politics, that is being practiced here. In a positive way, one could say, that most of the members of parliament try to find a solution that is good for the country and not necessarily for their party.

In a lately published (and criticized) survey by Yougov, the right-wing party became Sweden’s most favored one with more than 25% acceptance. This is partly because of their populist appearance and the government’s liberal position in the ongoing European refugee situation. Nevertheless, more than three quarters of the population would not vote right-wing. This has been impressively shown by the welcoming of refugees coming from the Middle East to Stockholm. As in München or Dresden, there is a “Willkommenskultur”.