Swedish Electoral System

The system of democracy in Sweden is the parliamentary is one of democracy. The constitution states that the people are the determinants of all the public power and that the parliament is the prime representative of the people. The electoral system of Sweden includes referendums and elections which are governed by the Act on national referendum, Elections Act and other laws that govern the process of referendums and elections.

The electoral system is based on proportional representation and as a result, the political assemblies reflect the views as well as the composition of the electorate (Humphreys & Poland, 2004). This paper describes the electoral system of Sweden, reception of seats in Riksdag, selection of the prime minister and the cabinet as well as the threshold laws, minority governments and coalitions. Elections in Sweden are held after every four years on the third Sunday of September.

They include the general parliamentary or Riksdag elections, municipal assembly and county council elections. The head of state is the king but has no formal power. The country is ruled by the Swedish government and this government is accountable to Riksdag. The electoral system ensures a proportional distribution of seats among all the political parties based on the votes they achieved in the whole country. After elections, the election officials count the votes that were cast and the counts are announced in the media throughout the night of the day that the elections were held.

Counting of the votes is finalized the week after the elections by the County Administrative Boards and the votes are open to the general public (Elections to the Swedish Riksdag, 2006). There are 310 fixed constituency seats in Sweden and 39 adjustment seats. These adjustment seats can be freely distributed in such a way that a proportional distribution is achieved in the whole country. Nonetheless, the adjustment seats are filled by candidates from the regular lists of the parties.

Generally, all votes are equal and the difference is that the seats are awarded to the parties that attain the required level of electoral support. The reports that the County Administrative Boards give form the basis for the distribution of parliamentary seats. These seats are allocated based on the results achieved in each constituency. The adjustment seats are allocated so as to ensure that there is fairness in the distribution and they are distributed starting with the parties, then according to the constituency (Elections to the Swedish Riksdag, 2006).