Sweden: the referendum as an instrument for defusing political issues



The Swedish political system, as it has developed during the twentieth century, is of a traditional parliamentary type. There are regular elections to parliament, the Riksdag; the cabinets have all been dependent on the Riksdag regardless of whether they have been minority or majority governments; the same five parties have competed for parliamentary seats for 70 years, with a few more parties recently appearing on the stage. But there have also been provisions in the constitution for the kind of direct democracy that referendums constitute. The referendum has been regarded as a complementary although exceptional feature of the traditional national decision-making process, and to date five referendums have been held.


Nuclear Energy Pension Plan Direct Democracy Centre Party Social Democratic Party 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1996

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