Libralerna Answers

Liberalerna (L) or the Liberals in English, answer the 9 Political Questions asked to all major parties represented in Stora Torget, Uppsala.
Answering our questions is Liberalerna candidate for Uppsala municipality and region Anders A. Aronsson.

1.     What are the core values your party represents?
Liberalerna is the Swedish liberal party, as the name clearly shows. Our representatives have through the history put forward and worked actively for, as example, equality between men and women. It was a liberal prime minister in Sweden when the parliament decided that both men AND women should have the right to vote in the general elections.
Freedom to choose, market economy within frames decided by the parliament, equality, no discrimination of any kind….
Individual responsibility for the common good.


2.     Where would you place your party in the Left-Right political spectrum?
The Liberals in Sweden is in the middle of that spectrum.

3.     Which are the parties you feel closest to in the European Parliament?
The Swedish Liberal Members of the European Parliament are members in the ALDE group, where you also find the FDP from Germany, The Party for freedom and progress in Belgium and other like that.

4.     Why should people vote for your party?
You must live your life the way you want, make your own decisions, dream your own dreams and be able to work to make them come true. That’s freedom and that’s what liberalism is all about. However, freedom isn’t the same thing as everyone doing exactly what they want. If freedom is for everyone – not just the biggest and the strongest – we need common rules. That’s why we have such things as freedom of speech, compulsory education and the police and that’s why we work together to pay for our welfare. Typical liberal ideas!
When education doesn’t work and pupils don’t learn what they need to know – they have less freedom to live the way they want. And when integration is unsuccessful and the gaps become wider – people are prevented from supporting themselves. For that reason, education and integration are the most important issues for the Liberals in the 2018 election. We put education first because it provides choice and freedom. The classroom must be a place for knowledge, calm and peace and quiet so people can work. We want a Sweden that sticks together, in which new Swedes can support themselves and contribute. Language, work and equality are the way into society.

5.     What are the general priorities your party aims at achieving throughout Sweden?
Our top priority is reforms in order to get the Swedish schools to function better. Top priority is also to get the integration process for newcomers in Sweden to work better. We also emphasize that the cooperation within the European Union must be better and deeper.

6.     Why should people vote for your party on a Local level?
The Liberal Party in Uppsala has a comprehensive program with priorities and programs covering the responsibilities that our City Assembly has to deal with. The main priorities are: the school sector (as on national level), integration, planning of the city for sustainability, fulfilment of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child and development of the cultural activities.

7.     If elected, what will you do for Uppsala? And for Uppland?
Of course use the long experience of political work and of responsibility in order to get our program from words into reality!

For Uppland, or more correct The Uppsala Region, we have a separate program dealing withthe main responsibilities, namely the health care and preventive measures. Top priority is better organisation and working conditions for the medical staff, like nurses, assistant nurses, doctors… An important proposal is to get more staff that can unburden the nurses etc administration and work where medical training is not needed.

8.     Do you have any links to further material on your party in English?

9.  Any other closing comments or remarks?

Liberalerna stand in Stora Torget, Uppsala

Most important is to vote, to use your democratic rights, and to vote for one of the political parties that stands for individual rights and responsibilities, solidarity with all humans regardless of origin/race/age/sexual preference/religion, social care for the elderly and for people with special needs, for good conditions for small and big enterprises which means job and income for more and more people, for further cooperation within the European Union and with other countries. The Liberal party stands up for that and against both communist and conservative forces.


To read more about the Swedish 2018 Vote go to the homepage of the section.

Photos: Dante Löfstrand ©

Nya Moderaterna Answers

Nya Moderaterna (M) or the new Moderates in English, answer the 9 Political Questions asked to all major parties represented in Stora Torget, Uppsala.
Answering our questions is Moderaterna candidate for Uppsala Fredrik Hultman.

1. What are the core values your party represents?


The Moderate Party defines its ideology as liberal-conservative. According to the party platform, our core values are Liberty, Safety, Openness and Justice.


We believe in the potential of every human being to improve their own lives and the lives of others through entrepreneurship and innovation. Therefore, we want government to be limited, but the state to be strong when it is needed.

2. Where would you place your party in the Left-Right political spectrum?

The party is usually described as being centre-right.


3.Which are the parties you feel closest to in the European Parliament?

The Moderate Party is a member of the European People’s Party (EPP) party group, and has traditionally been rather similar to the British Conservative Party (although, they left the EPP some years ago). The Moderate Party is by far more EU positive than the British Conservatives, but we still share some core ideological tenets with them.

We also have a lot of things in common with the Finnish Kokoomus, the German CDU and the Irish Fine Gael.


4. Why should people vote for your party?

We are a party for the hopeful, the ambitious and the hard working. We believe in the potential of every human being to achieve great things, and want politics to reflect that. Politicians should keep out of people lives, and encourage private initiatives and entrepreneurship. But we also need a strong state, that could provide a strong safety net for those who need support, such as the sick and the elderly.

If more people work and contribute to society, we have more tax money to spend on promoting the general welfare of all people, by investing in education, health care and care for the elderly. We are not the party that makes the most extravagant promises, but we never promise more than we can deliver. We always prioritises core welfare services, such as health care, care for the elderly and education. Those services are provided at municipal and a county level.


5. What are the general priorities your party aims at achieving throughout Sweden?

Our main priorities in this election are reforming the benefits system, cutting taxes for low-income workers and pensioners, investing heavily in cutting waiting times in the health care system, implementing effective environmental policies and ensuring that Sweden is safe by investing in the police force to ensure the rule of law.

For the past four years we have seen a rapid rise in violent crime and sex offences. The government has been unable to address this. The number of police has dwindled due to internal issues at the police authority and poor working conditions, while too few are accepted to the Police Academy to meet the need of the Swedish police force. This has also lead to many serious criminal offences not being investigated within a reasonable time. The Moderates want to raise police salaries significantly.


Since the refugee crisis in 2015 it has been made abundantly clear that Sweden cannot have migration policies that greatly diverges from neighbouring countries. Therefore, we want to keep some of the fundamental parts of the temporary legislation that was enacted in 2016, and which expires in 2019. For example, we want temporary residency permits to be the general rule and demand that immigrants who bring over family member show that they will be able to support them financially. We also want improve integration policies by demanding that immigrants learn basic Swedish as a condition to earn permanent residency and citizenship.


Today, taxes are high while it is still possible to earn more from government handouts than by working. We want to introduce a benefit cap, to incentivise work. For the same reasons, we also want to cut taxes for low income earners. As a matter of fairness, we also want to cut taxes for pensioners, so that people who have worked their whole lives can support themselves.


During the past four years waiting times have risen steadily in health care. We want to invest directly in decreasing waiting times. We also want to introduce more teaching hours in primary schools, to improve results and offer more support to students who lag behind.


We are the only party that has presented a plan to increase defence funding so that it will be 2 % of GDP, in line with the NATO requirement, and we also want Sweden to join Nato.


6. Why should people vote for your party on a Local level?


We are the party that prioritises safety, low taxes and core welfare services. We want local government to run more efficiently and cut municipal taxes so that working families and pensioners get to keep more of the money they’ve earnt. By committing to focussing on core welfare services, we can also afford to cut taxes. The Moderate Party is the best option for those who want sound economic policies.


Today, the tax rate in Uppsala municipality is higher than in comparable municipalities, but the welfare services are not by any comparison better in Uppsala than in other municipalities. Out of 290 municipalities, Uppsala schools now rank in 146th place. When the Moderate Party gained power in 2006, schools ranked in 214th place. In 2014 when we lost power, Uppsala ranked in 54th place. We have improved school results before, and with our policies we will be able to do so again.


7. If elected, what will you do for Uppsala? And for Uppland?


In Uppsala we want to implement our seven-point programme for schools, by introducing qualified teacher assistants to minimise teachers’ workload, and allow them to focus more on teaching. We also want to introduce centralised corrections of test, and implement a model for developing better teaching through teacher conferences lead by qualified researchers, or teachers with an equivalent level of academic education.

We want to focus on making Uppsala safer, by introducing more camera surveillance in public places and having more security guards in public areas. It is unacceptable that many citizens are afraid to go out because of the rise in violent crime.

We want benefits for the unemployed to be tied to demands for work applications. There must always be incentives to find work. In Uppsala, everyone who is able to work, should be expected to.

We promise to immediately add funding to schools that need extra funding for children with special needs. We believe that the cuts to that funding has been irresponsible and needs to be addressed as soon as possible. We also want to improve the traffic situation, by creating more parking spaces and get rid of the bottle necks that create traffic jams.

At a regional level, we want to address the staffing needs at the Akademiska Hospital. Nurses have been resigning at a discouraging rate, to the extent that certain wards cannot remain open. We want to introduce a career system, which rewards loyalty and experience, and also conduct necessary re-organisations to improve working hours for hospital employees.

We also want to make investments collective traffic, and are open to creating a tram system, provided that it is the most feasible and economically sound alternative.


8. Do you have any links to further material on your party in English?

This is a brief guide to some of our main policies in this election:årkampanj_2018_uppslag_ENG.pdf


9. Any other closing comments or remarks?

It is important to note that the Moderate Party is cooperating closely with the Alliance (Alliansen), which also consists of “Centerpartiet”, Kristdemokraterna and Liberalerna.

Therefore, we have agreed on certain sets of policies that we would like to implement together with those parties if we are able to rule as a coalition on national, regional and/or municipal level. A vote for the Moderate Party is therefore also a vote for the Alliance. We have no intention of collaborating with other political parties, especially not the Sweden Democrats. However, we have reached agreements with the Social Democrats and the Green Party on important issues in the past, such as the Energy agreement two years ago that was agreed in parliament, and we are open to more of those agreements in the future.

We governed as the Alliance on a national level, in Uppsala municipality and in the Uppsala region between 2006 and 2014. Since 2014 we have been in opposition, and are now looking forward to get back into power.


To read more about the Swedish 2018 Vote go to the homepage of the section.

Photos: Dante Löfstrand ©

Social Demokraterna Answers

Social Demokraterna (SAP) or Social Democrats in English, answer the 9 Political Questions asked to all major parties represented in Stora Torget, Uppsala.
Answering our questions is SAP candidate for Uppsala municipality Hilde Klasson.

1. What are the core values your party represents?

For us Social Democrats there are some things that are more important than others; We are strongly against benefit in welfare service . Equality between men and women is another issue that is significant for us. The pension for the people who has the lowest incomes is a third question that we aim for. The climatechange  is a topic and the education for children and students as well.

2. Where would you place your party in the Left-Right political spectrum?

The Social Democrats in Sweden are to be placed in the middle or a little bit to the left in the political spectrum.

3. Which are the parties you feel closest to in the European Parliament?

The socialdemocratic parties in Europe.


4.  Why should people vote for your party?

Because we don’t want the taxes go to profits for the shareholders who own the wellfare companies. Because we care for a politic that will try to make Sweden  CO2neutral in a couple of decades. Because we work for equality between men and women. And we have a feminist foreign policy. Because we want retired people have good conditions and we will have a healthcare that doesn’t care if you are rich or pore. We are now building a huges amount of apartments, that we are in lack of. And we will give more resorses to the police.

5.   What are the general priorities your party aims at achieving throughout Sweden?

We would like to see a healthcare, school and care that reach everybody. We want to have good alternativs for everyone for the car( get ride of  the fossil fuels) we want more solar energy .We want the banking system to pay some of their profits to the state in order to get more welfare.

6. Why should people vote for your party on a Local level?

We have a good program for to create more jobs. We will see to that the wages are justice between men and women. We will work hard for to get areas that are called “nogozones” to be safe, and nice to live in. We will build apartments for young people to rent.

7. If elected, what will you do for Uppsala? And for Uppland?

If I am elected I will continue to work for a sustainable urban development. And if possible I would work for to get more support to sexually abused women and se to that their rights are taken care of

8. Do you have any links to further material on your party in English?

Here you can find Social Democrats campaign in English and several other languages

9. Any other closing comments or remarks?

I think this election is very scary because the Xenophobic forces are growing stronger and stronger and many people doesn’t reflect over what the limits for the politicians are and which  parties who are responsible for different issues. The real main issue for us is like a kinder egg; fight for democracy and social sustainable society!



To read more about the Swedish 2018 Vote go to the homepage of the section.

Photos: Dante Löfstrand ©

KristDemokraterna Answers

KristDemokraterna (KD) or Christian Democrats in English, answer the 9 Political Questions asked to all major parties represented in Stora Torget, Uppsala.
Answering our questions is KD candidate for Uppsala municipality Mimmi Westerlund.

1. What are the core values your party represents? 
Unlike liberals and socialists, we Christian Democrats do not harbour any utopian notions of what society may become. There is no single answer to aim for. Instead, we act based on good values. There are no perfect people and there are no perfect societies. In our pursuit of a good society, we do not ignore the individual and collective, but focus more on the interrelationships that exist in between: a life partner, family, colleagues, friends, neighbours, churches, companies, associations and charities. We are community builders.


2. Where would you place your party in the Left-Right political spectrum?
Right. We are a freedom and market-friendly based party that emphasises responsibility for our fellow human beings. We aim for reasonable taxation and want to prevent the wastage of taxpayers’ money, and we draw a line between what is and isn’t the duty of politics. 


3. Which are the parties you feel closest to in the European Parliament?
We are a part of EPP, European People’s Party along with the Swedish Nya Moderaterna (The Moderates).


4. Why should people vote for your party? 
We have attempted to dissolve the weak leftist government throughout the mandate period, we were a driving force behind the exposure of # transportgate which deposed two Ministers. We tore down the ‘opinion corridor’ when our grassroots movement nullified the December Agreement (Decemberöverenskommelsen). We have been a stable part of all centre- right governments since we entered the Riksdag in 1991. On top of that, you get a party that has the courage to place soft values first – safety, healthcare, and welfare.


5.What are the general priorities your party aims at achieving throughout Sweden?
1. Build more homes for the elderly 
Current government policy will result in housing shortages for 20,000 elderly by 2030. This means that we will not be able to offer everyone good elderly care. The way to prevent this shortfall is to build more residences.


2. Strengthen the elderly’s  personal finance 
Abolish pension tax and  lower the tax for elderly  who want to work.  Increase housing grants  and rent cap levels.


3. Remove county council responsibility for hospitals 
The distribution of healthcare across 21 different county councils is inefficient and unequal. We can shorten healthcare waiting times and give everyone qualitative care if the state assumes the primary responsibility for healthcare.


4. Employ an additional 10,000 police officers
We want to resolve the police crisis of the last few years with better working conditions, higher salaries and increased  police recruitment. Sweden needs an additional 10,000 police officers.


5. ‘No’ to parental leave quotas 
Families know best what solution is appropriate for them. That’s why we say ‘No’ to parental leave quotas and ‘Yes’ to unreserved parental leave. We also want to lower taxes for families with children. 


6. Stop wasting tax payer’s money
Money that could be used for welfare is being wasted on costly and misguided subsidies and municipal white elephant building projects. We intend to stop this.


6. Why should people vote for your party on a Local level? 
We have plan for a more secure Uppsala for you and your family.


In Uppsala, security should not only be a political slogan – it should be a keyword in all of the municipality’s activities and works:


Residents should be guaranteed safe streets and squares; 
Children should be guaranteed a safe upbringing, and 
Elderly should be guaranteed a safe elderly care.


You should simply be able to trust that basic welfare works.


Our main suggestions for safer streets and squares:
1.      Values and norms should be given a greater part in integration work.
2.      The municipality’s rules should be reviewed to regulate where begging should not occur 
3.      The security perspective should be an integral part of urban construction work to avoid creating environments that are perceived as insecure.


Our main suggestions for safer families:
1.      The size of the children’s groups in kindergarden should be reduced to up to 12 children in the toddler groups and 15 in other groups.
2.      Build 1,000 new smaller houses with 2-4 stories yearly, instead of tower blocks.
3.      Children in need of help and support from e.g. social services should never have to wait, especially the children who grow up in families with substance abuse problems.


Our main suggestions for safer care for the elderly
1.      Every person over 85 years of age should to be guaranteed a place in adapted accommodation (elderly care, nursing home etc)
2.      Home service needs to be reviewed with new site sharing and improved quality, e.g. by reducing the number of home care staff.
3.      Open more meeting points for older people, who offer exercise and senior restaurants, including in rural areas.


7. If elected, what will you do for Uppsala? And for Uppland? 
Except for the above we’ll take responsibility for Uppsalas economy – stop wasting the tax payer’s money and start building our welfare strong again! 


8. Do you have any links to further material on your party in English?


9. Any other closing comments or remarks? 


Uppsala’s residents should be guaranteed more secure streets; the children should beguaranteed a safe upbringing and kinder-garden, and the elderly should be guaranteed a safe elderly care. You should simply be able to trust that basic welfare works. Up until then – we have to cut spending on things that isn’t basic welfare such as the couch on Forum torget that cost 12 million SEK ( 

To read more about the Swedish 2018 Vote go to the homepage of the section.

Photos: Dante Löfstrand ©

Italy’s Big Day: the Gran Finale in Rome which nobody knows about

Walking around the biggest city in Sardinia, I stumbled across a group of people handing out flyers and maps of the city centre underneath a gazebo which had a massive sign ‘Information Point’. Nothing strange about it, if it wasn’t for the fact that a particular logo and name were etched on the flyers, t-shirts and flags that surround it. I soon find out it was a group of volunteers who had organised it, activists in ‘Popolo delle Liberta’ (translated literally ‘the people of liberty’), the political party led by Silvio Berlusconi which currently has a stronghold on both regional and national government.

No better occasion to ask some questions about the political situation in Italy and their opinions to those who would bare the heat in order to support him.

As not many of them spoke English I spoke to a young guy who was fluent and patiently explained and answered all my questions on Sardinia, Italy and the political situation which I pretended  not to understand properly. Whilst I was asking questions others of the group, including the leader of the ‘PDL Youth section for Cagliari’, were wary about the fact I could have been a journalist who could damage their image (see the Youtube video to watch reactions to an interview previously recorded on the same morning by a local newsblog). When I asked them if I could take a picture with them, upload it on my blog and in a newspaper article on Manchester’s student newspaper, however,  they sounded more than happy.

Infopoind PDL in Cagliari
PDL run ‘tourist Information Point’ in Piazza Costitzione, Cagliari (25/07/2013)


When I asked about their affiliation with Mr Berlusconi they  universally defended him as if he was ‘victim of a plot’. Today (30th of July) Italy’s highest court will pronounce the final verdict on the former prime-minister who recently declared ‘he had faith in the Italian juridical system’ and that if guilty he would go to jail, something which astounded many who were accustomed to hearing him attack the ‘communist judges’ (toghe rosse) and the conspiracy against him.

‘It has all been decided’ says one of his young supporters, ‘we know they have had it in for him for years now and they are going to continue condemning him’. Most people in Italy would agree with his supporters as on the one hand,  there are those  who believe it has been fixed for  Berlusconi to get charged and on the other, those who believe Mr Berlusconi’s revolutionary vow  of trust  in ‘the juridical system’ is a clear sign of the game being fixed by bigger centres of power.

When I asked if they believed in the need for a younger and more innovative leader, mixed feelings were expressed. ‘Some people would say that’, confessed one, ‘although currently there is nobody with the same amount of charisma and capability as him’. ‘He is very powerful’ another one said ‘he knows Bush, Putin and many other world leaders’.  A rather peculiar choice to sustain the ‘Presidente’ (title with which all media and most Italians on either side of the political spectrum still address him today) as he has only recently been under fire for some of the deals he did with Gheddafi and in more recent scandal surrounding the arrest of two political asylum seekers who were handed over  to the Kazakh president/dictator.

Berlusconi - Italian Newspaper
Corriere della Sera. Page which talks about Berlusconi’s upcoming promotional film (bellow). The top half reports comments on the ‘Alfano situation’ connected to the Kazakh dictator scandal and the way he needed support for his trials

By quoting one of the most obsessive slogans of his supporters ‘People are just jealous of Berlusconi because of his success and the fact that aged 76 he can still have a great sex life with hot girls, wouldn’t you like to be like that when you’re old?’. This brought the topic to my all-time favourite ‘sex, orgies and prostitutes’ and things became even more interesting. Mixed thoughts on the right to have orgies or not was the first hurdle. The lady who had been listening to my conversation (and occasionally suggesting a good come back to my questions) was startled when I defended Berlusconi’s right to have orgies in his house immediately clarifying that there were ‘parties not orgies’. The younger guys were more critical towards the Catholic moral stronghold on the country, and agreed that if he wanted to, nobody should stop him from doing what he wanted in his private life (as one can imagine the ins and outs of the circumstances in which he held the parties were not explored as I feared they would refuse to keep going with the interview). When it came to talking about prostitutes however the lady refused categorically to accept it. ‘Berlusconi did not have prostitutes; they were just having parties’. This is one of the key points in the whole Berlusconi dream. According to his supporters Berlusconi is an experienced 74 year old man, great politician and also a party-goer that would never need to pay for sex as his charisma did it all. The eye-watering story of a young boy who used to sing songs on cruise ships and who thanks to his ability became one of the most powerful men on earth is a great story to tell which enforces his image as a ‘hard worker’. The fact that he jokes and has an active sex life makes him, sadly, even more of a hero.

Speaking to his supporters makes one realise the importance of Silvio Berlusoni within his political party which, for the sake of unity, vow loyalty to the leader although often sharing completely political and moral standpoints. On the other side, the Democratic Party also has the same problem and if it wasn’t for their adversity to Berlusconi they too would be divided. Now with the current coalition government things have changed radically and there is a stronger Catholic current within the parliament which together with the massive media bombardment carried out by the Vatican who, as my Nonna would put it, “carries his own briefcase going on the plane” leads me to believe in the possible re-formation of Democrazia Cristiana, one of the longer lasting ruling parties in Italy which dissolved in 1992 when its connections with free-masons and Mafia were uncovered.

Today is an important day for the history of Italy’s second Republic and whether it’s the effect of the heat wave taking its toll on the 76 year-old, or a rational bet based on bigger centres of power that stretch far beyond the Italian borders, Berlusconi has decided to play all his chips Vegas style whilst he awaits for an answer from the Cassazione on the ‘Mediaset trial’.

Not many people are talking about this in the Italian press, yet anything could happen today. No doubt it will be interesting to see once the men in black have made their decisions both in Rome and Sicily and consequentially in the high-court.

Interview done by local news-blog ‘Cagliari Pad’ a few hours before I reached the stand.


Studying Italian Constitutional Law

Following a module in Italian constitutional law is probably the most annoying, pointless and frustrating thing one could do. It’s almost as counterproductive as calling your sibling a ‘son of a bitch’.

A. M.

The Italian Republic has an old yet AMAZING constitution yet it is not applied and most likely never will be. Why? Money, Power, greed, EU and US influences, Cardinals, Mafia, bigots and the list goes on.. A bit like the ‘no sex’ rule for Roman Catholic priests..