Reichstag (Sweden)


November 30, 2021

The Swedish Reichstag (Swedish riksdagen or Sveriges riksdag) is the Swedish parliament. There had been a state meeting since the 15th century. From 1867 to 1970 the Swedish Reichstag consisted of two chambers, and since then it has had one chamber. The Swedish Parliament has 349 members. Its current composition is based on the 2018 election, and the President of the Reichstag is Andreas Norlén.


Standing day

Since the 15th century, the Reichstag was the gathering of representatives of the four estates (nobility, priests, citizens and peasants) in the Kingdom of Sweden. After the king, it was the highest constitutional institution in the empire, but usually only met every three years. His Succession Act, passed in 1809, is now the oldest part of the Swedish constitution.

Census voting rights

In 1865 a two-chamber system was decided. The new chambers were first elected in 1867. The election for the First Chamber took place indirectly through the state assembly (Landsting) and the largest municipal council assemblies. This is how “education and property” (bildningen och förmögenheten) should be represented. Only men over 35 with real estate assets worth at least 80,000 Reichstalers or an annual taxable income of at least 4,000 Reichstalers were eligible. Only about 6,000 people in all of Sweden met these conditions. This census suffrage was valid until 1909, with women, companies and legal entities also having the right to vote. The First Chamber had terms of office of eight years, and one eighth of the members were newly elected each year. From 1867 onwards, there was also a census voting right for the election to the Second Chamber: Swedish men over 21 years of age with property with a tax value of over 1,000 Reichstalers or an annual taxable income of over 800 Thalers were eligible to vote. 236,120 adult men, about 5.6 percent of the population, had the right to vote in the Second Chamber. 79 percent of adult men were not eligible to vote.

General suffrage

The Swedish Social Democratic Labor Party was the country's first party to be founded in 1889. The Liberal Members of the Second Chamber did not found the Liberal Gathering Party until 1900. One of the main goals of both parties was the introduction of universal suffrage. The first and initially only Social Democrat in the Second Chamber, Hjalmar Branting, was only elected in the 1896 election because the Liberals supported his candidacy. The question of voting rights remained topical for decades. King Gustav V, enthroned in 1907, supported the transition to parliamentary democracy. In 1909 universal and equal suffrage for the Second Chamber was introduced for men who had done military service. Completion of military service as a requirement was omitted in 1922. In the 1921 election, women were also entitled to vote for the first time. Another reform step took place in 1923: The census suffrage was also abolished for the First Chamber, now the members were elected indirectly by the municipalities and provinces. This increased the influence of the parties. In 1937 prisoners and in 1945 also welfare recipients, prisoners and people in private bankruptcy were given the right to vote.

Abolition of the two-chamber system

The indirect election of the First Chamber caused a time delay in the implementation of the popular will, especially since the members were elected for eight years. The Social Democrats were able to achieve an advantageous position in the First Chamber in the 20th century. After they nevertheless agreed to the abolition of the First Chamber, a unicameral system with a four percent hurdle was introduced from the 1970 election. From 1970 to 1976 the Swedish Reichstag had 350 members. In the Reichstag election in 1973, both blocs received each

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