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Liberal Party leader Jan Björklund. Photo: Anders Ljungberg/Sveriges Radio.

The Liberal Party - Folkpartiet

"The voice for gender equality in the Alliance"
2:39 min

These days, the Liberal Party focuses on education and gender equality, but also profiles itself as a party in favour of nuclear power and joining the military alliance Nato.

"In the same way that the Centre party says that they're the green voice of the Alliance, the Liberal Party says they're its voice for gender equality," Tomas Ramberg explains. "The Liberal Party is now the only party to suggest a more equal sharing of the parental insurance, by introducing a third so-called daddy's month."

The history of the Liberal party stretches back as far as the early 19th century, but it wasn't until the turn of the century that the party took on the form it has today. The party was clearly liberal from the very start and worked for free trade and universal suffrage.

Tomas Ramberg says that the party is still true to its liberal roots, but that the party is no longer alone in pushing liberal issues. Both the Moderates and the Centre Party are currently pushing to expand free trade, and the Centre party wants to decentralize power. But the Liberal party has also changed over the years.

Ramberg says that if you look at how the Liberal party has moved on the left-right political spectrum, the party has clearly taken a right turn. Because the Liberal Party used to be a party that fancied itself in the middle, and who could cooperate with the Social Democrats as well as the Moderates in different areas. But they've now clearly planted themselves to the right, and if you ask liberal voters today, they generally see themselves as more conservative.

The Liberals were at the height of their power in the 1950s, when they got almost 25 percents of the votes. This was in no small way owing to the party's social liberal policies, focusing on a free economy with lower taxes, and a social safety net with more resources to care for the elderly.

Since then, the party has started pushing for Sweden to join the military alliance Nato as well as the Eurozone, and they're advocating for investments in nuclear power. But lately, the issues at the top of the party's agenda have been gender equality and the school system, says Tomas Ramberg.

"They're still pushing school politics, because their party leader, Jan Björklund, is the Minister for Education and Research, and he has very strong personal ties to all the changes that the current government has made in the field. And they've said that gender equality should be an important issue as well", Ramberg says.

The Liberal party doesn't have a clearly defined target group, but Ramberg says they often attract teachers and civil servants. "

"They earn pretty high incomes. So it's not a coincidence that the Liberal party is pushing for lower taxes for people with higher incomes."

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