Path: Table of Contents > Essay on Party Politics > Party 242
Swedish Center Party, 242
Variables and Codes for 1950-1962
For the concepts and variables below, use these links to Political Parties: A Cross-National Survey:
Governmental Status
Issue Orientation
Goal Orientation
Organizational Complexity
Organizational Power
Organizational Coherence
Membership Involvement
The "ac" code is for "adequacy-confidence"--a data quality measure ranging from 0 (low) to 9 (high)
Party Name and Code Number
Swedish farmers or Agrarian Party, the Center Party since 1957, 242
Bondeforbundet until 1957, then the Centerpartiet
Information Base and Researchers
The information base for party politics in Sweden consists of 575 pages from 35 documents, with 192 pages or 33 percent pertaining to the Center Party. Eve Harris also consulted with party workers in Sweden on the coding of variables. Jean Jacobsohn indexed the literature for retrieval. Eve Harris coded the variables.

Institutionalization Variables
, 1.01-1.06
1.01 Year of Origin and 1.02 Name Changes
1913, AC9
8, AC9
The Farmers Party was formed in 1913, but in 1921 there was a merger with another agrarian interest group creating a larger and more powerful farmers (Agrarian) Party. Its first representatives were sent to the Riksdag in 1917. The Party changed its name from the Farmers Party to the Center Party in 1957.
1.03 Organizational Discontinuity
0, AC9
The Center Party experienced no discontinuity during the time period from 1941 to 1962. There have been no minor or major splits or mergers within the party.
1.04 Leadership Competition
8, AC7
Gunnar Hedlund became chairman of the Center Party in 1949, a post which he held throughout our period. Prior to the inception of Hedlund's leadership there were at least two other party leaders, all of whom appeared to have been chosen by the National Committee.
1.05 / 2.05 Legislative Instability and Strength
Instability is .16, AC8
Strength is .11 for 1st half, AC7, and .13 for 2nd half, AC9
The percentage of seats held in the Lower House by the Center Party during our period ranged from 8 to 15 percent.
1.06 / 2.06 Electoral Instability and Strength
Instability is .15, AC8
Strength is .10 for 1st half, AC8, and .13 for 2nd half, AC9
Elections were held in 1952, 1956, 1958, and 1960. The Center Party's electoral support varied from 9 to 14 percent of the vote for these elections.

Governmental Status Variables, 2.01-2.07
2.01 Government Discrimination
0 for 1st half, AC9
0 for 2nd half, AC9
There is no mention of government discrimination in any of the literature, but it is noted that no political party in the country suffers such discrimination.
2.02 Governmental Leadership
0 out of 7 for 1st half, AC9
0 out of 6 for 2nd half, AC9
The Center Party did not hold the leadership position in the government at any time during our period, but it did participate in the governing coalition during the first half.
2.03 Cabinet Participation
6 out of 7 for 1st half, AC9
1 out of 6 for 2nd half, AC9
The Center Party- still the Farmers Party--entered a coalition with the Social Democrats in 1951. This so-called marriage of political convenience was dissolved in 1957. The Social Democrats were by far the larger of the partners in this coalition, and they continued to govern alone after the coalition dissolved.
2.04 National Participation
5 for 1st half, AC9
5 for 2nd half, AC9
The CP is most definitely a national party and is found in all sections of the country, although its strength varies from region to region. Strongest support for the Party comes from rural areas, but the Party organization has made great attempts since the Party name change from Farmers to Center Party to attract members and support from other sources than the rural areas. This attempt was partially successful during our time period.
2.07 Outside Origin
9, AC7
The Farmers Party was formed by private citizens with occupational links as farmers. There was no previous organization which served as a foundation for the conception of the party, once the date of origin is fixed at 1913.

Issue Orientation Variables, 5.01-5.15
5.01 Ownership of Means of Production
1, AC7
The CP strongly favors private ownership of the means of production but at the same time accepts some government ownership. The party stand on this issue is not completely clear. The code given was arrived at after consulting with party members and some party literature. It definitely favors government aid to production (in whatever form necessary) during times of crisis, and it opposes monopolies of any kind.
5.02 Government Role in Economic Planning
1, AC8
The CP favors governmental aid in economic matters but rejects complete management of the economy by the government. It accepts the level of participation of the government which exists (during 1950-1962) but it places strong emphasis on the need for private initiative and competition in the economy. It also advocates government intervention in times of crisis and a well planned economy in which all segments of the population are protected economically.
5.03 Redistribution of Wealth
1, AC7
The CP favors a graduated income tax which will enable all segments of the population to live comfortably. It hopes that all of the population will be well provided for and secure, but it does not advocate a policy more severe than a graduated income tax to accomplish these goals.
5.04 Social Welfare
1, AC8
During the first half of our time period, the CP was hesitant to endorse compulsory social welfare programs, which were not thought to be of particular interest to the farmers. But it did endorse a basic social welfare system to protect citizens. As social welfare in Sweden has increased, the CP has not adamantly opposed such extension, but it still does not favor a completely socialized social welfare system. The CP favors voluntary rather than compulsory programs and opposed some reforms presented by the Social Democrats during the 2nd half of our time period.
5.05 Secularization of Society
2, AC5
The CP stand is not well articulated in relation to secularization of society. It has advocated freedom of religion but has never opposed the state supported church. It also states that Christianity is a foundation for the party and its principles.
5.06 Support of the Military
3, AC7
The CP advocates the maintenance of an effective defense system and therefore approve of spending for military purposes, but certainly not in extravagant sums. Military expenditures are a matter of lesser importance to the CP than issues concerning domestic politics and affairs.
5.07 Alignment with East-West Blocs
0, AC9
The CP always advocated a policy of complete neutrality for the Swedish nation during our time period.
5.08 Anti-Colonialism
0, AC3
During our period, Sweden was not involved in any colonial relationship in the world, and it did not feel pressured by a foreign power. Thus, Anti Colonialism was not a subject that concerned the CP from Sweden's standpoint, although various members had opinions concerning colonialism existing in the world.
5.09 Supranational integration
3, AC7
The CP favored trade agreements within the Scandinavian countries but advocated a policy of caution concerning political and trade communities which may jeopardize Sweden's neutrality and not work to the benefit of Swedish interests. It was also cool to entrance into EEC.
5.10 National Integration
1, AC6
The CP adhered to the policy of maintaining a national authority structure which recognizes, accommodates, and works with regional and other subnational interests to effectively maintain a government sensitive to all groups. Subsequent to our 1950-1962 time period, however, the party became the one most closely linked with calls for decentralization.
5.11 Electoral Participation
5, AC7
The CP advocated the maintenance of universal suffrage for those above 20. In 1968, the government proposed lowering the voting age to 19. It is not known what position the CP took on this issue at that time.
5.12 Protection of Civil Rights
3, AC5
CP literature suggests that the party stand in protection of civil rights would be strong, but party workers consulted in Sweden confessed to some moderation in actions opposing discrimination. The problem arises because of immigrants to Sweden. Many Eastern Europeans and gypsies meet with discriminatory practices in Sweden.
5.13 Interference with Civil Liberties
3, AC9
The CP recognizes freedom of expression as an enforced and acknowledged governmental policy. They have always advocated a policy of free speech for all citizens, groups, and political bodies.
5.14 / 5.15 US--Soviet Experts Left-Right Ratings
US says 2, center
Soviets say 2, receives support from the wealthier rural classes and lower and middle class landowners. It is influential among small businessmen, merchants, and artisans. According to the 1959 party program, it is a Centrist Bourgeois Party, opposing both large monopolies and the socialization of the national economy.

Goal Orientation Variables, 6.01-6.55
6.00 Open Competition in the Electoral Process
4, AC9
The CP participates regularly in elections and relies exclusively on open competition as a means of obtaining governmental power.
6.10 Restricting Party Competition
0, AC9
No mention is made in the literature concerning CP use of restrictive measures because there is none.
6.20 Subverting the Political System
0, AC9
No mention is made of subversive activities as the CP relies exclusively on the process of open competition through elections.
6.30 Propagandizing Ideas and Program
6.31--0, AC9. The Skanska Dagblad is the newspaper which is associated with the CP. It is not widely influential. Radio and television are available for use by the parties but are not operated by the parties themselves. Thus the newspaper is the main medium of communication, but it is not operated by the party itself.
6.32--0, AC9. The party operates adult education courses in general education as well as seminars and discussions for party members and other interested people. But the CP does not operate any schools for the purpose of dissemination of party ideas and programs.
6.33--2, AC9. The CP frequently indulges in the activity of passing resolutions and platforms on a wide range of issues.
6.34--2, AC9. The CP frequently publishes and circulates literature clarifying or stating CP positions on many issues.
6.50 Providing for Welfare of Party Members
6.51--0, AC9. No information appears in the literature, as the provision of food, clothing, and shelter is handled by state social welfare agencies.
6.52 - 0, AC9. No information is found on running employment services, which are again handled by the state.
6.53--0, AC5. No information can be found on the party's interceding on citizens" behalf, and party workers consulted also have no knowledge of this occurring.
6.54--2, AC9. The CP does provide for basic education of a non-political sort by conducting adult education courses on such subjects as mathematics and history.
6.55--2, AC9. The CP provides various recreational facilities and services on a regular basis.

Autonomy Variables, 7.01-7.05
7.01 Sources of Funds
3 (sector 02), AC6
It appears that about half of the party's funds come from membership dues and the other half from friendly agricultural interests. Of course, the half from dues would come mainly from farmers, which might be interpreted as lowering the score even more to show less autonomy.
7.02 Source of Members
5, AC9
Membership in the CP is entirely direct and comprised mainly of agricultural interests. Although most leaders of the RLF (a farmer organization) belong to the CP, membership in the RLF does not imply membership in the CP. Most CP members are farmers, but since the party's name change a greater effort has been made to attract nonfarmers to the CP as well. This effort has been somewhat successful with voters during the second half of our time period.
7.03 Sources of Leaders
5, AC6
Party leaders, both on a national and local level, are from varying sectors of the society. This is considered strange by many, as the CP has always been identified with agricultural interests and draws most of its members from this sector.
7.04 Relations with Domestic Parties
4 for 1st half, AC9
5 for 2nd half, AC7
From 1951 to 1957, the CP was part of a coalition with the Social Democrats and thus participated in a parliamentary and governmental alliance. The variable code for the second half of the period differs from that of the first to reflect CP's situation for most of the time, despite the fact that the SD CP coalition lasted until 1957. Following the CP's departure from the government, it is regarded as participating in a parliamentary alliance with the Conservatives and Liberals in opposition to the Social Democrats.
7.05 Relations with Foreign Organizations
5, AC9
No information is contained in the literature because, according to party workers, the CP has never been affiliated with any foreign organizations and it is thus not a subject for discussion.

Organizational Complexity Variables, 8.01-8.07
8.01 Structural Articulation
10, AC8
The CP displays the typical organization for a well developed party. There is a national convention which meets annually, a National Committee selected by the district organizations, a smaller Executive Committee, and a Parliamentary Executive Committee. Selection procedures for these organs appear to be fairly well prescribed, but their distinct functions are not discussed.
8.02 Intensiveness of Organization
5, AC9
Party clubs and organizations at the lowest level are linked to constituency organizations. Such organizations can be sometimes found in small rural communities or based on the Swedish parish level, which is smaller than an American county and includes several small rural villages. Thus, the organizational intensity varies from area to area, but is not founded on the cell basis common to Communist Parties. However, many organizations are based on 1,000 voters or less in the rural areas, with larger local branches in the cities. There is a minimum of at least 10 members required for each new local organization, but these small organizations are conceived with expansion of membership in mind.
8.03 Extensiveness of Organization
5, AC9
Local CP organizations can be found across the country, but the organizations are stronger in the rural than the urban areas.
8.04 Frequency of Local Meetings
5, AC8
Most CP basic units meet from 7 to 11 times per year although no party rules prescribe so many meetings, for only one per year is required. The frequency of meetings does vary among units, but the indicated range appears to be common.
8.05 Frequency of National Meetings
Insufficient information.
8.06 Maintaining Records
12, AC9
Some party propaganda is published, but these efforts cannot be viewed as considerable. The CP did maintain an archive with fair amounts of resources, although it was certainly not outstanding. The party did maintain very good membership lists. Our consultant reports that efforts in maintaining records improved in recent years.
8.07 Pervasiveness of Organization
10, AC5
The major farm organizations were distinctly non-partisan, but most of the leaders of the RLF belonged to the Center Party, which accounts for its score on this variable. The party also had a strong youth organization, with about 100,000 members and a women's group with another 50,000 members.

Organizational Power Variables, 9.01-9.08
9.01 Nationalization of Structure
3, AC5
There are national, regional, county, and local organizations, all of which are inter related and somewhat responsible to each other. Each level retains a degree of autonomy within the structure, particularly in such matters as nominations and strictly local affairs. Moreover, members of the National Committee are selected by the district organizations rather than the national convention.
9.02 Selecting the National Leader
3, AC8
The national leader is selected by the National Committee, which is itself comprised of members from district and regional organizations.
9.03 Selecting Parliamentary Candidates
3, AC7
Candidates are nominated at the local level for parliamentary candidacy. Party members have the right to present alternative names to any of those offered by the local leaders, but technically the district organization has the final decision in the choosing of candidates.
9.04 Allocating Funds
2, AC3
The common practice in Swedish parties, which is assumed applicable to the Center Party, is for the local organizations to collect dues and to forward the funds to the district organization, which retains an amount to cover its own expenses and forwards the remainder to the national level.
9.05 Formulating Policy
5, AC7
The annual national conventions do get involved in formulating policy, and they are not always rubber stamp organizations, although the national organizations take the initiative in policy making.
9.06 Controlling Communications
0, AC9
The Center Party does not own or control any media form, but it does receive support from the Skanska Dagblad, which is not widely read throughout the country.
9.07 Administering Discipline
0, AC9
There are no prescribed forms of discipline although pressure can and is brought against those whom the party sees fit to treat so. But this actually varies, and discipline may be exerted at any level. It is most likely that parliamentary members shall feel such pressures from the parliamentary organization and organs at the national level.
9.08 Leadership Concentration
3, AC9
Although there is one proclaimed party leader, he is not the party's omnipotent figure. Rather, he shares decision making power with the national party Executive Committee and other parliamentary party leaders.

Coherence Variables, 10.01-10.06
10.01 Legislative Cohesion
.90, AC7
On most major issues brought before the Riksdag, the party votes in unanimous bloc. But unanimity is not required, and personal freedom in voting is tolerated within the party.
10.02 Ideological Factionalism
1, AC8
Ideology is most certainly a matter of debate and disagreement within the party at all levels. But factionalism as such does not exist, for these divisions tend to be resolved by individuals shifting parties.
10.03 Issue Factionalism
1, AC7
Some disagreement, but minor in nature and scope, occurs mainly on regional differences.
10.04 Leadership Factionalism
0, AC5
There seems to have been no serious discussion concerning changing the CP leadership, which remained in the hands of Gunnar Hedlund from 1949 throughout our period.
10.05 Strategic or Tactical Factionalism
Although the literature neglects discussing this possible basis for factionalism, it would be expected that strong differences might exist within the Center Party over participation with the Social Democrats in a coalition government.
10.06 Party Purges
0 for 1st half, AC9
0 for 2nd half, AC9
There have surely been no purges within the Swedish Center Party.

Involvement Variables, 11.01-11.06
11.01 Membership Requirements
3, AC9
For official membership in the Center Party, one must pay a minimal sum in annual dues and register as a party member.
11.02 Membership Participation
1, AC7
Membership participation appears to be fairly weak, although the party literature tries to convey a different picture.
11.03 Material Incentives
0, AC5
It does not appear that party workers are motivated by material incentives, although loyalty on the part of parliamentary members can lead to rewards of positions of influence in the party organization.
11.04 Purposive Incentives
3, AC6
According to the party literature, concern for party principles is the main motivating force for party workers. The data source is not the most reliable for this type of information, but it seems to square with other perceptions of the party.
11.05 Doctrinism
0, AC9
Party activities are not justified by any particular party literature, although party platforms, plans, and programs are published and referenced- but not in a doctrinaire manner.
11.06 Personalism
0, AC9
Hedlund certainly is highly respected by many if not most party militants, but he is not regarded as a charismatic leader.