Path: Table of Contents > Essay on Party Politics > Party 244
Swedish Conservative Party, 244
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 Right Party, commonly called Conservative Party, changed in 1969 to Moderate Unity Party, 244
Hogerpartiet changed in 1969 to Moderata Samlingspartiet.
Information Base and Researchers
The information base for party politics in Sweden consists of 575 pages indexed from 54 documents, with 187 pages or 33 percent pertaining to the Conservative Party. 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
1904, AC9
0, AC9
The Conservative Party was formed in 1904 upon the amalgamation of several conservative groups into a national political association, the General Electoral Association. The party kept the same name throughout our period of interest, but in 1969 the name was changed from the Right (or Right-Wing) Party to the Moderate Unity Party.
1.03 Organizational Discontinuity
0, AC9
In the absence of any hint of splits or mergers in the literature, the conclusion seems to be that there were none.
1.04 Leadership Competition
10, AC7
The Conservative Party was led by the same person through most of our time period. Jarl Hjalmarson became the party leader in 1950 and lasted until 1961, when he was replaced by Gunnar Heckscher. There is no discussion about the conditions under which either Hjalmarson or Heckscher assumed leadership. But Heckscher himself lasted only until 1965, when he announced his resignation in advance of the party congress. Such short tenure is unusual for the democratic parties in Sweden, for the other three parties retained the same leaders since the 1940's. There were rumors of a split and power struggle within the party forcing out Heckscher after the party's poor showing in the 1964 elections.
1.05 / 2.05 Legislative Instability and Strength
Instability is .17, AC8
Strength is .13 for 1st half, AC7, and .18 for 2nd half, AC9
Representation of the Conservative Party in the Riksdag increased fairly steadily throughout our time period from a low of 10 percent of the seats to a high of 20 percent in 1958. It then experienced a slight drop to 17 percent in 1960.
1.06 / 2.06 Electoral Instability and Strength
Instability is .09, AC9
Strength is .15 for 1st half, AC9, and .18 for 2nd half, AC9
In the elections of 1952, 1956, 1958, and 1960, the conservative percentage of the vote ranged from 14 to 20 percent.

Governmental Status Variables, 2.01-2.07
2.01 Government Discrimination
0 for 1st half, AC9
0 for 2nd half, AC9
There does not seem to be any substantial discrimination aimed at the Conservative Party by the government during our period. Indeed, even the Communist Party did not encounter serious governmental opposition to its actions as a party.
2.02 Governmental Leadership
0 out of 7 for 1st half, AC9
0 out of 6 for 2nd half, AC9
The Conservative Party never enjoyed holding the office of Prime Minister.
2.03 Cabinet Participation
0 out of 7 for 1st half, AC9
0 out of 6 for 2nd half, AC9
The Conservatives not only failed to obtain governmental leadership, but they never participated in the government.
2.04 National Participation
5, AC7
Conservative strength is identified as coming from Vastergotland, Stockholm, and Malmo. But it is also mentioned that sectional or regional parties are unknown in Sweden. Unfortunately, there is no breakdown of party votes by regions in our file, so precise deviations of proportions of vote from proportions of the population cannot be calculated.
2.07 Outside Origin
4, AC6
The Conservative Party was formed from several groups of conservatives in the Riksdag who established a national political association in 1904.

Issue Orientation Variables, 5.01-5.15
5.01 Ownership of Means of Production
3, AC9
The Conservatives stand clearly in opposition to the nationalization policies of the Social Democrats. The party favors the protection of private industry, free enterprise, and opposes the extension of state controls. But the party conceded that there may be some justification for government ownership and regulation in certain instances.
5.02 Government Role in Economic Planning
3, AC9
Opposition to state planning and control is characteristic of the Conservative Party, which regards expansion of the public sector as threatening to democracy and individual liberty.
5.03 Redistribution of Wealth
3, AC9
Reduction of taxation is one of the main planks of the conservative platform. It is argued that reduced taxes will encourage private initiative and private enterprise.
5.04 Social Welfare
1, AC9
The Conservatives accept some features of the welfare state, recognizing that the state should provide for minimum levels of subsistence. But the party has fought the elaboration of the welfare state, favoring voluntary rather compulsory programs. In particular, it opposed the supplementary pension program proposed by the government.
5.05 Secularization of Society
3, AC9
Support of the state church and retention of instruction in Christianity within the schools have been features of the conservative program.
5.06 Support of the Military
4, AC8
The Conservatives clearly favor a strong defense and are supportive of military expenditures in competition with much domestic expenditure, but perhaps not at the rate of spending characterized by the larger powers. The party also favored lengthening the period of military service and stockpiling strategic material.
5.07 Alignment with East-West Blocs
1, AC9
There is a clear preference for the Western over the Eastern bloc in party statements, but the party agrees with others that Sweden should not become involved with any great power alliance.
5.08 Anti-Colonialism
There is no indication of the party's position on the issue of Anti- Colonialism, and it would be hazardous to score this party for there may well be latent opinions on the issue.
5.09 Supranational Integration
3, AC9
The Conservatives were once opposed to entrance in the UN but changed to support it. The party has pushed for other forms of international integration, favoring strengthening EFTA, entering into more collaboration with Scandinavian countries, and promoting Sweden's entrance into the EEC.
5.10 National Integration
No information.
5.11 Electoral Participation
Initially, the Conservatives opposed electoral reforms, but there is no information on its position concerning lowering the voting age during our time period.
5.12 Protection of Civil Rights
No information.
5.13 Interference with Civil Liberties
3, AC6
Our literature file is silent on this issue, but our consultant advises that the party favored freedom of expression.
5.14 / 5.15 US--Soviet Experts Left-Right Ratings
US says 1, conservative
Soviets say 1; it represents the interests of large industrial and financial capital. The party is composed mainly of representatives of the upper industrial-financial bourgeoisie, landowners, upper ranks of the army and navy, and high government officials. The party program of 1956 advocates the democracy of private ownership founded on free enterprise. It is the only party to support the continuation of the monarchy.

Goal Orientation Variables, 6.01-6.55
6.00 Open Competition in the Electoral Process
4, AC9
The Conservatives consistently adhered to a policy of electoral competition, even through the party's strength declined rather steadily from the 1930's to the 1960's.
6.10 Restricting Party Competition
0, AC9
The Conservatives were never in a position to restrict competition, and the party is not so inclined in any event.
6.20 Subverting the Political System
0, AC9
Subversion was not a part of Conservative Party strategy.
6.30 Propagandizing Ideas and Program
6.31--0, AC6. There is conflicting information. One source says that no parties operate newspapers. Another says that the Conservative have a strong press, with the largest newspapers being the Svenska Dagbladet and the Sydsvenska Dagbladet. These and other papers probably favor the conservative but are not run by the party. Our consultant has endorsed this interpretation.
6.32--AC1. No information.
6.33--2, AC4. One source credits Swedish parties with passing resolutions and statements.
6.34--2, AC4. By implication, the Conservative Party is scored as publishing numerous position papers, for allSwedish parties are said to engage in this activity.
6.50 Providing for Welfare of Party Members
6.51--0, AC3. There was no mention of the Conservative Party providing these services, which have been assumed by the state in Sweden.
6.52 and 6.53--0, AC6. Our consultant reports that the Conservatives did not operate employment services nor intercede with the government on behalf of individual citizens.
6.54--1, AC4. One-source mentions that all Swedish Parties conduct adult education classes and the Conservatives are thus expected to provide for some basic education through implication.
6.55--1, AC4. It was also mentioned that all parties sponsor social activities and provide recreational facilities for their members. The conservatives are included by implication.

Autonomy Variables, 7.01-7.05
7.01 Sources of Funds
1 (sector 04), AC3
One study indicates that the conservatives obtain less than 10 percent of their funds from party dues and that the remainder comes from contributions, but there is no discussion of the sources of these contributions. Because the party promotes business interests and because the other parties have largely locked up support from labor, farmers, and the professional classes, it is assumed that the Conservatives get about 2/3 of their funds from business and commercial interests. But better data are clearly needed.
7.02 Source of Members
5, AC9
It is said that approximately 1/3 of conservative voters are party members. It appears that none of these members are affiliated to the party through other organizations.
7.03 Sources of Leaders
Information is available on the backgrounds of individual party leaders, but there is no survey of the backgrounds of conservative leaders as a group.
7.04 Relations with Domestic Parties
5, AC5
The Conservatives joined an opposition bloc to the Social Democrats throughout our time period, first with the Liberals in opposition to the Social Democratic and Farmer Coalition, and then with the Farmers as well, who split from the governing coalition. The Communists have not been included in this opposition group of bourgeois parties. There is no discussion of the interaction of parties in this bloc.
7.05 Relations with Foreign Organizations
5, AC7
This is really not known for sure, for there is no discussion in the literature about Conservatives' affiliation with any international group. This alone is some evidence that the Conservatives have no international grouping to which the party might belong--the liberal international is pre-empted by the Liberal Party and the Christian Democratic Organization is mainly a Catholic grouping, which is not the place for a party that supports the State Lutheran Church. The Socialist International is also an unlikely possibility.

Organizational Complexity Variables, 8.01-8.07
8.01 Structural Articulation
10, AC6
The Conservatives have a national party congress of 100 to 400 delegates every two years and an interyear convention of representatives from each of the twenty-some districts. There is a National Committee and a Parliamentary Party Organization. Little information exists on the selection procedures for membership in the various national organs, but they are assumed to be fairly clearly prescribed. The functions of the various bodies are not at all clear, however.
8.02 Intensiveness of Organization
4, AC5
There is no discussion of local party organization of the Conservative Party in particular. All parties are said to have a local organization at a level below that of the district, within which riksdag deputies are elected. By implication, the Conservatives must have between 1,000 and 3,000 such local organizations. Dividing into the total population of Sweden produces a level of organization about equal to a branch basis, with more than 1,000 but less than 50,000 voters per local.
8.03 Extensiveness of Organization
5, AC3
All Swedish parties are said to be active throughout the country. But the Conservatives are not strong in voting strength throughout the country, so it is assumed that the party organizations, while spread throughout the land, do not cover the country thoroughly. Additional information could obviously alter the code.
8.04 Frequency of Local Meetings
3, AC4
One source says that most local organizations in Swedish parties hold at least one meeting a year. No information is available for the Conservative Party in particular.
8.05 Frequency of National Meetings
We know that the Party Congress meets every other year with a smaller convention of district representatives in the interim years, but there is no discussion of the frequency of meetings for the National Committee itself.
8.06 Maintaining Records
5, AC5
Every party is said to publish a variety of party documents, including magazines. No periodical publications are named for the Conservatives, although the party does enjoy the support of a press second in circulation only to that supporting the Liberals. There is no evidence of the party supporting an archive or research division, and membership lists are thought to be only average.
8.07 Pervasiveness of Organization
5, AC8
The party's youth group is said to involve some 40,000 and its women's organization another 55,000. Therefore, its youth and women's organizations are stronger than the Liberal's groups.

Organizational Power Variables, 9.01-9.08
9.01 Nationalization of Structure
4, AC5
Again, there is no discussion of the Conservative Party in particular. There is a definite hierarchy, but the Parliamentary party does not appear to be subordinate to the national organs.
9.02 Selecting the National Leader
5, AC5
The Party Congress does perform a role in selecting the national leader. But it appears that the Congress may basically ratify a choice already made within the National Committee. Further information would be illuminating.
9.03 Selecting Parliamentary Candidates
3, AC9
The local organizations definitely do engage in the selection of Parliamentary candidates, but the participation comes mainly through the local leaders rather than through the rank and file.
9.04 Allocating Funds
2, AC5
All parties in Sweden are characterized as collecting funds locally and transferring the bulk of the funds upward to the national level for distribution.
9.05 Formulating Policy
5, AC5
Of course the Parliamentary Executive Committee of the party engaged in policy making in its daily decisions, but the Party Congress does appear to have a major role in the formulation of major party policy.
9.06 Controlling Communications
0, AC6
According to the contention that no parties in Sweden control any newspapers, the Conservative Party does not operate any important communications media as a party organization.
9.07 Administering Discipline
0, AC4
What disciplinary techniques that there are come through the Parliamentary party organization in the form of bestowing or denying positions of prestige and influence within the Riksdag available to the party. But this appears to come most informally.
9.08 Leadership Concentration
3, AC5
The Conservatives had more leaders during our period than any of the other Swedish parties. The party definitely did not appear to be a one-man show, but there was leadership exercised at the national level through the National Executive Committee and the Parliamentary Executives, both of which are headed by the party chairman as a matter of course.

Coherence Variables, 10.01-10.06
10.01 Legislative Cohesion
.80, AC3
There is really no information in the file about Riksdag votes by the Conservatives, but there are vague references to the cohesiveness of the party, but not complete cohesiveness.
10.02 Ideological Factionalism
2, AC5
One source notes that toward the end of our time period, a group within the party tried to shed its old reactionary image by focusing instead on social problems that come from new technology and modern society, but this was not referred to specifically as a faction.
10.03 Issue Factionalism
No information.
10.04 Leadership Factionalism
1, AC5
Leadership questions are surely open to discussion within the Conservative Party, but they seem not to have spawned lasting factions.
10.05 Strategic or Tactical Factionalism
1, AC6
Our consultant notes that the usual problem has been how distinctive a profile the party shall maintain, or whether it should adapt to the Liberals and Center Party so that it is less distinguishable from them.
10.06 Party Purges
0, AC9
There is no place for purges in the operating style of the Conservatives.

Involvement Variables, 11.01-11.06
11.01 Membership Requirements
3, AC7
The party is said to have about 200,000 members, and there is clear evidence of these members paying dues. On the other hand, there is no specific discussion of membership requirements for the party.
11.02 Membership Participation
2, AC3
It is said that 1/3 of conservative voters are party members. While there is no direct statement that Conservative members work actively for the party, there is a general statement that members of all Swedish parties are indeed involved in party activities. Most members then are judged to be marginal, attending some activities but not being regular participants.
11.03 Material Incentives
0, AC3
Because the Conservatives have been out of power for so long, it seems unlikely that they can muster material benefits for their workers.
11.04 Purposive Incentives
3, AC3
Opposition to Socialism as practiced by the Social Democrats and the government throughout our time period is advanced as the motivational force for most party militants.
11.05 Doctrinism
0, AC9
The literature makes no reference to any body of conservative doctrine that serves as an operating code for the Conservative Party.
11.06 Personalism
0, AC9
One is fairly certain that conservative leaders have not commanded the allegiance of party workers through charismatic qualities.