Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Swedish Politics 101: The Christian Democrats

OK, so religion in Sweden is a pretty strange beast. And as much as some crazy pastor from the US claims that God Hates Sweden and shows it by sending a tsunami to Thailand, there remains one party in Sweden that claims to have the Swedish Christian's best interest at heart.

The Christian Democrats fall to the right side of the Swedish political equation. They are in a coalition with the leading party, The Moderates.

So what do the Christian Democrats want to accomplish?

Family Values, what else?

Well, what does family values mean to your average Christian Democrat?

Here's an example:  One of the strongholds of this party is the 'Caretaker subsidy.'

In Sweden daycare for kids 1-6 years old is highly subsidized. The cost of full time daycare is a maximum of about 150$ per month out of pocket. The Christian Democrats want the subsidy portion of the daycare (because obviously it costs more than this for the actual spot, that money just comes from the government) to go to stay- at- home moms or dads who decline a daycare spot. What that means is, if you work nights, but decide to not send your child to daycare – you can get 500$ a month from the government. If you feel you want to be a SAHM/D you can register to get the 500$ a month for your child. 

The Christian Democrats have managed to get their family values subsidy put into action in several municipalities across Sweden. Surprisingly, few families have actually taken the plunge and opted to take the subsidy. Most Swedish families have two working parents, and considering as an employee and a parent of an under 8 year old you have the right to decrease your hours from 40 – 30 per week without risk of losing your job, most people find another solution.


  1. Yes, I heard about this, and I guess it's in ADDITION to barnbidrag? Sounds like a pretty good deal, but of course you have to be able to make do with one income, which is not doable for everybody. So it seems like it's just for well-off people to begin with. Or those with one parent who works nights, like you said.

  2. It's true, you need to be pretty well off. And seriously, who wants to work nights and then spend all day entertaining 2-5 year olds. I would be exhausted...