Vänsterpartiet (The Left Party of Sweden) is a socialist and feminist political party. The Party was founded as the Social Democratic Left Party of Sweden in May 1917, a year of political and social upheaval. Since then it evolved into the Communist Party of Sweden, the Left Party – Communists and since 1990 it is known simply as the Left Party. Throughout its 90-year history the Party has been struggling for welfare, equality, peace, solidarity and democracy.
The party upholds the right to work and rights in the workplace as fundamental principles. With the onslaught of neoliberal economic policies in Sweden, job security has deteriorated as temporary and insecure forms of employment have become more widespread. In the analysis of the party, the public sector has to take initiative to employ more people, both in order to guarantee better services to the population as well as lower unemployment.
The ”Swedish model” has gained widespread international recognition for its achievements in ensuring a high quality of life for the Swedish people. However, this model is under constant attack from rightwing forces, seeking to dismantle the welfare state. We have to defend and develop the public sector, and reject the privatization policies of the Swedish government.
At the 1996 congress the party adopted feminism as a backbone of its ideological orientation. The party consistently strives to combat injustices against women, whether it may be in the workplace, schools, political life, etc..
The Left Party fully understands the urgency of defending our environment, and protecting it for future generations to come. The party has an active policy to combat climate changes, demanding lower of carbon-dioxide emissions.
The party has around 12.000 members. The party organization is divided into Party Districts (partidistrikt). Except for the Västra Götaland region, each district covers one Swedish county. The party districts are turn divided into Party Branches (partiföreningar). In most cases, one party branch covers one Swedish municipality.
The highest decision-making body is the Party Congress, held every two years. The delegates for the congress are elected by the district organizations. The Party Congress adopts the Party Programme, Statues and other political documents. Moreover, it elects the President and National Board (partistyrelsen). Since 2004 Lars Ohly is President of the party.
The party is represented in all county councils and most municipal councils throughout the country. It is also represented in the European Parliament. In the European Parliament, the Party is a member of the confederal GUE/NGL group.
Amongst young people and students the Young Left and the Left Student Union are active. These organizations work closely with party and share the political goals of the party, but have completely independent organization and programmes of their own.