Eksjö – least equal in Sweden
Welcome to Eksjö – the least equal town in all of Sweden. At least when you look at the ballots - nearly 70% of all the candidates are men. “Women aren’t prepared to do whatever it takes to work in politics,” said Lennart Bogren, a local government commissioner belonging to the Center Party in Eksjö. Eksjö, along with Eda and Kävlinge are the three municipalities with the most male dominated ballots in Sweden. Worst of the three is Eksjö. “I’m concerned and we work with the problems within our different parties,” Bogren continued. “It’s a difficult issue.” The party with the greatest equality problem in Eksjö is the Moderates, the Greens on the other hand have all of 62% women on their ballots. According to Bogren, working with politics means you must spend much of your free time (evenings and weekends), time women won’t give this up, he claims. “Women have other values,” he says. “They aren’t willing to do whatever it takes to work with politics. Some call it healthy, but we have to find other democratic forms somehow. Women in the middle of their career with a family, how do they stand a chance?” Pray do tell, Bogren. Unfortunately, the inequality in Eksjö doesn’t end with the ballots. Out of the 17 people in the local government, only 3 are women. When asked how he thinks the male domination effects politics, Bogren says: “It probably does effect it, but I cannot say in what way. I suppose it’s just like the prejudice says: Men find it more interesting to build and attend to roads and roadwork, whereas women prioritize nursing and care. But that’s not the case in Eksjö.” The most equal of places in Swede is Orsa, where 56 of the candidates on the ballots are men and 56 are women.

Red-Green lead
It’s less than 100 days left before the general election in Sweden, and what are the predictions? We can tell you that an important poll made by Statistiska Centralbyrån (Statistics Sweden) released just recently reveals that the Red-Green opposition holds the lead with 50.2%. According to the same poll, the governing Alliance has only 44.2%. Other recent polls have suggested a close election or even an advantage to the Center-Right government, which makes this poll extra interesting. Statistics Sweden uses the largest sampling and is always considered to be most accurate in polls. The Left Party has lost some compared to the last election, but notes an increase since November and is now given 5.6 % in voter support. It is, however, the Green Party that really lifts the numbers of the opposition. The party is given 10.7% in the poll, a substantial increase when compared with the election result (+5.5%) and an increase since the November poll (+2.3%). Among the Alliance parties, the Moderates is the only one with an increase (3%), the other parties show a decline. In this poll, the Moderates are given 29.2%. Many may now wonder how the poll from Statistics Sweden can differ so much from many other recent polls. The polling institutes Synovate, Demoskop and Novus Opinion have all shown a close result between the two political blocs, or even a center-right lead. One explanation could be that different institutes use different polling methods, which in itself affects the final result. Another explanation could be that Statistic Sweden's poll was mainly conducted at the end of April, and the first half of May, while several other measurements that have recently been presented has been carried out during late May and early June. Regardless of this, the polls from Statistics Sweden are seen as tending to be more accurate. Since the 1970s, the May poll during an election year from Statistics Sweden has identified the winner.

Swedes exercise more
Almost every other Swede (46%) exercise at least a couple of times a week. Ten years ago, it was 38% so there’s quite an increase. Riksidrottsförbundet (the Swedish Sports Confederation) ordered the study to be made by Statistiska Centralbyrån (Statistics Sweden), and they believe that this development is a result of the expansion in child-and youth sports that took place in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Says Karin Mattsson Weijber, CEO: “We tempt children and young people to be physically active and teach them the importance to continue like that throughout life.” The study involves 5 000 people aged 7-70.

The Concert House that wants to be bigger
Stockholms konserthus wants to grow! According to Director Stefan Forsberg, the best way of doing so is to create new surfaces. But city architect Per Kallstenius isn’t buying it, according to him that solution would create “enormous cultural and historical problems”. The Concert House is a blue cube-like building from the 1920’s, an architectural icon. But according to Forsberg it is far too small. Forsberg has for years worked for an expansion that in his vision would include a restaurant, spaces for exhibition, and an experimental stage for a younger audience. Last year, four architects were commissioned to come up with a solution that would create additional space. The architectural office Tham & Videgård showed a glass-encased additional story – and that’s the plan now chosen by the Concert House. “As a concept we feel the best way to build, is on the roof,” says Forsberg, who also believes that the additional story may become an inviting add-on, which also helps keep the uniform lines of the building. “It will destroy very little of the original building,” he adds. Kallstenius doesn’t agree. “Konserthuset is a house with great integrity,” he says. “It’s not like Hamburg’s concert house where an old warehouse has gotten a new add-on made of glass.” Kallstenius says he understands that the Concert House needs more space and that he and Stockholm City want to help. He says that he hopes to find other buildings in the neighborhood that can be used, or to perhaps add space in between the Concert House and the Hötorget skyscrapers (Hötorgsskraporna). “There is also space in the building itself that are being rented out, space that Konserhuset could utilize better,” he concludes.