The Riksdag has 349 members who are chosen every four years in general elections. The working days of a member of the Riksdag can vary greatly. In the Chamber, the members engage in debate on important matters and take decisions. Much of their work is conducted in the parliamentary committees, where the decisions of the Riksdag are prepared. A vote in the Chamber. The MPs show what position their respective parties have decided to adopt in a decision on a matter. Photo: Melker Dahlstrand. The members are not employed by the Riksdag, instead they have an assignment from the voters to represent them in the Riksdag for a specific period of time. They therefore receive pay rather than a salary. The members of the Riksdag receive a basic, monthly pay of SEK 71,500, a sum which is subject to income tax. The members' pay and conditions Members and their parties The members of the Riksdag are to ensure that the people's will permeates the Riksdag's decisions. The members who have been voted into the Riksdag and who belong to the same party form a parliamentary party group. In the party groups, the members discuss various matters on which the party is to adopt a position. Loyalty to the party line is traditionally high at votes in the Riksdag. The underlying idea is that the members are there to implement the programme that was part of the party's election pledge. At the same time, each member of the Riksdag has a personal mandate from the electorate, and is not formally obliged to follow the party line. Acceptance of voting against one's party varies depending on the matter at hand, the party and whether the outcome of the vote is affected. The parties at work A member can leave his or her party but remain a member of the Riksdag without a party designation. The party that the member has left then has one seat fewer. However, the total number of seats in the Riksdag is not affected, nor is the number of seats for any other party. A member who leaves his or her party group thus also leaves assignments in committees and other Riksdag bodies, for example Riksdag boards, to which the member has been elected by the Chamber. Debate and decide It is in the Chamber that the members of the Riksdag debate important matters and take decisions. Before the Riksdag takes a decision on an item of parliamentary business, the members often debate the matter in the Chamber. The members also participate in other kinds of debate, such as interpellation debates and current affairs debates. Debates and decisions in the Chamber Work in the committees The members devote a great deal of time to work in the committees. Here is a meeting of the Committee on Social Insurance. From left: Katarina Brännström (Mod), Ann-Sofie Alm (Mod), Arin Karapet (Mod), Solveig Zander (Cen), Pia Steensland (ChrDem) och Barbro Westerholm (Lib). Photo: Anders Löwdin The members of the Riksdag devote a great deal of their time to work in their committees, where the Riksdag's decisions are prepared. Each parliamentary committee is made up of 17 members of the Riksdag. A committee is like a miniature Riksdag as its composition reflects the composition of the Riksdag as a whole. It is at committee meetings that the members decide what position to adopt on various proposals. The committees at work Write motions One of the Riksdag's most important tasks is to decide on laws. Proposals for new laws, or amendments to existing laws, are normally submitted by the Government. However, a legislative proposal can also be submitted by one or several members of the Riksdag. The members' proposals are known as private members' motions. The members can write private members' motions in response to a proposal from the Government. In this case, the motion should deal with the same matter as the Government's proposal. Once a year, during the general private members' motions period, the members can submit motions on any subject that falls within the Riksdag's jurisdiction. The general private members' motions period Put questions to the Government Since one of the Riksdag's tasks is to examine the work of the Government, the members devote a considerable amount of time to addressing questions to the Government in various ways. The members of the Riksdag can put both oral and written questions to the government ministers. Thousands of questions are usually asked during the course of a parliamentary year.Questions from members Work in constituencies The working days of a member of the Riksdag can vary greatly. When they are not at the Riksdag, members spend their time working in their constituencies, where they meet voters, companies and organisations and participate in the life of the community in various ways. Contact a member of the Riksdag Do you want to contact a member of the Riksdag to give your opinion on a matter? The members and parties section provides contact information in Swedish about all 349 members. Here you can see their party affiliation, what constituency they represent and what committees and other groups they belong to. Members and parties Develop the work of the Riksdag The members of the Riksdag also participate in various working groups with the task of examining matters connected with the actual work of the Riksdag. Examples include gender equality in the Riksdag and how the Riksdag works with EU affairs.