In most countries, I would be willing to bet an öre or two that schlager wouldn't win you any votes. In Sweden, however, it might just be the difference between whether or not Göran Persson can hold onto the coveted seat of Prime Minister. The other parties are hot on his heels to snatch away the post after the Social Democrats have been in power for 65 of the last 74 years.
This afternoon, there was quite a hubub at the top of the escalator as I emerged from the subway at Åhlens, the big department store near Central Station. Personally, I think the racket I heard only vaguely resembled music, but to the Swedes gathered around a stage, it was the sound of sweet, sweet music. This is Schlagerland, after all.
The group "One more time" introduced Maud Olofsson of the Center Party with a rousing chorus of some schlager song that all Swedes can sing along with... and do. The group featured some guy in a white suit and a very pregnant woman in a very green, very short skirt. I didn't stay to hear Maud speak; however, if you're sad you missed her, I suggest checking out the Battle for Sweden, where the Good Fairy Maud and the evil King Göran duke it out for the future of the Kingdom.
If you want to figure out where you lie on the Swedish political spectrum, take a test to see which Swedish political party you most closely identify with (in Swedish only). Looks like I'll be rooting for evil King Göran.