Now ProjectSanning also introduces articles in English. The idea is to spread information on Swedish politics to international readers.
To get to all upcoming articles in English go to the top menu bar and select “News In English”.
(Nu introducerar ProjectSanning även artiklar på engelska. Tanken är att sprida information om svensk politik till internationella läsare. För att direkt komma till alla kommande artiklar på engelska gå till övre menynraden och välj “News In English”)
You can read our first article in English by Tomas Brandberg, here…
On the 9th of September, elections were held in Sweden. After the final count of the votes, the “red-green block” (the Social Democrats, the Green party, the Left party) now control 144 seats, the center-right “Alliance” (the Moderate Party, the Centre Party, the Liberals and the Christian Democrats) controls 143 seats.
This may look like a win for the Social Democrats, which scored over 28 percent and with broad margin remained the biggest party, but the social conservative Sweden Democrats will control the balance in the parliament, commanding 18 percent of the vote and 62 seats.
At this moment, the result looks like a complete deadlock. Prime Minister Stefan Löfven (Social Democrats) has pledged not to resign as long he controls the biggest block, which he does. The opposition leader Ulf Kristersson (Moderate Party, 20 percent of the vote) has pledged to make him resign.
Probably he will, but in order to do it he needs active support from the Sweden Democrats. And here comes the problem, the two blocks have promised not to let the other block rule and have also repeatedly assured the public that they will not seek support from the Sweden Democrats to form a government.
Meanwhile, the Sweden Democrats assure their voters to try to topple any government, which does not give them influence in one way or the other. Yielding influence to the Sweden Democrats means tightening Sweden’s asylum laws, which is the chore of everything.
(For absolute clarity and transparency, I work for the Sweden Democrats.)
To put it briefly, someone needs to back down or one of the blocks must be dissolved. The Green party (4 percent of the vote) has previously worked with the Alliance but they are now too small to change the balance of power.
However, the Centre Party (9 percent of the vote) could switch sides and would then deliver an absolute majority, with 175 seats, to the red-green block. Some predicted this would happen, but apparently party leader Annie Lööf declines. Her party has previously voted with the left-wing government on a crucial immigration issue, but the Centre Party is ideologically quite far from the ex-communist Left party when it comes to taxation and regulations of the labor market.
Swedish politics rotate around the Sweden Democrats. Since the party entered the parliament in 2010, all other parties have avoided all kinds of open (or for that matter, discrete) cooperation. At the same time, the traditional blocks try to maintain the polarized left-right block structure.
After the elections in 2010, this resulted in open cooperation between the center-right Alliance and the Green party, which paved the way for an experiment with ultra-liberal asylum laws, which lasted until November 2015, when it collapsed.
After 2014 there was the infamous “December agreement”, when the Alliance in reality backed down, left the left-wing government in charge and in reality abstained from taking any action to take power. The apparent aim was to neutralize the Sweden Democrats and it to prolong the open border experiment for about a year.
So what will happen after September 2018? At this moment we don’t know.
In a number of postings I will try to clarify Swedish politics in English language, since I have noticed that most articles in international press are biased against the Sweden Democrats. (Not least the commonly used label “far right” is very misleading.)
This makes it virtually impossible to get a balanced view of Swedish politics without understanding Swedish, which is uncommon outside the Nordic countries. I will make an effort to provide a balanced picture in a social conservative perspective.
Tomas Brandberg (SD)