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09/11/2018

Sweden still a bastion of Social Democrats

Sweden still a bastion of Social Democrats

In yesterday’s elections in Sweden, the anti establishment Sweden Democrats had the biggest gain, but is was not as big as expected. The Social Democrats and conservative Moderates both retreated, but are still pleased to retain their first and second position respectively. The question then remains: why didn’t Sweden follow the path of rest of Europe?

 

The Sweden Democrats (SD) won 17.6 percent of the votes, a considerable increase of 4.7 percentage points since last elections four years ago. At the same time, the Social Democrats received their worst result since the party first participated in elections in 1911. The party pulled in only 28.4 percent of the vote, falling back steadily from the golden age 20-70 years ago, when it ruled Sweden with an almost absolute majority.

 

The Social Democrats today are feeling relieved while the Sweden Democrats are talking about fraud and falsified elections. Why?

 

First of all because the polls ahead of the elections indicated that the Sweden Democrats would become second largest, or largest party in Sweden. Since polls in previous elections underestimated support for the party, this time speculations were that they would receive over 30 percent of the votes.

 

Second, the winds of change have surely been felt in Sweden. Even though the media still refers to the party as the “right wing extremist” Sweden Democrats, the epithet sounds worn out to most audiences. A considerable number of prominent writers and public figures have switched sides, coming out in support of the Sweden Democrats, or at least of restrained immigration.

 

The party has been boycotted by all the other parties in the parliament since it first entered parliament in 2010. They brand the anti establishment party as being racist, although the Sweden Democrats sport black candidates. The SD’s primary issue is lowering immigration levels to Europe, but at the same time they propagate an “open Swedishness”, which means that an immigrant can integrate and “become Swedish”.

 

After the elections of 2014, the socialist and the conservative block made an agreement called The December Contract, where the conservative block agreed not to vote against the socialist government in order to keep the SD from influence. This was perceived by many as undemocratic which led to even greater anti establishment sentiment, with the SD rising in the polls.

 

Ahead of the current election, the established parties accused each other of plans to cooperate with the SD, all vehemently denying the accusations. The Social Democrats even ran the slogan “Vote Social Democrat to be sure your vote is not for the SD”.

 

At the same time, migration problems have become the dominant question in Sweden. During the immigrant wave of 2015, Sweden received over 160,000 asylum seekers. Every little town and village was overcrowded with refugees, with whom came criminality, instances of rape and sexual harassment virtually exploded. The Green party supported immigration, which is believed to be the reason for their sharp drop in popularity.

 

Sweden has a population of ten million, of which about two million are first or second generation migrants, mostly from non European countries.

But the collapse of the establishment didn’t manifest itself. The SD grew, as well as the Christian Democrats who share some of the anti immigration and traditional policies. At the same time, the immigration positive Left party made considerable gains, while the party with the most growth (besides the SD) was the Centern, an agrarian party. The party’s policy is to expand the population of Sweden from 10 to 40 million by immigration from countries outside of Europe.

 

The tension in society is felt everywhere. Immigration policy is no longer a political question, it is a question of good and evil. The quest divides families and destroys friendships.

 

Immigration has been made a taboo by the establishment, who know that they would lose every debate on the issue. Immigration is neither economically beneficial for Swedish taxpayers, nor is it helping real refugees. Instead, anti establishment and anti immigration voices have been silenced and its supporters demonized.

 

When I was in Zimbabwe as an election observer, observers from the United Nations as well as from the United States criticised the elections for lack of unbiased media. All the mainstream media outlets favoured the sitting president while diminishing the opposition. While this might be true, the situation is much worse in Sweden.

 

The government has held meetings with YouTube and other internet giants behind closed doors, requesting them to stop content that includes critiques against the government. As a result, the YouTube channel Granskning Sverige (Research Sweden) was banned. Their “crime” was to interview politicians and mainstream journalists. The stated reason from the Swedish authorities was concern for freedom of speech. The newly formed anti immigration party Alternative for Sweden had their meeting in the center of Stockholm on the eve of election day cancelled by the politicians in the city hall, stating concern for democracy.

 

Now complaints are coming in about the election procedures. For the first time, election observers from OSCE, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, were present. One of them, Michael Aastrup Jensen from Denmark, says that the elections do not live up to European standard.

 

One reason for this statement is that voting in Sweden is not actually conducted in secret. In the Swedish system, there is not a single ballot with all the parties on it, as in most other countries, instead every party has its own ballot. Before you hide behind the sheet to cast your vote, you make your pick of ballot, which everybody can see. It is of course possible to take multiple ballots, but voters may hesitate to pick ballots for oppositional parties, especially since new parties which are not represented in parliament are kept in a separate adjacent stand.

 

The system also makes it difficult for new parties to get support from voters. The established parties have their slips distributed to every one of the 6,004 polling stations by state officials, while new parties have to deliver them by themselves.

 

Now, reports are coming in of even worse fraudulent behaviour, with counting in different polling stations being outrightly falsified. This is something we as alternative media are diligently looking into.

 

In theory, the SD should now have kingmaker status, since the socialist and the conservative parties are almost equally big, with the socialists in lead by only one seat. However, there is no interest from the other parties to cooperate with the anti establishment party, leading to a situation as after the last elections where the established parties joined to keep the opposition from power.

 

We can hope the situation will create even more anti establishment sentiment among the people, but nonetheless, for the next four years, Sweden will remain the “Humanitarian Super Power” of political correctness.

Vávra Suk
Political expert, editor-in-chief of 'Nya Tider' magazine (Sweeden)