The present political situation in Sweden


The photo above with the limousine driving across Stortorget/The Major Square in Malmoe in December 2012, passing two of the older Governmental Buildings in the city, will here represent the political situation in this country. Sweden has since 2006 a Conservative-Liberal Government. The present government contains The Conservatives/Moderaterna, The People’s Party/Folkpartiet, The Christian Democrats/Kristdemokraterna and The Centre Party/Centern. The Conservatives led by Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt is the largest party in this coalition with ca 28% of the Swedish voters. The smaller parties have many times been run over or patronized in the negotiations, and their different party programmes are sometimes neglected in the adaptation to the leading party The Conservatives. The People’s Party is the second largest within The Alliance with about 5-6 % of the voters. Some years ago they had much more, but have receded in the polls. The Christian Democrats and The Centre have to fight for their voters and their specific agendas. The Christian Democrats are often perceived as too conservative, against abortion, not working enough for gender equality, against homosexuals etc, but they have quite a few voters among older church-going Christians, among members from free churches, continental Christians and Muslims. The Centre Party or the Farmer Union as it was called in the beginning had originally as agenda to work for the rural people, the farmers, preservation of the environment, and care for ordinary people. From the 1960’s and up to the turn of the present century The Centre Party/Centern had a rather social liberal agenda, but in recent years it has become more urban oriented and with a more mercantile neo-liberal leadership. This has now provoked reactions among the members and problems in the party. In March they will present their new programme, and I hope they will succeed to create something good. I mentioned that and the struggle for their party leader Annie Lööf in my earlier text about change in the gender equality ministry. The People’s Party/Folkpartiet was in the late 1980’s and up to the mid 1990’s a distinct social liberal party under its leader then Bengt Westerberg, (one of my own ideological role models). That party too has become more and more conservative over the years. The People’s Party has always been working for education, and their liberal ancestors passed the law for Public Schools in 1842.

In Parliament today we also have other parties, mainly belonging to the red-green section: The Social Democrats/Socialdemokraterna with 31,4% of the Swedish voters, The Environment Party/Miljöpartiet 8,3%, The Left Party/Vänsterpartiet (the former Communist Party) 6,1% and since 2010 also The Swedish Democrats/Sverigedemokraterna, 12%. The Swedish Democrats has as main agenda to oppose the multicultural society, to prevent immigration, fight against alien influences and the party has a background with Nazi influences. The Swedish Democrats aren’t particularly liked by the other parties, and when they came as new party in Parliament a new law was passed that said that Sweden is a multicultural society. The obvious underlying racist ideology does not appeal on many, and especially many women seem to be appalled by their agenda and behaviour. A few months ago a film from 2010 was revealed where one of the party members in parliament after a night out had quarrelled with the Kurdish stand-up comedian Soran Ismail, and called his female friend “immigrant lover” and “bloody whore”. The MP from SD had also taken up an iron bar as a weapon and later on in the film also said that it always works to pay lip-service. Still this has given them support from certain Swedes.

The Environment Party/Miljöpartiet on the other hand try to appeal to many social liberals today and has an agenda today that I for one am partly attracted to. They are trying to become the third largest party and an important active force which with competence and credibility works for the environment, an improved multicultural society and humanitarian values. Outside Parliament there are other parties as well. Piratpartiet/The Pirate Party, Sveriges pensionärers intresseparti, Sweden’s Pensioneer Interest Party, Feministiskt Initiativ/The Feminist Initiative, Kommunistpartiet/The Communist Party and Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna/The Justice Party The Socialists. All these last mentioned have only a small amount of members, but it shows the variety of the Swedish political landscape as it is today in 2013.

The two largest parties are The Social Democrats and The Conservatives and they both have been the dominant forces in Sweden during the 20th century, but other parties and influences has always contributed to the agenda,as well as things happening in the world as a whole. The situation today is somewhat similar to what it looked liked in the 1930’s and I will soon write another text comparing today’s situation with those days for us to consider the danger with brown-shirts and totalitarian régimes irrespective of where it happens. Moreover our technology has developed since the 1930’s and the global warming has made our world more tricky to live in. That’s why it’s so vital that we find ways for peaceful co-operations instead of making our world more insecure. Both Social Democrats and Conservatives have had problems ruling, but to rule is no easy matter. However the situation today is dangerous with all the cut-downs, lowered salaries, many youngsters unemployed, destroyed pensions, intimidating bosses who harass, threaten employees and abuse the situation, modern slavery etc. The social problems only create a foundation for people against people, for destruction, criminal gangs thriving, hatred and power abuse. The growing Swedish Democrats is a worrying sign of that. But also a just as worrying similar development in other countries. We need a better society climate.

Anders Moberg, February the 15th 2013

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