by A swedish kind of death
Thu Oct 12th, 2006 at 07:29:46 PM EST
Figured a follow-up on the election, the new government and the Pirate party was in order. First the election and my first button-pusher:
With all the votes checked and doublechecked the big surprise is Sverigedemokraterna - a far-right rascist no-immigration party - almost entered the parliament. They stopped at 162 463 votes - 2,93 % (4 % being the threshold). They picked up seats in many local elections and in Karlskrona in southernmost Sweden they got 22,26 % and 12 seats (of 51). Their direct impact will be little however as all other parties refuses to cooperate with them.
So why the surge? Sweden is doing fine economically and they have not got any new charismatic leader (I would not be able to pick their leader out in a line-up). I think there is two main factors:
- They got more then 1% in the last national election, giving them free and distributed ballots in all elections. So the swedish election system enabled them to pick up votes even where they lack organisation. This is easily seen from them gaining seats in local assemblies where they did not field any candidates. In some cases these seats will be empty, in some they have been filled by whoever was eligeble for election and was the most popular write-in (in cases with empty seats there were no eligeble write-ins, meaning most popular can very well be one vote). These write-ins has in some instances declared their utter disgust with Sverigedemokraterna.
- A more implicitely rascist discourse. The last couple of years a series of suggestions for laws has been made, among the worst ones being making teachers report suspicious behaviour among muslem students to the security police and having all teenage girls undergo mandatory gynecological examinations in order to search for female mutilation. Both of these suggestions means that adult persons young immigrated people hopefully should trust - teachers and doctors - are meant to spy on them. The second one also contains a hefty dose of punishing the victim.
These two suggestions and many more came from the (european) liberal Folkpartiet. They are not alone guilty in the discourse shift, other parties has tagged along, but they are one of the main culprits. This has dismayed many of their supporters and members.
Folkpartiet was just ten years ago a party that prided themselves on being pro immigration and equal rights. They were a party that had a lot of supporters among the voters of other parties. They were one of the biggest parties when voters were asked for their runner-up best party and held a general good-guy position. Then came the 2002 election.
Just prior to the election Folkpartiet presented a report on integration that in the fine print contained a suggestion to make a language test mandatory for getting citizenship. That suggestion was seized on by the media on blown into a mayor question. Folkpartiet gained many seats in the election and almost became the biggest party in the right bloc. This - I think - prompted some strategists to consider this the way forward. From now on Folkpartiet had a new hard line versus immigrants.
In my mind that culminated with a pamphlet in form of a paper shortly before this election. The paper was called "Framtidens nyheter" (News of the future) and contained among things Folkpartiet wanted to change a list of 10 good things that still exists in the future. Up there with lingonberry-jam was 'Swedes'. Confronted with this the party-secretary defended his party with "Saying that Swedes are good does not mean anyone else is bad" but they pulled the paper. The party-secretaries defense is verbatim what Sverigedemokraterna uses to defend themselves with.
The party-secretary mentioned above was forced to resign over a computer break-in just prior to the election. After the election, where Folkpartiet gained access to power but lost seats oppositional forces in the party has started to show themselves. I have hope that Folkpartiet will turn around from their journey to the very dark side. This could change the discourse yet again.
Sverigedemokraterna on the other hand has gained a onetime boost from the ballot rule. They might gain another boost if they are close to the 4 % limit in the next election. However that should also make the media take them seriously and investigate them. As they have a lot of criminal pasts and lack credible candidates, that might sink them.
So I have hope.
Now what about the scandals and piracy? Well this piece got longer then I figured so both the series of scandals in among the new ministers and the future plans of Piratpartiet has to wait for another time.