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Elections in Sweden

by someone Wed Sep 6th, 2006 at 06:03:42 AM EST

I have been following the election campaign in Sweden through online newspaper articles. As I mention in a comment somewhere, my distaste quickly grew stronger than my interest. This is in other words a rant about the Swedish elections and the issues discussed in the campaign.


Basic rules of the game:
Sweden will hold general elections on Sunday, September 17. The elections will be for the national parliament, regional, and local government. The national elections are for the one chamber parliament, arranged in local multi-person electoral districts on a proportional basis. There are also a number of national seats in the parliament that are distributed among the parties to ensure a nationwide proportional representation. A party must get 4% of the votes nationally, or 12% is a single district to get any seats at all.

Our cast of characters:

  • Social Democrats
    This is the party presently in power. In fact, they have been in power since 1932 with only some briefer periods (9 years in total) in opposition.

  • The Alliance
    Made up of the four "right wing" parties. (the Moderate party, the Liberal party, the Centre party, and the Christian Democrats)  None of these parties have a chance to get even close to a majority on their own. They have decided to settle their differences before the election and agree on how to rule together if they collectively get the votes.

  • The Left Party
    Used to be the Communist Party before that fell out of fashion. Could be a coalition partner for the Social Democrats depending on how their respective elections go. Or they might end up as a support party for a minority Social Democratic government as they are now.

  • The Environmental party
    Also a potential coalition partner or support party for the Social Democrats, and maybe also for the Alliance? They might swing where they get a better deal I heard suggested somewhere, but they are counted in the Left block in polls.

Right now it is very even between the blocks. 47.1% left vs. 48.2% right, well within the error margins of the poll.

As in many countries a process seems to have occurred by which the parties have moved closer to each other, collecting around some "centre". In Sweden this "centre" is fairly to the left. No one who wants to be elected really dispute the basic principles of the welfare society. The parties in the Alliance may be looking at introducing "choice" in some social infrastructure, and expand the private sector somewhat there, but they are by no means advocating the kind of reforms that some of the international financial press seems so keen to call for in European nations burdened by a welfare state.

On paper (at least on some paper) Sweden is doing quite well economically. Nice GDP growth, low inflation, fairly low unemployment numbers etc. The Swedes are however far from content. "Where are the jobs?" they ask. "Why are so many people still out of work?" Indeed, many people are out of work, and the unemployment numbers for Sweden hide a large number of people in a variety of "education programs". Looking at numbers, I can find nothing more recent than from 2004. Using OECD Factbook numbers for 2004 to get employment rates by age group, with countries "doing better" than Sweden following:


  • 15-24
    Sweden: 42.8%  (Ireland:44.8, Mexico: 45.2, Austria: 51.9, United States: 53.9, Norway: 54.4, New Zealand: 56.8, Canada: 58.1, Australia: 59.4, United Kingdom: 60.1, Denmark: 61.3, Switzerland: 62.0, Iceland: 66.3)

  • 25-54
    Sweden:  82.9% (Norway: 83.1, Denmark: 84.0, Switzerland: 84.7, Iceland: 88.0)

  • 55-64
    Sweden: 69.5% (Iceland: 82.0)

So, doing worst in the young group like everyone else, but still not very far down the list. Well, no matter how Sweden compares internationally, people in the country are not content with the work situation. The "education programs" offered to out of work people, in fact mandated if you wish to continue on higher unemployment benefits after some time, are frequently ridiculed as "day care for adults", from both the left and the right. A large portion of the pre-election debate has been about employment and unemployment, and how to fix it. Both in articles and manifests from the parties, and in the lovely discussion boards attached to some Swedish newspapers. The level of debate on those boards is, as one might expect, abysmal.

So what do politicians propose to do about unemployment, if elected? The Social Democrats claim that employment will increase since Sweden is doing so well. They will expand a variety of training programs and expand higher education. Lower employer-fees (social security?) for employers that hire young people were also mentioned. (I think first suggested by the Alliance) Basically: more of the same, what we are doing is right, lets continue.

The Alliance doesn't think Sweden is doing very well. They claim that the country is headed for ruin under the Social Democrats. They would like to make it more attractive to work by some modes tax-cuts for low- and middle-income people, as well as eliminating the wealth-tax. (Okay, maybe eliminating the wealth tax is not intended to get more people to work, but they would like to get rid of it.) Also, lower benefits to give people more incentives to look for work.

I am not going to continue trying to sort out their positions. I doubt any politician is going to "create" jobs, and I really don't like the idea of lowering unemployment benefits to encourage people to get jobs that don't exist. "Welfare queens", anyone? In general, the parties engage in "laundry list" politics. Promising specific increases here, specific decreases there, and indicating that each of these will be a very important fix to some problem. Like schools. Children don't learn enough, they say. We must have better schools. And the way to do this is more money for teachers, but also possibly grades given earlier (they start in year 8 now), possibly according to a different grading scale, maybe with a grade for "behaviour", more discipline, etc. Or, hey, why not outlaw homework through year 9? (Left Party) Other issues: care of the elderly, immigration (assimilation, employment), health care, crime. I haven't seen much discussion of energy issues. People are reported to be upset about high gasoline prices, but not a single party wants to lower the tax. Very little talk about how to move Sweden off oil, though. Much fanfare about that earlier, but not a popular election issue.

Everyone seems to be out of good ideas of where to take the country next. The Social Democrats seem to believe that the country is basically on the right track, and everything should continue as before. The Alliance is as opposition required to disagree but nothing they say seem to really address the perceived issues. Participation in Swedish elections has been falling for a while now, and it will probably be low in this election as well. People may well feel like there are things at stake politically, but many don't have a sense of what politicians have to offer as solutions, or even an idea of what they would like to see done. There have also been, by Swedish standards, some nasty scandals. The Social Democrats got caught sending some nasty e-mails a bit back (don't remember the specifics of this one), and the Liberal party got caught breaking into some secret files of the Social Democrats the other day. Everyone is getting in quite a huff over this. The worst part is that the "hacking" was done by getting into an account with the same username and password, a very common Swedish nickname of the owner. So someone (not me!!!) typed in the nicknames of a bunch of Social Democrats in a web interface and one of them worked. With this info a member of the Liberal party accessed election secrets from an IP address listed to the Liberal party.  I would say that anyone who got their account broken into that way, as well as the person who did the breaking in without taking even minimal steps to evade tracing should be promptly forbidden from holding office, ever, on grounds of supreme idiocy. None of this is likely to increase voter participation. It has been otherwise messy as well. Election material and "election huts" belonging to the parties and sprinkled around cities have been vandalized by groups on the extreme right and left. The Sweden Democrats (a nationalist, racist party that have tried to clean up just a bit to be more appealing) also look to make their best election ever. They get 2.9% now, and with uncertainties of polling it is not inconceivable that they might sneak their way over 4% and, shudder, get some seats.

But what about employment? It seems to me there is a ceiling somewhere, and to get above it you have to expand your public sector and somehow pay for it, or lower the number of hours worked per person and spread the work that needs doing more evenly. This is sometimes suggested, followed by a demand that yearly compensation for workers should not go down, followed by fury by employers. The employment question is a tricky one, and no one seems to even know how to approach it within a model that corresponds to physical reality. "In the future, we believe there will be infinite energy, and a pony for each citizen!" The inevitability of an eventual sustainable, non-growth society, possibly approaching quickly with the diminishing energy (oil) buffer, seems to call for labour policies that reflect the idea that in the future, everyone can't have more.

Display:
Great diary, thanks.

But where's Piratpartiet?

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 5th, 2006 at 04:39:39 PM EST
Great post.

I have on thing to complain about though.

"The Sweden Democrats (a nationalist, racist party that have tried to clean up just a bit to be more appealing) also look to make their best election ever. They get 2.9% now, and with uncertainties of polling it is not inconceivable that they might sneak their way over 4% and, shudder, get some seats."

I wouldn't call them racist. Nationalist, yes. Anti-immigration in general and anti-islam in particular, yes. But racist? No. They were a racist party ten years ago and maybe even five years ago, but not today. They are like a light version of Front National or Dansk Folkeparti.

The thing is that political correctness in Sweden is so pervasive when it comes to immigration that anyone being the slightest critical of the elites current immigration policies is immideatly labeled as a racist.

For example in 2002, the Liberal party said no one should be able to get a Swedish citizenship without being able to read and write and speak basic Swedish, a very reasonable demand and something that exist in what, 90 % of all EU countries? But they were immideatly condemned as racists by all other parties, including their brother bourgeois parties.

The "language test" proposition tripled the number of votes for the liberal party in the last weeks of the campaign.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Tue Sep 5th, 2006 at 04:52:41 PM EST
They are like a light version of Front National or Dansk Folkeparti.
Really reassuring.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 5th, 2006 at 04:56:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, at least they are not in the "gas the nigger monkeys" league like was implied in the article. We have some of those parties though.

The National Democrats are the racist bunch in the Sweden Democrats who split with the SD after they decided not to be racist anymore.

And then, and yes this is true, we have a party called NSF, National Socialist Front. Nazi Front.

And they have been elected in the commune/county of Karlskrona, probably because that city is a poster boy for the failures of multiculturalism.

But still, fucking real nazis, elected?!

That really makes one feel shame for being Swedish.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Tue Sep 5th, 2006 at 05:03:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I hesitate to ask, because it's likely just the way the comments have fallen, but it appears that you view "gas the nigger monkeys" as "real racism" and lesser things as mere "politcal correctness" ?
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Sep 5th, 2006 at 05:45:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course not. Racism comes in many sizes and flavours, and not all are so blatant as the one I exemplified with.

But that doesn't mean that all possible criticism against immigration policy qualifies as racism either.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Tue Sep 5th, 2006 at 06:09:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree with a lot of what you have to say with respect to the difficulty in having a discussion of immigration in Sweden without somehow ending up being called a racist. This is stupid as there are some problems in this area and it is not helpful to any possibility of progress.
As for the Sweden Democrats they still strike me as a basically racist party that has cleaned up a bit to be more presentable. They offer an alternative to people who think and say: "I am not racist, but get those welfare sucking foreigners out of our country." I don't think that by calling them racist I implied they are of the "gas the nigger monkeys" variety. They are of the "darkies are okay, just not in our country" variety.
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Wed Sep 6th, 2006 at 03:04:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Could the Pirate Party take advantage of this lack of perceived issue in the work society to gain votes on internet, privacy, IP & citizen issues?
by Laurent GUERBY on Tue Sep 5th, 2006 at 05:10:30 PM EST
Low participation could help them get over the 4% threshold, too.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 5th, 2006 at 05:13:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the GOTV effort is going to make or break it for the Pirates.  Could put them over the 5% line.  Parrots can do the work of 30 disaffected canvassing twentysomethings.  Let's just hope the Pirates' base doesn't become too engrossed in their downloads and forget to go to the polls!  Aaargh!

</snark!>

Go Pirates!

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Tue Sep 5th, 2006 at 10:32:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now, online voting, that'd be something ...


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Sep 18th, 2006 at 06:53:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I don't think so. Or rather I am sure about it. They will not get in. For one, they have a weak party structure that seem to have some shady people involved.

But the main reason is that people don't consider their issues relevant.

  • File sharing/piracy. Everyone already does it and know it would be political suicide by the elites if they tried to stop it. Anyway, the elites can't do it even if they wanted.

  • Privacy and citizen rights issues. People don't want this. They want to reduce violent crime, and maybe pre-empt terrorism in Sweden.

One must understand that most Swedes view the state completely differently than in people do in for example the US. People generally trust the state. The state is a good grandfather or uncle, not a harsh oppressor. This likely have cultural and historical reasons.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue Sep 5th, 2006 at 05:42:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What are the polls saying?
by Laurent GUERBY on Wed Sep 6th, 2006 at 02:42:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Pirate party is small enough to be contained within the "other party" category in polls. That category is 4.8%, of which the Sweden Democrats get 2.9%.
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Wed Sep 6th, 2006 at 02:51:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks!
by Laurent GUERBY on Wed Sep 6th, 2006 at 05:30:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is ok if most Swedes view the state as a good grandfather or uncle, we are aiming for the others. Our aim is not the majority of the votes it is to get more then 4 %.

We (right now) have 8754 members, and are thus bigger then the green party. I think we have a higher percentage of members that actually does something then most parties, but I have nothing really to back this up with. We do lack economic resources for big campaigns but we make do with what we got.

Our party structure is a wiki party structure, not to be confused with a weak one. And what shady people do you refer to? Do you mean people who write comments at suspect websites while hiding behind odd handles? :P

From campaigning it is quite clear that we have a substantial support among young voters, which not coincidentally matches our demographics in the party. Young tech-savvy voters are also not likely to be polled by the opinion polls as they make their sample calling oldfashioned telephones.

I am not sure how it will work out but I am sure that we will beat medias expectations.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Sep 6th, 2006 at 05:33:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Let me see if I get this right: you cannot get seats unless your list gets 4% nationwide or 12% in a single district, but then you have a top-up PR system, so 4% of the vote should translate into 4% of the seats. There are 349 seats, so if Piratpartiet makes it they will have at least 13 seats.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Sep 6th, 2006 at 05:39:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Kind of yes. But here is the real answer of how seats are allocated for parliament:

The Equivalating(???) odd numbers method or the fun system for counting votes in Sweden. (translation from Swedish wikipedia entry)
Only parties who achieve at least 4% nationally participate in the distribution of seats in parliament. The exception is for a party which gets 12% in a district which gets to participate in distribution of seats in that district but not anywhere else.

Comparison numbers for the parties are computed. The party with the largest comparison number gets the next seat to be allocated for an election district. The first comparison number for all parties is computed by dividing their respective number of votes by 1.4. After a party has been allocated a seat by having the largest comparison number, a new comparison number for that party is computed by dividing their number of votes by 2*n+1, where n is the number of seats already allocated that party. This process is repeated until all seats in the district have been allocated. The locally fixed seats (the seats allocated to each election district before the election takes place) are allocated to parties according to this model. Then there are some number (39) seats allocated nationally to achieve proportionality. This is also done according to the above method. (Can't find which comparison numbers they start with for this? Do they add up the final comparison numbers for all the districts for each party?) Once these "national proportionality distribution" seats have been allocated to the parties, they are assigned to election districts by using the final comparison numbers from the first local allocation. Except if the party didn't get any seats in a district. Then its comparison number is set to the number of votes gotten, not that number divided by 1.4.

by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Wed Sep 6th, 2006 at 06:07:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And this system slightly overcompensates big parties, in effect the Social democrats.

But the answer to Migerus question is probably at least 14 seats (there has been some calculations in our forums).

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Sep 6th, 2006 at 06:16:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Example, stolen from same wikipedia article as above:
5 seats to allocate:
Number of votesParty 1Party 2Party 3Party 4Party 5
Total24 65718 31211 97610 8248 137
Comparison number17 612.1413 0808 554.2867 731.4295 812.143
One seat
8 21913 0808 554.2867 731.4295 812.143
One seat
8 2196 1048 554.2867 731.4295 812.143
One seat
8 2196 1043 9927 731.4295 812.143
Two seats
4 931.46 1043 9927 731.4295 812.143
One seat
Total seats21110
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Wed Sep 6th, 2006 at 06:25:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wikipedia: Higher Averages Method
The highest averages method is one way of allocating seats proportionally for representative assemblies with party list voting systems.

The highest averages method requires the number of votes for each party to be divided successively by a series of divisors, and seats are allocated to parties that secure the highest resulting quotient or average, up to the total number of seats available. The most widely used is the d'Hondt formula, using the divisors 1,2,3,4... The Sainte-Laguë method divides the votes with odd numbers (1,3,5,7 etc). The Sainte-Laguë method can also be modified, for instance by the replacement of the first divisor by 1.4, which in small constituencies has the effect of prioritizing proportionality for larger parties over smaller ones at the allocation of the first few seats.

Another highest average method is called Imperiali (not to be confused with the Imperiali quota which is a Largest remainder method). The divisors are 2,3,4 etc. It is only used in Belgian municipal elections.

Spain uses the D'hondt method, which is the one most biases to favour large parties, with a 3% threshold at the constituency level and no top-up for overall proportionality.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Sep 6th, 2006 at 08:29:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Great Britain (not Northern Ireland) uses the d'Hondt system in European elections, with small seat magnitude constituencies (3-10 seats) and no attempt at proportionality on the national level.

Combining the above with ordered party lists where the voters cannot affect the order of candidates on a list, it is about the worst proportional election system which could have been introduced. It is however better than first past the post.

How does the Swedish electoral system decide which candidate on a list is elected? Is it up to the parties or do the voters decide the order of individual candidate as well as choosing a party?

by Gary J on Wed Sep 6th, 2006 at 09:57:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The parties decide the order of the candidates on the list, but voters can override that by marking another candidate than the default ones.  

For example, one can mark number 18 and that one will then be prioritised. A candidate needs like 10 % of the votes that a certain party gets in a certain area to override the party list order.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Sep 7th, 2006 at 08:42:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the explanation. Sweden has a better system that the British PR one, which is as it is because Labour did not want its candidates to compete against each other.
by Gary J on Thu Sep 7th, 2006 at 02:47:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it is 8% in elections to riksdagen and the EU parliament, and lower limits to local assemblies.

It should be noted that fixed (and rather high) limit in percentage of the votes has produced some odd results. Consider if one party takes one seat in an area and another takes ten. It is then more likely that the small partys one seat will be filled by someone who has got marked up then it is that the big party gets any candidate marked up. At least this has been the experience in Sweden. How come? Simple, because the limit is high it is seldom candidates reach above it and when there are many prominent candidates (like in the big party) it splits the marks over many candidates.

I would prefer the finnish system were (IIRC) that you place your vote on a candidate, that vote also falls to respective candidates party, seats are distributed to parties according to PR and then party seats are filled with candidates in accordance to number of votes.

But mostly I prefer to have a good and strong referendum instrument like in Switzerland. Then I guess what way you chose the parliament would not matter as much.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Sep 7th, 2006 at 04:57:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Great Britain (not Northern Ireland) uses the d'Hondt system in European elections, with small seat magnitude constituencies (3-10 seats) and no attempt at proportionality on the national level.

Combining the above with ordered party lists where the voters cannot affect the order of candidates on a list, it is about the worst proportional election system which could have been introduced. It is however better than first past the post.

This is the system used in Spain, and the consensus is also that it is a really bad system. First of all, the constituency is the province, electing anywhere between 1 and 34 seats. This leads to overrepresenting small constituencies. Then the D'Hondt system favours large parties, and we have closed party lists.

Currently my preferred voting system is an additional-member system with single-transferable vote. Combining this with open party list for the top-up seats would be the best of all worlds.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Sep 7th, 2006 at 04:10:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In my experience (having not lived in Sweden for 7 years - wow, where did the time go?), privacy,  civil rights, etcetera is too much work for the average Swede. (Vegetable/Muppet show jokes here).

I don't mind the "all for one" spirit still evident in many places, but there has to be room for individuals as well. (And, no, the right doesn't have any kind of solution to that either. They just want a different kind of top-down controlled society.)

Looking to the future, does anyone know how long it took the greens (MP) to get in? Two-three elections?


-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Mon Sep 18th, 2006 at 06:50:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
File sharing/piracy. Everyone already does it and know it would be political suicide by the elites if they tried to stop it. Anyway, the elites can't do it even if they wanted.

But it is still illegal and just today two more got sentenced to fines. Source: Newspaper in swedish.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Sep 6th, 2006 at 11:37:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Two people out of 1 million. To tell the truth, filesharing is statistically one of the safest things imagniable. ;)

And who cares if it's illegal? If a law is morally wrong one does not have to follow it and if the probability of getting caught is close to zero the illegality hardly matters.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed Sep 6th, 2006 at 11:41:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In total I think we are up to five...

You wrote

it would be political suicide by the elites if they tried to stop it

And I reccon making downloading illegal last summer was an attempt to stop it. We are just out to prove you right on the political suicide thing...

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Sep 6th, 2006 at 12:09:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They are not trying to stop it. They are just writing useless laws to placate the Americans and music business interests. They have no intention to stop filesharing, they only want to look good for the above mentioned interests.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Sep 6th, 2006 at 01:40:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They will start being much more agressive after the elections, just like in France, they're not that stupid, they've obviously bargained with the governments involved: just a few before to show it's "bad", full scale after elections.

Remember it's not the government but the USA labels that sue directly citizens.

by Laurent GUERBY on Wed Sep 6th, 2006 at 03:50:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who is the government supposed to look good in front of? The Americans and the entertainment multinationals, or the Swedish public?

Also, when people have to go to jail for a useless law, don't you think there's something wrong somewhere?

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Sep 7th, 2006 at 04:11:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The implication of the article seems to be that Sweden is yet another country heading to a 50:50 political result.

The Social Democrats in Sweden used to be light years ahead of the British Labour Party in terms of innovative policy making. Has that tradition died out?

by Gary J on Tue Sep 5th, 2006 at 08:01:47 PM EST
It's cyclical. The Social Democrats get tired after a number of years in power, the right gets in for a bit, then it swings back.
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Wed Sep 6th, 2006 at 03:13:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The big issue right now is that Folkpartiet has got access to internal information from Socaildemokraterna by using a login and password of a socialdemocratic party worker. The party secretary of Folkpartiet resigned the other day and they are heading down in the opinion polls.

Now I am off to spin the fact that the two most pro-surveillance parties are involved in a spying scandal into arguments for privacy and votes for the Pirates. Tada!

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Sep 6th, 2006 at 05:38:59 AM EST
This scandal is developing into the biggest political scandal in Sweden in 30 years and will cost the Liberal party dearly. Very depressing for me as I am a member of said party.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Sep 6th, 2006 at 07:12:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, it does look like another 50-50 result. I still insist that this is coincidence since I don't see any theoretical explanation that could produce these results in such varied states with such varied election rules (e.g. German mixed system, Czech PR). Still, if someone wants to develop an explanation, I'll be open to it, yet quite skeptical.  
by gradinski chai on Wed Sep 6th, 2006 at 05:39:54 AM EST
Are our political systems getting too efficient at identifying where the political centre lies?

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Sep 6th, 2006 at 05:42:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In principle that has to be part of it, as theoretically the "floating voters" are the ones in the centre.

Of course, the system itself can distort which voters get a voice, distorting what the centre converged on is, and hence each country's policies will be built around a different centre.

I guess "converging on the centre" basically implies that the electorate is fundamentally fractured on one axis. (Rich/poor?) In theory states where another consideration is important (e.g. Scottish Nationalists?) the centre might not be converged on in the same manner.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Wed Sep 6th, 2006 at 06:56:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I asked the same question on my block back in april
by Laurent GUERBY on Wed Sep 6th, 2006 at 09:22:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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