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No new elections in Sweden

by A swedish kind of death Sat Dec 27th, 2014 at 01:08:57 PM EST

The new elections in Sweden which were planned for March have been cancelled. So says the radio and all the papers.

Promoted by DoDo


Process
No, it is not a coup. The elections have not formally been called, as the cabinet can not call new elections until three months have passed since the government was appointed after the last regular elections. This in order to make sure there is time to pass a budget. Calling new elections was scheduled for the cabinet meeting on Tuesday, but now they have decided not to.

The deal
As I described in Cabinet crisis in Sweden the decision to call a new election was reached after a chicken-race over the budget and the practice that ensures minority governments the power to pass budgets as long as they are the largest bloc. The current government consisting of soc-dems and greens has made a deal with the former government parties that in the future the smaller bloc will abstain in the budget vote, thus allowing the government to pass their budget. The left party and the Sweden Democrats (ugly) are not involved in the deal.

Reactions
The general reaction appears to be relief, things go back to the way they were. Personally I like elections, so it is a bit of disappointment.

Display:
So was everyone afraid of the SD? Or was the centre-right afraid of the revenge of the centre-left?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Dec 27th, 2014 at 01:08:11 PM EST
The Soc Dems launched a chicken race, and the centre right broke off at the last second. They were too scared to go ahead, which I think was a huge mistake.

Winners: Soc Dems, who'll be able to govern the country until 2018. Former Communists, who'll be kingmakers in the budget negotiations, if they can break their traditional submissive groveling attitude visavi the Soc Dems. Greens, who likely would not have been part of the next government after the fresh elections, no matter who would have won them.

Losers: The centre right in general and the big Moderate party in particular, who broke under pressure and now look weak. Their core voters are furious on social media, ranting and raging.

Neutral: The Sweden Democrats, and possibly the small centre-right Christian Democrats. The latter because they might have not been able to stay in parliament after fresh elections. The former are probably short term losers as they will not be able to cash in their increased support in more seats in 2015. In the long run they're probably winners, as they'll siphon off even more centre-right core voters (now angrier than even before), and will also quite credibly be able to paint themselves as the only real opposition party. When it comes to budget matters, all the other six parties will in effect be a coalition government, or supporting parties of the coalition government, with the Former Communists as possible kingmakers. This deal will probably give the Sweden Democrats more votes in the 2018 elections than would otherwise have been the case.

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

by Starvid on Sat Dec 27th, 2014 at 02:01:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, anything that smacks of "grand coalition" against the extreme right generally plays out in their favour. But this is frankly not grand coalition, more a reversion to the norm, after the "sorcerer's apprentice" routine played by the centre right.

It's only justice if the centre right are the losers. They were presumably afraid of a situation where, after elections, they would be completely hostages of the SD, under the new rules they created.

Now it's up to the centre left to create the conditions for shrinking the SDs before the next election. (yes, it's a long shot)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sat Dec 27th, 2014 at 03:36:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think they were mostly afraid of a stale-mate. The polls so far indicated not much movement, SD and soc-dems up a bit but not enough to make a difference. So same situation was likely after a new election, with all the costs and risks of running an election.

I have been pondering it a bit, and what I think happen is Löfven introducing union style negotiations into top politics. Löfven is an old union leader who was on his way to be the national union leader when the right wing in the soc-dems kicked out Juholt (that story covers the beginning, he resigned a couple of months later) and the party was desperate for someone who was reliable and could untie the party. He played hard-ball here, called the equivalent of a strike but kept negotiation lines open. In the meanwhile he tarred the Sweden Democrats with the fascist label they were ill equiped to defend themselves from with their only likable leader on sick leave, thus increasing the (already high) cost of the right turning to them for support.

Far as I can see, if we start after the forer governments budget was passed, Löfven has got everything he could have wished for without really giving away much. The former government parties will abstain in budget votes adn the greens will be accepted into conferences of the former five-party agreements on pensions and such. The current governmetn parties in return promise to play by the same rules next period, if the right gains more votes (if not the right continues the same role).

If we start from September, the result is almost the same except the government has to rule with the former governments budget the first year.

The former govenrment parties on the other hand has climbed down from the position claimed before the election and up to this week, where they would fiercly push their alternative and it was up to the soc-dems to find their own support. So I would say they folded.

Christian Democrats might have been the weakest link, given their balancing act on the 4% parliament limit and no deep pockets for an extra election. But that is just my speculation.

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

by A swedish kind of death on Sat Dec 27th, 2014 at 04:06:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The thing is, even a small movement to the right in the electorate could have produced a solid centre-right minority government, as long as they got more seats than the centre-left. Just like in the 2010-2014 period. In a fresh election, I think they would have had a fifty-fifty chance of getting such a result. And if not? Well, then they wouldn't have been worse off than they are now, and could have folded. But why fold if you think you might well have better cards than the opponent?

Now, they have promised to support future centre-left budgets whatever it contains. This is an incredibly dangerous carte blanche that they've issued, especially if the former Communists decide to exploit the situation. The only card the centre-right have left is that they can bring down the government when they feel like, if the SD supports them. But will they have the guts to do that? Not very likely, given what we've just seen them do. And when do you do it? If the government is smart, they'll use gradual salami slicing/frog boiling tactics, so you never have a big symbol issue to bring the government down over.

Furthermore, remember the thing that made the Swedish Social democrats the single most successful democratic political party of the 20th century: their ability to divide and rule. They pushed real hard at breaking up the centre-right Alliance this fall, and understood that it was not possible. Now, they've forced or tricked the Alliance parties into giving themselves self-inflicted wounds. They'll bleed. And three of the four Alliance parties are small, in the 4-6% range, with 4% as the parliamentary threshold. How much can they bleed, until they lose enough blood to exit parliament? And what happens then? The Social democrats break the Alliance through eliminating the small parties. And they win. Again. There is even loose talk in right-wing establishment circles about creating a new right-wing party, to challenge the Alliance, which will divide the right even more. Once again the Swedish political system will be dominated by the Soc dem sun, which all the other parties circle around. Divide and rule.

And I haven't even touched on the highly troubling constitutional impact this deal results in.

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

by Starvid on Sat Dec 27th, 2014 at 04:49:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I also like to add that this show us something important about the centre-right parties: they were not really interested in taking power in this parliament. Their goal all along seem to have been to let the centre-left rule (and hopefully screw up) in the 2014-2018 period while they reform their policies and marshal their forces.

They went with a joint budget to stick together. They did not expect the SD to support it. When the SD did support it, they did not expect the Soc Dems to play hardball and threaten fresh elections. Now they've been able to negotiate themselves out of the "terrible" situation they found themselves in: a situation where they actually had majority support for their budget. The only thing they seem to fear more than not having power, is having power.

This seems quite queer, given that the former Moderate leader ditched basically half of the parties traditional policies to acquire power in the first place.

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

by Starvid on Sat Dec 27th, 2014 at 05:01:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that is correct. They wanted to snipe at teh governmetn to keep it weak and did not count on Löfven to call them on it.

Btw, I normally don't want to reduce party politics to persons, but in this case I think there has been a remarkable change in the soc-dems, and I think the cause is Löfven and his union background. Persson, Sahlin or Juholt would not have played it like this. In fact Persson has been very critical of it, and called for a grand coalition instead.

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

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Dec 28th, 2014 at 08:05:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That must be because the centre-right parties are Centrist (on which, see above).

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 29th, 2014 at 11:44:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Coming back to this point :

Yes, the Alliance shafted itself, by being unwilling to govern. As you point out, they had a majority for their budget. The logical next step is to go and see the SD, cook up a no-confidence motion (or whatever), and form a government -- with or without SD. Making whatever concessions the SD wanted to enable them to pass subsequent budgets. No need for elections, all perfectly normal and democratic; if you consider the SD to be a normal and democratic party.

But they didn't have the stones to do that, so it's perfectly normal that they get punished for their blunder. The threat of early elections was a smart move, but also a perfectly obvious one. No wonder the base is furious with the Alliance leadership.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Dec 30th, 2014 at 04:12:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Starvid:
The thing is, even a small movement to the right in the electorate could have produced a solid centre-right minority government, as long as they got more seats than the centre-left. Just like in the 2010-2014 period. In a fresh election, I think they would have had a fifty-fifty chance of getting such a result

The thing is they would not have gotten the same situation as in the previous period, because SD has changed their stance. When the budget vote was held (or the day before) SD declared that they would use budget votes against any government that did not deal with them on immigration. With the new SD-doctrine it would take a majority to rule if the blocs continued to vote for their alternatives.

So about fifty-fifty for a centre-left or centre-right minority government that gets the opposing sides budget.

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

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Dec 28th, 2014 at 07:39:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't agree about this. The fact that SD has changed their positions does not mean anything until next fall, when a new budget would have to pass. During the span of a year, the Alliance should likely have been able to reform its integration and immigration policies to a considerable degree. Not enough to make the SD happy (which isn't the point anyway), but enough to show both the voters that their concerns are recognized, and show the SD that they better not bring down the budget, as policy is moving in the direction of European normalization.

What if that didn't work, and the SD still brought down the budget? Well, you call fresh elections, and hope for the best. At worst you find yourself in the situation we are in now.

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

by Starvid on Sun Dec 28th, 2014 at 08:09:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Election would have been in March, the next budget framework proposal is due 15th of April, to be decided in June. Next actual budget is then presented no later then the 20th of September to be decide in October.

I see no reason why SD would wait for October.

Also, I don't think SD can be placated easily. Or for that matter that countering the far right by adopting their policies is efficient in order to defeat them, just look at our neighbouring countries.

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

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Dec 28th, 2014 at 08:45:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The April budget is marginal, it can change some small things, but nothing important, like taxes. It's the fall budget that matters.

The SD people are desperate to get some traction or respect. I think they would have been placated with some small and gradual changes, as long as the pendulum starts moving. But maybe I'm wrong and you're right. If that's the case, the Alliance could have called for fresh elections next fall.

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

by Starvid on Sun Dec 28th, 2014 at 09:36:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Even furthermore, one must not discount the strong centrifugal forces among the centre-left parties. Unlike the centre-right parties, they don't really like each other much and have some very big differences among themselves. It's quite likely that they wouldn't have been able to agree on a joint budget if they were thrown out of government. This means that it would have been much harder for the SD to bring down a centre-right budget, especially if the SD and Social Dems together commanded less seats than the Alliance after a fresh election (because then the SD couldn't vote for the S budget to bring down the Alliance budget). That wouldn't have been certain, but it would certainly have been a possible outcome.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sun Dec 28th, 2014 at 09:24:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So let me get this straight : the crisis has been caused by the SD, who will vote against the budget of any government that doesn't implement their immigration policies.

This has various possible outcomes :

  1. whichever government is in power, centre left or centre right, will have to implement the budget of the opposition, since SD will vote for it (the case for this year),

  2. new elections are called, repeatedly if necessary, until a governing majority is formed, or

  3. a government, presumably centre-right, implements the SD's policy and therefore receives their support for the budget -- this solution seems to have your favour, Starvid? You seem to actually want them to get the traction or respect they desperately want? Frankly, I think if the centre-right want to govern with the SD they should form a government with them.

  4. the centre-left and centre-right make an arrangement to prevent either side being held hostage by SD -- seems to be the most sensible option to me, though not without its dangers of course.


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sun Dec 28th, 2014 at 05:56:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  1. This is what they say, but I think they are bluffing and can be turned around.

  2. Eventually in that case, the voters will punish one side or the other until a workable majority is formed.

  3. It's not about implementing SD policy at all - it's about abandoning the Green party policy, which has been supported by the Alliance hitherto. The Alliance will never form a government with the SD, nor will they seek their formal support. They can however rule with their passive support. They did this in the 2010-2014. Further, if the Alliance does not reform its immigration and integration policy, they will keep losing voters to the SD (as will the Soc Dems). The status quo is not a stable situation.

  4. Doing that should be a last resort from the perspective of the right. This deal is great loss for them, and a great success for the left. My leftwing friends are positively joyous now. They had been looking at a very bleak future. Some very insightful leftwing people I know were at best hoping for a Soc dem+Moderate grand alliance government after fresh elections. Now they've grasped victory from the jaws of defeat.

My rightwing friends are either depressed, furious, or (those who work for the Alliance), desperately positive (at least on social media - better toe the party line). I don't know any people who vote SD (at least they haven't told me, it's very taboo), so I can't say what they feel. When I look at their social media however, it's a mix of anger (though less than from the centre-right grassroots) and a quiet and content anticipation of what the future holds.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sun Dec 28th, 2014 at 08:45:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Starvid:
It's not about implementing SD policy at all - it's about abandoning the Green party policy, which has been supported by the Alliance hitherto.

That's an intriguing comment, perhaps a bit cryptic for non-Swedes : are you talking specifically about immigration/refugee policy? Or something more general? I had no idea the Greens were so powerful.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Dec 29th, 2014 at 10:16:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, sorry for being a bit cryptic.

After the 2010 elections, the Alliance parties entered an agreement with the Greens over immigration, which essentially meant that the Alliance supported the Green immigration policy. The Social Dems later joined the agreement.

The (former) Moderate leader and prime minister explicitly said that this was a "punishment" to the SD voters - the effect of their vote for the SD would be even greater immigration. If this sounds incredibly stupid from a tactical point of view, well, it was. The SD doubled in the next election, and the vast majority of their new votes came from former Moderate voters, who specifically mentioned the 2010 agreement with the Greens as their main cause for resentment. This surprised the pollsters (Demoskop), because it's very unusual that so many voters mention specific policy initiatives that happened years ago as their reason for switching parties.

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

by Starvid on Mon Dec 29th, 2014 at 11:00:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the vast majority of their new votes came from former Moderate voters, who specifically mentioned the 2010 agreement with the Greens as their main cause for resentment. This surprised the pollsters (Demoskop)

Could you quote the actual polling figures?

And, can we conclude from this that a lot of 2010 Moderate voters were strong xenophobes? Or, on the other hand, wasn't the Moderate leadership doubly stupid by playing xenophobic tunes earlier?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Dec 30th, 2014 at 04:58:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perish the thought! The word you're looking for is "concerned about immigration".

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 30th, 2014 at 05:11:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Moderates and the soc-dems conclusion after the implosion of populist and racist New Democracy in the early 80ies was to restrict immigration and not talk about it. So that was the former party line.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Tue Dec 30th, 2014 at 07:15:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If I recall correctly, two thirds of the increased support for the SD in the 2014 election came directly in the shape of former Moderate voters. The source is this interview with Peter Santesson, head of Demoskop.

I don't think we can conclude that those new voters were strong xenophobes. According to the same source, the new voters describe themselves as "conservatives" and "liberals", while the traditional SD voters consider themselves to be "nationalists".

Also, this is a relevant quote from Richard Milne, the FT correspondent for the Nordic countries.

I met a Swedish professor outside the polling station by the Riksdag in September who made this exact point. He said he really disliked the Sweden Democrats' heritage but that he had no other choice but to vote for them due to the other parties.

This view is further strengthened by information given by Mr Santesson, who claims that their polling information shows that many of the new SD voters think the centre-right parties are better than SD, but still vote SD as a protest against the current immigration and integration policies.

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

by Starvid on Tue Dec 30th, 2014 at 05:40:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On the divide and rule thing, if we play out the scenarios after a new election I think it is obvious why the centre-right needed to accept this deal now.

Given that majority left or right was unlikely and SD had promised to try to topple any government that did not agree with them, the right would either have had to deal with SD or split up in order to come to terms with the soc-dems. A split up could either have been a grand coalition or soc-dems plus centre and/or liberals and/or greens. Either way the centre-right would be split.

In policy this would have meant losses for soc-dems and gains for the centre-right but for power politics and the possibility to return to power as centre-right it would have been a disaster. Agreeing to this framework gives them a shot at returing in 2018, though if they don't they have just agreed to give passive support for a centre-left government for eight years (the agreement ends on election day 2022), in exchange for nothing. Also, having an end date is new, but commonplace is the union negotiations.

And you are right, the centre-right have essentially promised to support anything, thus weakening themselves. Wheter they have strengthened the left party, or possibly the the government versus the left party, depends on if their promise to abstain holds even if the left does not support the governments budget. After all the left party is not included in this agreement.

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

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Dec 28th, 2014 at 08:30:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I disagree here as well. If we after the fresh elections got a minority Alliance government, it could in the worst case scenario (for them) rule until fresh elections in the fall. Best case, they rule until the 2018 elections.

If the centre-left won a plurality, like the current situation, the Alliance could have made a deal, maybe a lot like the current one (even if I would have structured it very differently). Or they could have chosen to stonewall, and said that it is the job of the government, not of the opposition, to find support in parliament for its budget. Or we could have had a grand coalition between S and M. Yes, very unlikely, but after all other options have been tried...

So, what this deal does is that it robs the Alliance of the chance of winning a plurality in fresh elections, while gaining it nothing which it wouldn't have had after losing the fresh elections. I can't see why this is good for them.

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

by Starvid on Sun Dec 28th, 2014 at 09:43:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Far as I can see, if we start after the forer governments budget was passed, Löfven has got everything he could have wished for without really giving away much. The former government parties will abstain in budget votes adn the greens will be accepted into conferences of the former five-party agreements on pensions and such. The current governmetn parties in return promise to play by the same rules next period, if the right gains more votes (if not the right continues the same role).

If we start from September, the result is almost the same except the government has to rule with the former governments budget the first year.

This is not a binding agreement. What ensures it will be honoured. And, does "abstaining in future budget votes" also mean the parties will not each introduce their own individual versions of the budget as used to be the practice so far?

Is this a new "constitutional" convention for Sweden and does Sweden have much of a tradition of unwritten constitutional conventions?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 27th, 2014 at 06:13:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is not a binding agreement. What ensures it will be honoured.
Honour does... :P

And, does "abstaining in future budget votes" also mean the parties will not each introduce their own individual versions of the budget as used to be the practice so far?
As far as I understand it, the opposition can introduce whatever budgets they feel like, joint or individual, but if there is a chance/risk that the opposition budget would actually pass, the opposition parties promise not to vote for their own budget...

Is this a new "constitutional" convention for Sweden and does Sweden have much of a tradition of unwritten constitutional conventions?
It's a voluntary agreement, not a changed law or anything. However, one could certainly argue that it contravenes the spirit of the Instrument of Parliament (riskdagsordningen), which is partly a special law and partly constitutional.

They're also acting against the spirit of the Instrument of Government, which is 100% constitutional. If we actually had a constitutional court I wouldn't be surprised if it might take action against this, even if the end result might not be a banning of this kind of behavior. However, we don't have a constitutional court...

The Swedish constitution is something of a joke really. No one cares about it, most politicians don't even consider it a law as such, more like some kind ornamentation. Lots of the stuff done in parliament is more built on custom than anything else. Being a constitutionalist myself, I think it's outrageous how they're running roughshod over the constitution, rearranging it in their own favor, almost Hungary-style.

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

by Starvid on Sat Dec 27th, 2014 at 07:20:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
While I agree with the need for a constitutional court - or at least removing the need for laws to be in obvious contradiction to the constitution for the courts to test them - I think any system includes a fair amount of tradition. And tradition can be formed in many ways, for example negotiations. In Germany for example I don't know where the principle that the largest party gets the position as chancellor is enshrined, but apparently what counts as a party is negotiable.

German federal election, 2005 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Despite some prominent members publicly blaming Merkel for its poor showing, the CDU/CSU confirmed her as leader on 20 September.[4] On 22 September, SPD members began musing that the political system should consider the CDU and the CSU as separate entities rather than as a single parliamentary faction. In such a scenario, the SPD would be the largest party in the Bundestag and thus, they argued, an SPD member should become Chancellor in any grand coalition. One SPD legislator indicated he planned to introduce a motion in the Bundestag explicitly defining the CDU and the CSU as separate parties. The Greens rejected coalition with the CDU/CSU after talks broke down.[5] The CDU/CSU pressed their case for the Chancellery after victory in the delayed vote in Dresden, and ahead of talks with the SPD; the SPD maintained their own claim, but Schröder indicated that he would step aside if his party wished it.[6]

Finally, on 10 October, officials from the CDU/CSU and the SPD announced that negotiations to form a grand coalition had succeeded. Angela Merkel would become Chancellor and the sixteen seats in the new cabinet (including the Chancellery) would go equally to each side, with both the CDU/CSU and the SPD each having eight posts. The SPD would control eight ministries including the important roles of finance and foreign affairs, while the CDU/CSU would control six ministries as well as providing the Chancellor and the Director of the Federal Chancellery (the Chancellor's Chief of Staff), who would also hold the position of Minister for Special Affairs.[7][8] Gerhard Schröder would retire from politics.[9][10]

And in Finland I think it is only tradition that makes the coalition negotiations after each election start with the two largest parties and the Swedish People's Party. And so on.

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

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Dec 28th, 2014 at 08:00:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To put it another way: the parties have decided that until election day 2022, the government will be able to rule by decree on budget matters, no matter who runs the government.

I suppose we should be thankful that they didn't go all the way with this disenfranchisement of parliament, and just handed the budget powers over to the King.

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

by Starvid on Sun Dec 28th, 2014 at 08:49:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, you know under current economic orthodoxy budget power should be in the hands of Our God The Market or His Prophet The Independent Central Bank, so...

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 29th, 2014 at 09:31:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's another absurd detail. We've had tons of centrists running around in circles with their hands in the air and their hair on fire shouting that unless we swiftly resolve this "crisis", we will become Italy and then be punished by the market and the bond vigilantes.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Mon Dec 29th, 2014 at 11:13:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is not a binding agreement. What ensures it will be honoured.
Honour does... :P
Honour among politicians?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 29th, 2014 at 09:29:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One rightwing pundit has argued for the agreement on the basis that not trusting the politicians on the other side of the aisle would be un-Swedish.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Mon Dec 29th, 2014 at 11:02:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, he got that wrong. It would be un-American not to be bipartisan.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 29th, 2014 at 11:37:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the opposition can introduce whatever budgets they feel like, joint or individual, but if there is a chance/risk that the opposition budget would actually pass, the opposition parties promise not to vote for their own budget...
What the effing eff!?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 29th, 2014 at 11:42:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Returning to the old tradition, were the opposition would bring in a budget of their own, but in the end support the budget of the minority government.
by IM on Mon Dec 29th, 2014 at 02:12:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the old tradition, the opposition parties always voted for their own budget or budgets.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Mon Dec 29th, 2014 at 02:50:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They did? How did the goverment budget of a minority government then pass?
by IM on Mon Dec 29th, 2014 at 03:00:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The minority governments of old always had majority support in parliament for their budgets, usually because  non-government but supporting parties voted for them. Mostly the Communists and later the Greens supported the budgets of minority Social Democratic government. Obviously, they received policy concessions in return.


Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Mon Dec 29th, 2014 at 04:21:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So essentially the news here is that the right are actually maintaining a cordon sanitaire against the Nazis.

I fail to see why that is a bad thing.

If the right fails to command a majority of the popular vote remaining after the Nazis have been effectively disenfranchised, then why should the right be directing government policy?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Dec 29th, 2014 at 04:25:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
First of all, it's patently absurd to call the SD nazis. They're about as much nazis as the left party are actual genocidal, anti-democratic communists.

Secondly, well, that question I have already answered in my other posts.

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

by Starvid on Mon Dec 29th, 2014 at 04:59:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The number of unreconstructed Nazis in its membership indicates otherwise.

As does the propensity of its party officers for getting picked up for the possession of lethal weapons.

Which is actually kind of impressive, when you factor in how little the Swedish police cares about arresting (let alone prosecuting) Nazi terrorists.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Dec 29th, 2014 at 05:18:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is just silly. Party officers getting picked up for the possesion of lethal weapons? Unreconstructed Nazis? According to Anna-Lena Lodenius, an expert on right-wing extremist organizations, the party was essentially rid of its nazi past as long ago as 1997. Since then there has been systematic exclusions of racist members, at a pace which has picked up in the last few years.

And nazi terrorists? I don't think we've ever had nazi terrorists in Sweden. The closest you'll get are probably the Ustasa Croatians in exile we had to deal with during the 1970's.

I'd suggest you stop getting information about the political environment in Sweden from extreme left-wing publications. I'd also note in passing that pretty much every single Danish political party, including the Danish Social Democrats, would be considered a racist party by most Swedish publications. I'm not sure if this says more about Swedish papers, or about Denmark.

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

by Starvid on Tue Dec 30th, 2014 at 06:01:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sverigedemokrater arming themselves with lethal weapons.

Some of the Nazis among SD's current officials.

Assassination attempt by Nazi terrorists in Malmö, 8th of March 2014

Nazi terrorists attack demonstration in Kärrtorp, 15th December 2013.

Two Nazi terrorists torture and murder man in Uppland, 17th of June 2007

Nazi terrorists murder 15 year old (allegedly) homosexual in Stockholm, 15th of January 2005 (ibid.).

Nazi terrorists assassinate union leader, 1999.

Nazi terrorists detonate car bomb in Nacka, 1999.

Nazi terrorist assassinates Swedish-Iranian, attempts assassination of another ten members of various minority groups, 1991-92.

But sure, let's pretend Sweden doesn't have a Nazi terrorist problem.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Dec 31st, 2014 at 01:56:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Secondly, well, that question I have already answered in my other posts. "

not so well

  • the alliance is smaller then the left alliance

  • they don't want to form a coalition with the SD

  • and now we find out that they fear new elections.the smaller members of the alliance perhaps for good reasons

So the now formed de facto grand coalition is the last possibility left.

In hindsight one of the right wing parties should just have let the budget pass. e. g. the chtistian democrats should have said: for the good of Sweden, the other right wingers could have called them boneless traitors and everybody would have been happy.

So they backed the social democrats into a corner without thinking about the consequences.

by IM on Tue Dec 30th, 2014 at 04:37:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The government has to implement the right's budget next year, so they are directing government policy from opposition.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 30th, 2014 at 04:14:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because the oppposition parties each voted for their own individual budget and did not all support one opposition budget.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 30th, 2014 at 04:13:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Exactly.

In the final vote the smaller parties abstained in the vote between government and the largest opposition party's budget.

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

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Dec 30th, 2014 at 05:13:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And now there are voices in the smaller Aliiance parties that they should present their own budget alternatives (Swedish). More importantly, these voices are heard through a journalistic piece in DN. In effect, Sweden's largest newspaper, the voice of the Bonnier media empire (liberal) is pushing for them to return to the old order where each party will present their own budget.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Wed Dec 31st, 2014 at 04:37:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So the alliance would dissolve.

Without the incentive of government there is not much reason for it.

by IM on Wed Dec 31st, 2014 at 06:08:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
they're running roughshod over the constitution, rearranging it in their own favor, almost Hungary-style

Well, with three quite significant differences: first, they didn't actually change the constitution although I understand they'd have the majority to do so; second, this agreement was a wide agreement between several parties both in government and opposition rather than just the government side; three, those making the agreement actually represent a wide majority of the voters rather than just a wide majority of elected representatives.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Dec 30th, 2014 at 04:54:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Dec 27th, 2014 at 01:08:19 PM EST
EU matters are always about Britain, according to the UK press. (And even The Independent couldn't get the story right: they claim the previous impasse was because of disagreement between the coalition partners...)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Dec 27th, 2014 at 01:12:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The current government consisting of soc-dems and greens has made a deal with the former government parties that in the future the smaller bloc will abstain in the budget vote, thus allowing the government to pass their budget.
I said this in another thread but I'll say it again here. The parliamentary convention in Spain has become that the way for minor parties to withdraw outside support from a minority government is to not support the budget of the minority government, thus triggering early elections. That's why I find the agreement reached bizarre (if a government can't pass its own budget, what is it there for? And, if the opposition can pass their own budget, why don't they want power?), as well as the Swedish political class' horror at the prospect of early elections.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 30th, 2014 at 05:16:29 AM EST
That's why I say the Alliance fucked up by getting their budget passed, then not assuming power. New elections were the correct answer to that situation, but visibly they pleaded with the Socdems not to be thrown to the lions... I don't know if there are recent polls, but the logic of the situation would be that the Alliance would lose seats to the SD.

So were the Socdems right to call the elections off?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Dec 30th, 2014 at 05:26:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes.

Irrespective of the short-term tactical logic, which I won't pretend to be sufficiently well-informed to comment on, the current agreement was the only option that preserved the cordon sanitaire against the Nazis.

Which we want to do for as long as possible. Because Nazis are bad.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Dec 30th, 2014 at 12:36:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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