Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Last night in Sweden

  1. #1
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    13,939

    Default Last night in Sweden

    The Swedish election received coverage that might be considered disproportionate to Sweden's size, no doubt due to the natural connection with various narratives about xenophobia, Brexit, Trumpism etc. Based on pessimism and a number of disconcerting polls close to the election, many domestic and international observers expected the xenophobic socially-conservative (and spectacularly incompetent) Sweden Democrats to become the second-largest party at around 20% of the vote. Betting markets reflected this belief as well, and the average of polls had them hovering around 20%. Major news outlets around the world posted increasingly bizarre analyses of the political aspects of the election, clearly based on misunderstandings of other European elections, as well as worried screeds about Europe falling to far right activism. I myself could not believe my own low estimate of 17.9%, and instead thought it would be 19.7% or around 22%--probably the latter.

    Suffice to say almost everyone was wrong: SD won 17.6% of the votes and came in at third place. That's not good, but it's much better than expected. They made substantial gains in some municipalities and counties and at least 25 of their candidates at those levels have been forced to resign after revelations about grotesquely racist statements online. There will be a lot of discussion about why everyone was wrong but I suspect journalists and pols will swiftly move on without learning anything, while online pollsters will be scratching their heads for a long time to come.

    The major exit poll indicates that nearly half of Swedes who voted in the last election changed their vote in this one, but this finding should be taken with a pinch of salt. Other surveys indicate that more than half decided their vote in the final week. This is interesting because SD made some big mistakes in the final two weeks. In one of the last debates, their leader came across as more overtly racist than he had ever before in these situations, giving some of the other party leaders an excellent opportunity to demonstrate their strong principled opposition to his views. More foolishly, they made an announcement that they do not support dual citizenship, because they hadn't considered that many of their supporters are either immigrants themselves or are married to immigrants. They immediately announced that they would make an exception for Swedish citizens from other Nordic countries, but that was clearly a half-assed attempt at damage control and also indicated they'd misread their voters (because they hadn't thought about how many non-Nordic immigrants might have considered voting for them).

    All is not well, obviously. A far-right party made significant gains and now there is a great deal of electoral uncertainty as to whether or not the centre-right coalition will use SD's support to topple the current PM and govt. Two of the coalition members have previously said they would not do such a thing, but the leader of the largest coalition member, as well as the leader of the insane evangelical Christian Democrats, have in the past couple of weeks been ambiguous--and yesterday demanded the resignation of the PM when it looked like the two coalitions would have 143 seats each. Now they're behind by two seats, which might change everything.

    Anyway, I'm in a good mood. My municipality and country resisted pretty strongly.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Amsterdam/Istanbul
    Posts
    9,947
    You'll learn to live with it. Around 20% seems to be pretty much what these people manage to get as share of the vote. And once they're in they start the infighting.
    Greece shows us that there is a kind of politician worse than the ones that break their election promises; the ones that keep their election promises.

  3. #3
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    13,939
    Quote Originally Posted by Hazir View Post
    You'll learn to live with it. Around 20% seems to be pretty much what these people manage to get as share of the vote. And once they're in they start the infighting.
    Unfortunately, they often manage to force other parties to shift their policies & rhetoric rightward, in a more xenophobic and socially conservative direction, while poisoning public discourse for a long time to come. It will be very interesting to see whether the conservative Alliance coalition has learned any lessons at all from the past decade, and from our neighbouring countries.

    At present, the Alliance has 143 seats to the Social Democrats', the Green Party's and the Left's 144, with SD holding 62 seats. As is usually the case in Sweden, there will likely be a minority govt. The current PM has for a long time called for an end to bloc-based politics, which has helped to polarize Swedish politics and make responsible governance more difficult. Abandoning this would open the way for a broad centrist coalition with the Moderates & Left supporting govt. against SD where necessary.

    However, the Alliance and esp. the Moderates have tried to make the case that the election outcome shows that Swedish voters are crying out for an Alliance govt. and that the PM should therefore dissolve the govt. and resign. Not sure how they've managed to arrive at this conclusion when Moderates lost many votes and seats (now lagging S by 8.4% and 30 seats) and lead a minority coalition that has fewer seats in total than a presumptive left-wing govt. Two of the four parties in the Alliance--C and L--made it clear before the election that they would not accept a govt. that relied on SD's support, which should have precluded these shenanigans. But I guess they need some time to get the bullshit out of their systems.

    Turnout was 87.18%. Establishing the final results took much longer than usual because of the very large number of people who took advantage of postal & early voting opportunities right up until the day before the election (and many others voting outside their home districts b/c of work etc). I expect turnout was once again much lower among immigrants than among voters born in Sweden (usually around 90%). From what I can tell, local party reps have not bothered to engage those new non-citizen voters who can vote in municipal & county elections but not in the parliamentary election. Wasted opportunity and a democratic problem, but I have no doubt this will change.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Amsterdam/Istanbul
    Posts
    9,947
    And it it really healthy for any country to have a party in power for most of the last 100 years ?
    Greece shows us that there is a kind of politician worse than the ones that break their election promises; the ones that keep their election promises.

  5. #5
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    13,939
    Quote Originally Posted by Hazir View Post
    And it it really healthy for any country to have a party in power for most of the last 100 years ?
    I don't know, probably not. But it's important to note that this hasn't really been the case; three-quarters of all Swedish governments have been minority governments that have had to govern by compromising w/ parties on both sides of the political spectrum. In practice, Sweden has not often been governed exclusively or even primarily by a single party or coalition.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  6. #6
    Administrator Dreadnaught's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    9,319
    Quote Originally Posted by Hazir View Post
    And it it really healthy for any country to have a party in power for most of the last 100 years ?
    Stop stepping out of the åsiktskorridor! Get in line, we have to isolate and shame people!

  7. #7
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    13,939
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnaught View Post
    Stop stepping out of the åsiktskorridor! Get in line, we have to isolate and shame people!
    *shrug* you've been talking to asshats again.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •