Will Swedish social democracy fall? – VG

Will Swedish social democracy fall?  - VG

The solid position: Prime Minister Magdalena Anderson campaigned well and Susarna will lead from the elections in 2017. But power could slip – by the slightest margin.

And with them, the long-running narrative of Sweden as the world’s newest country forever?


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We in the media are a little happy with big words. A great football match is often referred to as a “crazy drama,” and when the leader of a small party, as it were, announces his resignation, commentators resort to exaggerated metaphors of the “earthquake” type.

The latter is a bit of self-criticism on the part of the undersigned.

When it comes to getting ahead, all of us TV and newspaper commentators are to blame.

But at the risk of speaking with a forked tongue, it is not particularly loud to claim that today’s election far from a nice brother now sadder than a nice brother, is particularly tense.

On the contrary: it almost eliminates the dramatic drama.

Because today, September 11, 2022, just hours before the polls close, no one dares to predict who will go away with a victory in the Swedish parliamentary elections.

It is as much as it can get, if we are to believe the expectations. It could be around one state. We’re talking about 20,000 votes.

This means a dead end, so to speak, which in turn could mean that the election won’t be clear until Thursday, when the foreign votes are counted. The last time, 80,000 Swedes living abroad cast their vote. This time, the number is believed to be higher.

On the queue to vote: Stockholm Central Station yesterday, September 10.

So the question is: does it really matter who wins – the red and the green or the bourgeoisie?

Maybe not. This year’s election campaign was a strange sight. Yes, top politicians scold each other and resort to dramatic turns almost as much as the rest of us commentators whether victory is red or blue. But the differences are very small in the most important matters.

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Everyone wants to fight the infamous gangster crime with a heavy hand. The NATO issue is a “finished bargain”. Even the skeptical Saussars are open to more nuclear power, and we can go on like this. Yes, even in immigration policy, the parties are, so to speak, on the same page, even if the descriptions between them about how ugly or stupid the opponent is in this still sensitive issue in Swedish politics.

The reality of the Swedes during the refugee crisis of 2015/2016, and the Swedish Democrats (SD) won the battle for the narrative of the “people’s home” of our time – a dilapidated structure, constructed without proper floor plans or plans for the necessary upkeep.

Where you once had the racist label carved on your forehead if you alluded to problems with, for example, social segregation along racial lines, now prime ministers from the Social Democrats use expressions like “Somalitown”.

This is how you rub your eyes.

It is common to use big words about Sweden. Trump, who has not calmed down, warned Sweden. In right-wing rhetoric in Norway, for a long time you could only say “Sweden …”, and everyone laughed out loud, because the country was “just so stupid”.

This is, of course, a wild exaggeration. Sweden is one of the best and most managed countries in the world. Even without oil and gas, Sweden is a well-oiled economic machine. The country is well integrated into the European Union and soon into NATO (we can believe it), and scores highly in most of the rankings.

But there is, however, something wrong with the country of Sweden, almost to say it with Shakespeare’s Prince Hamlet. Gang crime, shootings, aliens, apartheid, the contrast between city and country: the narrative of the newest country in the world has always been challenged with a narrative of decadence, and both Norway and Denmark, not forgetting Finland, outperform the Swedes in the Nordic Championships to be the best and happiest of society.

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Breakthrough: The “Swedish politics answer to Voldemort”, Jimmy Okesson, is very likely to be the winner of this year’s election.

Where in the past Sweden has always been years ahead of us, it is in the opposite direction. The Swedes are late. The ill-fated, almost insignificant Swedish Democrats got their final breakthrough in this year’s election, no matter which bloc will eventually win the election.

But Norwegian and Swedish populists, and of course the Finnish right-wingers, have been doing it for a long time. Yes, there are great differences between the far-right parties in the Nordic countries, but they all fill the same political space – as a display of disaffected voters, to the right of the traditionally larger bourgeois party on questions of culture and values, but also a little more on economic policy.

SD could get more than 20 percent in today’s election which is exciting, but not by much. At least not if we consider Sweden as one of many countries and not something exceptional, which the Swedes themselves often did.

In the general elections held in 2005, it was clear that the FRP party was the largest on the bourgeois side in Norway. It is easy to forget how controversial the Karl Hagen party was in Norwegian politics in the 1980s, 1990s and 1980s. In Denmark, the once-successful Danish People’s Party almost collapsed, but the (somewhat mythical) defense of Danish has been replaced, in the Danish manner, by many other parties fulfilling roughly the same role.

Susarna, the Swedish Social Democratic Workers’ Party (SAP), the largest and most powerful workers’ party in the Nordic region, despite all the grooves and cleavages in the popular barrier, retained a strong grip on Swedish politics and society, and also through the politics of the very turbulent Leuven period. If, today, Prime Minister Magdalena Anderson can win today’s election, it will not be a small feat.

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Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s party is often seen as a role model for what social democracy must contribute now as the twenty-first century approaches. Perhaps one should, at least as easily, look at Sweden.

Either – or: Sweden’s new prime minister will be either Olaf Christerson, a moderate, or the current prime minister, Magdalena Andersson (S).

Because opinion polls show Magdalena Anderson, who has been in power for less than a year, heading toward a strong electoral result in her first election as party leader. The Social Democrats are more likely to advance than last time, and will receive support from nearly a third of the electorate. It’s a support that Jonas Gahr Støres Ap can only dream of at the moment.

Despite the howling of many winds of crisis in Europe, Andersen has held firm and used the rare year she ruled to cement her already powerful position as Sweden’s most popular politician. The contender for the position of Prime Minister, Ulf Christerson of Modratrina, on the other hand, suffers from favoritism, and has not been able to get “Magda” in the numerous duels between them in the election campaign.

Understandably, most people are talking about the increasingly self-aware and “Trumpist” Social Democratic Party and Jimmy Akesson, which is now at least halfway in the feud from the bourgeois side and is likely to become Sweden’s second largest party. But Susarna’s tough stance—and Anderson’s emerging role as a kind of “patriotic mother” in our ugly age—was not sufficiently communicated.

It is very likely that she and the cooperating parties will not be able to get the votes needed to win the only term needed to retain power, and that the likely loser in the election Christerson will become the new prime minister when the new Parliament meets to vote on him. The new government (Sweden has a so-called inauguration – which means the new government must have a vote of confidence in the National Assembly to take office) – with Jimmy Okesson as a powerful provider of new government policy.

But even so, Swedish Social Democracy is impressively stable.

It is not a small achievement in a country that is no longer the world’s most modern, but one among many – a country searching for a new national narrative.

Tonight, a new chapter is being written in this story. Sorry for the big words, it would be a real shock.

Jabori Obasanjo

Jabori Obasanjo

"Coffee trailblazer. Certified pop culture lover. Infuriatingly humble gamer."

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