Thursday, October 07, 2010

Sweden: social democracy's triumph?

The Swedish general election a couple of weeks back gained some international attention in particular for the success of the Sweden Democrats - Sweden's populist, anti-immigrant right wing party - that got into the parliament, the Riksdag for the first time. But perhaps just as interesting is the failure of the Social Democrats to get back into power, leaving Fredrik Reinfelt of the Moderate party (what a great name BTW! Perhaps it sounds less funny in Swedish...) and his centre-right alliance in power.

Open Democracy has a very interesting interview with Swedish political scientist Professor Lars Tragardth where he talks about the implications of the elections. His argument is kind of that despite the failure of the Social Democrats as a party the election shows the success of social democracy as an ideology. Reinfelt's party might be considered a conservative party, but really they have accepted the social democratic bargain between state protection of the individual and free markets, whilst the Sweden Democrats are in their own way also a social democratic party who are just grappling more openly with the question of who is 'in' the society to which you apply the democracy. Just note, the sound quality is really crappy - to the extent that it only came out of one headphone when I downloaded the MP3 file and listened on my iPod. But bear with it as the discussion is worth it.


KGS said...

After 6 decades of SDP misrule, Swedish society has gone through a forced retardation. Sweden is no more democratic than it has a free press.

Toby - Northern Light Blog said...

It's funny that their economy is ticking along nicely considering how 'retarded' it is as a country.

KGS said...

Gee Toby, China's economy has been ticking along nicely too for some time now as well, are you going to say that greatly reflects their political health?

Toby - Northern Light Blog said...

Well, you used the word "retardation"; my point is that as a country Sweden doesn't seem to be doing too badly despite being so retarded.

But I take it your real point is that your pals in the Sweden Democrats would have done better if the 943 Swedes out every 1000 who didn't vote for them hadn't been 'retarded' by a biased media elite. Of course the alternative possibility is simply that 94.3 percent of Swedish voters just weren't buying what Jimmie and his boys were selling. If you want to argue that is because they have all been tricked by evil liberal elites, well that shows your lack of trust in democracy I guess. You can't have it both ways.

KGS said...

MMMMM not so fast. The retardation of Swedish society is seen in their approach to anything that doesn't fall within the narrow spectrum of approved thinking and dialogue/debate.

For the most part, the SD is advocating much of the same policies as the TF, yet we do not see target signs painted on the backs of Timo Soini, Jiri Keronen or Juha Mäki-ketelä in Finland.

The Swedish media, the political "self anointed elite" and the academy have so thoroughly polluted the dialogue in Sweden, so much so, that any dialogue about mass immigration and Islam is rendered impossible.

Funny thing is, you know that, yet you dismiss it so casually. The "will of the people", my eye, while knowing fully well that the media, state media and just about every element in Swedish society has been corrupted by hard left rule, step out of bounds, and you'll have antifa thugs breaking into your house tying you up, and carving a swastika into your forehead.

Come on, who is kidding who here?

The Police turn a blind eye to political attacks on SD members and politicians ...they literally have to have their campaign offices in undisclosed underground bunkers and you think the Sweden's political environment ... is normal? Really?

Stunning statements and attitude coming from you Toby. Stunning.

I find the UPI head's chumming it up with a known denier of anti-Semitism and a bigot, like in the person of Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and his organization the OIC, to be more of a problem then the SD could ever be.

I'll take Jimmie Åkesson and Kent Ekeroth any day of the week compared to that lot. Any day of the week.