Sunday, September 17, 2006

Swedish Surprise

It’s a cold day in July. Hell has frozen over. Pigs have flown.

And the Social Democrats have lost the election in Sweden.

When our email comes back to normal, I’m sure we’ll hear from LN, our Swedish correspondent, and have more interesting details for you.

In the meantime, here’s Bloomberg:

Sweden’s four-party opposition ousted Prime Minister Goeran Persson’s Social Democrats after 12 years in power as voters backed their plans to cut taxes to make it easier for companies to hire and sell off state assets, exit polls indicated.

The opposition, led by the Moderate Party’s Fredrik Reinfeldt, 41, took 49.7 percent of the vote, compared with 45.6 percent for the Social Democrats and their allies, the Greens and the Left Party, an exit poll for state broadcaster SVT showed. A poll from commercial broadcaster TV4 showed the opposition ahead by 48.6 percent to 46.7 percent.

The opposition laid the groundwork for victory two years ago when it formed the Alliance for Sweden, with common policies on taxes, the economy and welfare, last month issuing its first joint election manifesto. It also managed to convince voters it had the best recipe to end a decade of stagnation in the Swedish labor market.

“The four opposition parties allied into a formidable alternative,” said Anders Sannerstedt, a political-science professor at Lund University. “They have never been this united and in tune with each other — I have to call it historic.”

[…]

“The Social Democrats’ biggest blunder was to issue an election manifesto without anything to say about jobs issues,” said Jan Teorell, an associate professor at Lund University. “To contest an election with dental reform as the biggest issue shows that they are tired of governing.”

Color me surprised. And pleased.

10 comments:

Phanarath said...

I am so happy I wish I was at a swedish rightwing election party so I could shout in somebodys ear that weeeeeeeeeee woooooooon.

Job Issues lol

Everyone, in their right mind, knows what this election was about. I hope the Soc. never return to power.

Hejsan Hopsan sverige, I styrer for vildt :-)

moif said...

I agree, but after so many years in power and with so much socialist support in the Swedish establishment, I fear its going to be a very long haul before Sweden joins Denmark and Norway in some semblence of Scandinavian normality! This victory is welcome but its only the first step on a very long road.


Of course, we Danes could help by accepting the return of Skåne to the motherland....

http://www.berlingske.dk/kronikker/


hee hee hee....

Phanarath said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Phanarath said...

As long as Skåne is manneged by the right hands, then I am happy. And now it looks like maybe they could be.

As far as I am conserned Skandinavia is one culture. So let us salute this wonderfull Flag

Zerosumgame said...

I am under the impression that what is defined as "right" in Sweden would be a liberal Democrat here in the USA. They still believe in high levels of taxation and big government, perhaps not as big as the Socialists, but still a lot compared to America.

But as an American Jew, I must ask:

Will a rightist government be more friendly to the USA? To Israel?
Will they call an Islamonazi terrorist an Islamonazi terrorist?

Archonix said...

They're cutting taxes to encourage jobs. Presumably they'll cut welfare for certain people too but, as I've said before, you can't go too far in one go with things like this. Sweden needs to be guided back toward sanity. That means things will have to start out slowly, rather than doing everything at once. We must also remember that the EU will essentially dictate much of their policy, domestic and foreign, so a government wanting to change things will have to start untangling that mess too.

They've been in power for mere hours. Wait a few days and see what they say rather than demanding answers now. Try some patience for a change. :)

Phanarath said...

Your Impresions are right Zero.

But hey !

Can we just be happy about a good thing for a little while :-)

I meen a small step in the "right" direction is a still a good thing. And the were are talking about a great people, so they could surprice us.

moif said...

Will a rightist government be more friendly to the USA? To Israel?
Will they call an Islamonazi terrorist an Islamonazi terrorist?


In all honesty, I don't think so. Your impressions are correct. Even by Danish standards, the conservatives of Sweden are hardly better than the social democrats and they've already made it clear that on many issues they will retain the status quo.

Archonix said...

I for one would like to see this in the positive way. A government of a place like Sweden must get its own house in order before it can start taking sides in the international scene. There is still a problem with the media, universally leftist, shaping opinion in Sweden. The moderates won in spite of the media's best attempts to portray the governing party as the only real choice. It shows that the voters are starting to realise that the status quo won't last. However, to takadvantage of that you have to progress carefully, and this party alliance seems to have the right idea. By placing a moderate party in the leadership they are showing that they won't try and be "revolutionary". A revolution isn't what Sweden needs. It needs to learn who it is, and harraunging it with idealogical necessities isn't going to be conducive to that.

It's like drug addiction. In some cases, going cold turkey would literally kill the addict, so they'd have to be weaned down to a "safe" level of addiction first. Sweden is so completely dependent on the welfare state that simply cutting it off would be lethal.

I'm sure, judging by the make-up of the alliance, that there will be a shift in attitudes toward the US and Israel. These parties generally oppose the EU these days (though, as I recall, they used to be very keen on it), so it makes sense that they would be more outward looking and more likely to consider, as an example, the benefits of more trade with the US.

If I'm wrong, then I'll be proven wrong. Lets give them time first before we start judging them. And, again, I must remind everyone of the EU element. It's likely that some of their pledges will be blocked by existing EU obligations due to the sheer volume of regulation and directives that the EU has put out in the last decade.

Cubed © said...

Take heart - little by little, folks are catching on. . .