By Onar Åm
Swedes flocked to the voting booths September 9, and the results were as expected: Chaotic. The establishment parties on both the left and the right experienced major losses to the populist anti-immigration wildcard Sweden Democrats (SD), thereby preventing any traditional majority coalition.
The ruling Social Democrats (S) crashed at 28.4%, their worst election result in more than a century. The conservative Moderates (M) also hemorrhaged voters and ended on 19.8%, but both parties expressed joy and relief that the losses weren’t even greater.
SD had polled between 15% and 25% before the election and eventually clocked in at 17.6%. Although this is far lower than many people hoped – or feared – it is still by far the best result in their short history, and they will surely manage to create havoc.
Rejected by the State
Before the election, the Sweden Democrats were the centerpiece of a major media scandal. In a televised party leader debate on Sweden’s state channel SVT, SD’s leader Jimmy Åkesson stated that the reason so many immigrants are struggling to find a job is because they don’t fit into Sweden. Immigrants need to integrate and become more like Swedes, he said. This led SVT to officially condemn the statement as “too generalizing.”
The unprecedented interference by a taxpayer-financed public broadcaster in an election, led to major reactions in Sweden as well as in the neighboring Scandinavian countries.
How this scandal affected the outcome of the election is unclear, but it demonstrated the totalitarian impulse of the Swedish ruling class.
Both the left and the right are behaving as if SD doesn’t exist. They refuse to negotiate with the bad boy of Swedish politics; this may lead to chaos when the next government forms. SD has stated that they will not support any coalition that does not give them some political concessions.
So far Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has refused to step down after the awful election result, and in a speech, he appeared to make an invitation to the right coalition to cooperate in order to prevent Sweden Democrats from gaining any political influence.
That can certainly work in the short run, but only at the steep price of alienating many of their voters and boosting the Sweden Democrats in future elections. Arrogantly ignoring and sidelining large portions of the voters rarely ends well.
No Definite Answer
Many people across the world are following the election and development in Sweden with great concern, because Sweden is Ground Zero for suicidal multiculturalism. Will Sweden survive, or will the people wake up in time to prevent the balkanization of one of the world’s most peaceful countries? The election provided no definite answer. The Sweden Democrats didn’t experience a sufficiently large surge to cause a major upheaval in the political landscape.
Nevertheless, for the first time in decades, immigration and integration are now major topics in Swedish politics, and all the major parties have moved towards stricter policies after the migrant crisis of 2015.