Electorial shock! (Swedish edition)

Sweden had their national elections on Sunday and there were some very interesting developments in the land of the world famous bikini team.  The Social Democrats, traditionally the nation’s largest – by far – took a pounding and received 31% of the votes.  While it’s still the biggest vote getter in the country, gone are the days when they could hope to win a majority in the parliament by themselves.  They’ve refused to change with the times and can do little more than advocate the same decades old policies.  Voters are not amused, apparently.  Time will tell if they dig in their heels or pivot and adapt.

The Moderate Party (of which current Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt is a member) had a mixed day showing a significant electoral improvement (almost capturing as many votes as the Social Democrats) but unable to gather enough votes for the Alliance to make up a majority in the Riksdag.

The big winners, relatively speaking, are the Swedish Democrats, who are considered an anti-immigrant, nationalist party.  They received 5.7% of the votes which entitle them to 20 seats in the parliament.  Both blocks (the Alliance and the Red-Greens) have rejected the idea of working with the Swedish Democrats in any way, describing them as an extremist party whose ideals have no place in Sweden.

It should be noted that if the Swedish Democrats were campaigning in America they would most likely fall under the umbrella of ‘RINO‘.  Even though Sweden is ruled by a ‘center-right’ coalition, in America’s political spectrum it would be so far left it wouldn’t even register.  If you think President Obama is a Socialist bent on turning America into a worker’s paradise, you ain’t seen nothin’ compared to Sweden.  All of this makes Jim DeMint‘s (Idiot – South Carolina) comments on CNN today that ‘America is to the left of Europe’ not only laughable but also reflects his staggering ignorance (and why does he have an Islamic crescent over his picture on his website?  Oh, who’s the dirty Islamist appeaser now, Jimbo?).

The Green party has an opportunity to really do well for themselves.  They’ve got over 7% of the vote and so could launch the Alliance over the 50% mark and give them a clear majority.  In interviews with Radio Sweden leading up to the election, the party’s spokespeople (they don’t have leaders) seemed open to the possibility but in the hours after the election have apparently hardened their position and are now refusing to work with the Alliance (at least in part because of their plans to build more nuclear power plants).  Still, the Greens could probably extract some pretty hefty concessions if they were open to negotiations.  It remains to be seen if they’ll try to work out a deal or stick with the Red-Green alliance and try to stymie the minority government to such a degree that it forces a new election.  Given the tail spin the Social Democrats appear to be in, I’m not sure that would really help them but who knows…

So, it all falls to the Sweden Democrats.  While no one wants to work with them, their votes might very well make or break the government.  They’re a relatively new party and so if they moderate, they might get a seat at the table one day (after all, the Moderates were pretty extreme when they first came into power) but it won’t be anytime soon.

This really seems like a better system than our ‘winner take all’ two party system we’ve got.  Some sort of proportional representation for the house of representatives would allow more parties to rise and force compromise…plus it’d be a LOT more interesting than the binary choice we’ve got now.

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