Northern, as you know, Sweden has its own right wing extremist party that is gaining prominence, Sverigesdemokraterna (SD). What do you think of this? I'm not asking whether you agree with them, I'm asking what you make of the fact that they getting an increasing amount of support from Swedes who used to be far more liberal. I have my own theories about this but I'd be curious to hear yours.
Sverigedemokraterna ("Sweden democrats") was formed in the late 1980:s, by people from different small time openly racist organisations, like "Bevara Sverige Svenskt" ("Keep Sweden Swedish"). Even though this might seem like a consolidation of multiple different strains of racist organisations/partys not represented in parliament (even though they tried), they did not gain entrence to parliament until 2010. With 339.610 votes out of 6.028.682 (5,7% with blank votes discarded).
What I think of this. Active members of the party seems very, very young, rural and non educated. Even though "Darwin" have guided some of the "not THAT stupid" people to the top of it, you would be amased what some of the others say. Many people say non politically correct stuff that they can´t defend publically, but these guys are often so stupid they do it to journalists. With a video camera up their face. The culprit is often forced to step down and disappear into a non official private life and have no comments. I would say this is evidence A
The voters on the other hand is overrepresented by the other side of the demographical spectrum. Not seldom old blue collar, former social democrat voters who have a very nostalgic relationship with "the good old fachion Sweden" (which was run by social democrats like Olof Palme by the way). Like all nostalgia it´s a very skewed image of history. During the late 1960:s, 1970:s and 1980:s Sweden was living a dream built on debt, inflation, extreme regulated economy and regular devaluation of the currency. This lead up to our crisis that started through 1985 regulation of credit markets, exploded in 1990-1991, and had us on the ropes up until 1996-1998. Social and political stigmas like this is hard to put in words even in mother tongue, but I would say a series of events during the late 1980:s and 1990:s (murder of Olof Palme, financial crisis, 500% interest rate, huge unemployment) is for swedish social/political discurse maybee somethink like the Vietnam war for the United states. The need for extensive reform in the early 1990:s was massive, and gladly those reforms layed the foundation for Sweden today beeing the 4:th most competetive economy of the world. Event though, given a couple of decades, allowing the nostalgia to wash all the "bad" and hard reality off many of those who took part in building the Swedish wellfare state (social democrats) after the second world war feel abandoned by "the party" (who governed Sweden like 93% of the time 1930-2006). Like most of the western countrys of today (and US is one of the best examples) Sweden had huge and unsustainable pension debt. This system had a extreme makeover in the mid 1990:s, and the consequenses of these reforms have been hitting pensioners bit by bit the last 10 years. Evidence B
, bitter senior citizens who feel dicarded, questioning a generous refugee policy and longing for pensions they did not pay for.Evidence C
is quite uncontroversial. Voting for populistic partys picking on imigrant is a tightly linked to economical crisis and austerity. In the start ot the crisis of the 1990:s, more than 10% of swedes voted for the "not so racist but still very populistic and imigrant baching party "New democracy", run by a couple of clowns (quite fun in their own way I should say). Sweden before the crisis of the 1990:s pretty much adjusted the law and the economy to reach full employment as a social measure. Global competetiveness went down the drain and the regultade curency had to be devaluated every now and then. Sweden after the crisis of the 1990:s is another deal. Yes, if you do get unemployed you get a grant from day one, 80% of salary up to (very low) $2.835 a month - but political policy is now very focused on stable inflation, stable public finances and quite alot of respect for the mighty wrath of Adam Smiths unvisible hand. Much more than the US I would say. One of three swedish car manufacturer, Saab, was not saved by the government and went bust in a long process 2010-2012. This makes alot of people in the middle of a structural crisis feel sidelined, and are inclined to listen to extreme political views (see "Tea party").
I would not bet money on Sverigedemokraterna getting into parliament in 2014 and would even bet on that they don´t 2018.
Is that a reasonable answer?
I bring this up here because two of the things that the SD wants to do are lower taxes and dismantle for of the social welfare state
That is like saying that the United states is a global beakon of light for free capitalist economy, free trade and so on. Is it 90% of new mortgages given by governemnt owned financial institutions right now? Saying is one thing, playing ball is another.
The typical "Sveigedemokrat" would say we should send all imigrants home, and thereby saving tons of money so that we can lower taxes on a massive scale. The problem is these guys know nothing (let me repeat that - NOTHING) of economy. The costs of refugees in Sweden is miniscule as a part of the public economy and quite frankly, in one of the biggest countrys in Europe with 9 million sparsely located citizens throwing 1/10 of them out is a BAD idear as far as economy goes (see Mexicans and the US states on the border). At the same time the party is flirting with pensioneers to raise their public pensions, which at something like 1/10 of GDP would hit the economy quite swift. Again - these guys is all hair oil and no socks. They don´t have the slightest clue of how to run a country, you might as well let high school kids run the Federal reserve (well, looking at policy, it actually seems as you do...).