Sweden’s nasty surprise comes home to roost

by , under Enrique Tessieri


Incumbent Social Democratic Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson conceded defeat in Sweden’s nail-biter election to the rightwing parties led by the far-right Sweden Democrats, reports The Guardian. The rightwing parties received 49.6% of the votes, with the left bloc securing 48.9%.

If anything, it was a long overdue nasty surprise that permitted a far-right Islamophobic party to gain power in Sweden. Today, all Nordic countries have large far-right Islamophobic parties spreading fear and hatred against vulnerable migrants like Muslims and people of color.

While it is unlikely that the Sweden Democrats may hold ministerial posts, the new government led by the Moderate Party may resemble what happened in Denmark. In Denmark, the far-right Danish People’s Party (DPP) supported minority governments in return for tightening immigration policy

In the lowliest of political stunts to gain power, the Social Democrats in Denmark took up the rhetoric of the DPP and won the elections in 2019. The Danish Islamophobic party saw its popularity nosedive by 12.4 percentage points to 8.7% (16 MPs) from 21.1%(37 MPs) previously.

Writes newly elected Left Party councilperson Maria Väntser Dexborg on Facebook: “The election debates gave the impression that the big social conflicts [of Sweden] are all about ethnicity. The right wing knows how unpopular their unfair economic policies are, so they have to disguise them with ethnic conflict. We tried to expose this snowjob. Time after time, we pointed out real solutions to the problem: jobs and housing, schools and safety nets, investments needed to address climate change. We failed at that and we must learn from our mistakes and become stronger. We need to be stronger.”

Even if the left bloc would have pulled off the election, the strong result of the Sweden Democrats has changed the political landscape indefinitely.

None of the left or right parties have offered effective solutions to quelling gang violence and other social problems. They haven’t because Sweden has a racist undercurrent, and their social welfare ideals are spurious and meant to feed exceptionalism.

Sunday’s election showed Sweden’s real face, just like we saw in Finland in 2011. The nasty surprise eventually comes home to roost when the time is right.