Sep 23, 2018

In fear of tomorrow

On that porch. In Bolsena, Italy. Following the votes coming in from the Swedish general election. The fear running us was: will the Sweden Democrats become the largest political party? Is the situation in Sweden that bad? Will more Swedes cast their vote for a nationalistic, xenophobic party with roots in Nazism than any other political party? Is that where we are at now?

The late August prognoses predicted 18,2 %. Bad. Really bad. It was in the 2010 election that the Sweden Democrats (SD) won their first seats in the Swedish Parliament by  shocking 5,7% of the vote. In 2014 they reached 12,9 %. The progress is horrifying so 18,2% seemed likely, and as they in the earlier elections had done better than the predictions, numbers like 25% was mentioned. Which meant they would pass both Moderaterna (the party most to the right, now nr. 2) and the Social Democrats, still nr. 1 among the Swedish political parties. 

In the pleasant Bolsena evening our bodies slowly let go of some tension when it looked like SD would end up slightly under 18%. And I could tuck myself in in the late night on my uncomfortable Italian super firm bed, without immediate anxiety for the future of my homeland.

The final number for SD is “only” 17,5%. They didn’t reach the prediction and definitely not their own anticipation. And they did not become the largest party and not the second largest. Our biggest fear did not come true and Sweden is to congratulate on that one. 

The parliamentary situation is complicated though. The “left bloc” ended up at 144 seats. The “right bloc” at 143 seats - there are 8 parties in the parliament whereof 7 are divided into those blocs.  The Sweden Democrats constitutes a bloc of their own at 62 seats - as of today most of the other parties don’t want anything to do with them.

I was okay back in the late Bolsena night two weeks ago. But this evening the fear from what the outcome would be is back.

Tomorrow Monday is the day for choosing a Speaker of the parliament. The Social Democrats (as they are the largest party and that’s been the tradition) and the right bloc (since they don’t accept that as a reason for holding the Speaker seat) are both submitting proposals for the Speaker. SD was silent until yesterday. When they announced they will back the right bloc candidate. Which means they will back a right bloc prime minister and government. 

Moderaterna immediately announced they are fine with the SD endorsement. I am guessing the Christian Democrats are too. So now is the big question, what will the Liberals and the Centre Party say to that? They have been very clear on never ever to take support from the Sweden Democrats. To turn the other way around would be to betray their voters big time.

 So what happens now? The Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and his minority government (Social Democrats and The Green Party - backed up by The Left Party) will most certainly resign in a few days. And with SD support we might have a more conservative ruling in Sweden than in decades.

In the 2014 election The Sweden Democrats were all alone in expressing hostility towards immigration. The 2015 flow of refugees has changed the political agenda and vocabulary completely though. 2018 the only parties who still view refugees as human beings in need of help and Sweden as a country with resources to assist are the Left party and the Centre party. Who also appreciates how Sweden is in need of immigration. 

There is room in our sparsely populated country. And people from the Middle East, with their respect and esteem for the elderly, now already carry quite a bit of our home care services. What would I have done these past years without Awara, Hawkar, Goran, Fereshte, Sazan, Mohammed and Ali? 

Tonight I will tuck myself in on a windy and cold evening in my comfy Swedish bed in fear of tomorrow.

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