In the Swedish election on September 11, the parliament gained a new majority. Government negotiations are underway for a completely new constellation of center-right and conservative parties. The tension is unbearable.
The election ended with the Sweden Democrats (ECR) becoming the country’s second largest party. Together with the Moderate party (EPP), Christian democrats (EPP) and the Liberals (Renew) they challenged the incumbent Social Democratic government. And won a majority – albeit barely with a two-mandate majority.
It has created shock waves in the political and cultural left.
It is of course extremely disappointing to lose government power. But the way in which the election campaign has been carried out creates even more pain for the losers.
In dictatorships, the opposition is always a security risk
The Social Democrats and their supporting center-left parties have conducted a smear campaign against the Sweden Democrats and accused the party of being a security risk. Of course, without presenting a single proof that there would be any. After the press conference where two social democratic ministers made this accusation, serious observers stated that if there was any such risk, the government should alert the security police, not hold a press conference about it some weeks before election day.
This method of making accusations have also been questioned by being compared to how dictatorships always consider opposition to be security threats. Social democracy in Sweden uses methods that belong to a completely different and abominable form of government, the totalitarian.
The party’s “roots”
Another part of the slander in the election campaign has been about portraying the conservative Sweden Democrats as an extremist party. The method has consisted of highlighting individuals who were involved in the formation of the party in 1988 as suspects. Among other things, the initiators behind a campaign called “Keep Sweden Swedish” were involved in its formation. To preserve Sweden according to Swedish traditions is considered racist by left-wing activists.
The Sweden Democrats party was formed by people unknown to the public, and turnover of party activists was high during the first years. Here the party deviates from how other new parties have been formed in Europe. Almost always has it been a well-known and established personality who starts a new party. This person can’t that easily be attributed to any opinion by the opponents, because people know who it is.
But if a movement is started by unknown people, they can be accused of any strange views. This is because they are not known and nobody cared about what the Sweden Democrats did in the first 10-15 years, because only a few people were involved and they only got a fraction of a per cent the voter support in the first elections.
Only when the current party leader, the then completely unknown Jimmie Åkesson, and his group began to organize the party activities the Sweden Democrats get over one per cent in the parliament election in 2002.
That is why in Swedish debate there is a lot of talk about the “roots” of the Sweden Democrats. This word is a cover for all kinds of accusations precisely because it is not possible to define exactly what roots are in relation to a party.
If you look at what the party stood for in its own decisions, there is nothing that is outside the democratic tradition of the West. Although it was controversial to express conservative and national views in a Sweden dominated by left-wing radicalism in the aftermath of 1968.
Smear campaigning internationally
Now after the election, articles have appeared in the international press that reproduce the Social Democratic smearing of the Sweden Democrats. It is claimed that the party is “fascist” and “Nazi”.
This is to create indignation in the outside world against the new government which will hopefully be formed during October. A government constellation that just defeated the Social Democrats.
The mudslinging has, as the election results confirm, not worked on the Swedish people. The reason is simple: the slander is composed of lies and fabrications. But for a foreign audience it is of course much more difficult to analyze and dismiss the accusations.
Therefore, it becomes more serious when European and international media uncritically pass on the smearing of the Swedish election campaign. It creates uncertainty about politics in Sweden, which is unfortunate given the international cooperation that needs to take place.
In this situation, it is particularly important that the friends of the Sweden Democrats, conservative and nationalist parties in the EU, Europe and the world realize that there is no basis for the warnings and ill-intentioned expectations that are spread by sore losers and left-wing politicians in Sweden.