STOCKHOLM — The nationalist, pro-borders, Big Government party known as the Sweden Democrats, with further restrictions on immigration as the key plank in its platform, made large gains at the expense of establishment Big Government parties, preliminary results showed. That was despite the relentless demonization of the ostensibly anti-establishment party by every organ of the government and the establishment — the state-funded press, the commentariat that depends on it, and the politicians who opened Sweden’s borders wide to hundreds of thousands of mostly Islamic migrants in recent years. Aside from the major gains by the anti-immigration party, however, there was no clear winner in Sweden’s widely watched election this weekend. In fact, no party or alliance of parties secured anything close to a majority, meaning weeks of tough negotiations are expected before a weak, minority government can be formed. A number of critics criticized the election as “undemocratic” and even cited fraud. Still, the embattled establishment breathed a sigh of relief that it did not go worse.
Perhaps the biggest news of the election was the ongoing implosion of the Swedish socialist-left, which for about a century absolutely dominated every element of society. After the last election, the left-wing alliance, led by the Social Democrat party and including the “Green” Party and even the “former” Communist party, had almost half of the seats in Parliament. After this election, the Red-Green alliance will be lucky to scrape together 40 percent of the vote, with both the Greens and the Socialists losing big numbers while the “former” communists grew slightly. The Greens did so bad they almost got kicked out of Parliament. The fringe “Feminist” Party collapsed, too. And while the ongoing implosion of the Left would be extraordinary in and of itself in any country, consider that for almost 100 years, Sweden was practically a “one-party state” ruled by the Social Democrats (S) and its left-wing coalition partners. That appears to be changing quickly, despite the Left’s efforts to bribe voters with tax-funded goodies while re-inventing themselves as pro-borders.
Analysts highlighted the significance of what happened. “The non-socialist vote in Sweden has never been stronger in modern history,” explained Nima Sanandaji, an internationally known Swedish author of Kurdish-Iranian descent who advocates freer markets and leads the European Centre for Entrepreneurship and Policy Reform. “It was the party’s worst showing since proportional parliamentary election system was introduced in 1911, and the first time since that year that the Social Democrats have dipped below 30 per cent. Still, the surprise is that the Social Democrats did not lose more of their working class voters to the Sweden Democrats, and in part compensated for this by attracting support from voters with an immigrant background.” Sanandaji added that the Swedish welfare model is in terminal decline.
The officially non-socialist alliance includes the Moderate Party (M), the Christian Democrats (KD), the Center Party, and the Liberal Party — all of which generally agree with the ruling leftist alliance on important questions, despite a general preference for slightly smaller government. In this election, the “center-right” alliance, as the press generally describes them, ran on a platform of somewhat tougher immigration and crime policies. And it was apparently enough to keep voters from fleeing in massive numbers. Overall, the Moderate Party lost about 15 out of 84 seats in the 349-seat parliament, compared to the Social Democrat party which lost about as many seats but had slightly more than M to begin with. The somewhat more conservative (by American standards) Christian Democrats performed slightly better, going from 16 seats to 23. Many voters still hold the Moderate Party responsible for the migration crisis of a few years back.
But the Sweden Democrats hogged the spotlight for months ahead of the vote. Before the election, a handful of polls showed them becoming the largest party in the country, a development that would have shattered the existing political paradigm. And in truth, had it not been for the endless tax-funded demonization of the Sweden Democrats as extremist racist neo-Nazis, the party would have almost certainly performed even better than it did. Either way, the party’s growing clout — and the insistence of the other two major parties that they will not work with Sweden Democrats — has ensured that neither the “left” nor the “right” coalition will have anything close to the majority needed to form a government that can pass laws through Parliament. They may not even be able to form a government, without some highly unconventional ideas such as allowing Sweden Democrats to become the official opposition.
In short, the election will make Sweden Democrats into sort of “king makers,” allowing them to sink or approve any legislation by either coalition. And in any case, the Sweden Democrats expect to have significant influence in the coming government. As soon as preliminary results were available, energized Sweden Democrats party leader Jimmie Åkesson proclaimed that his party, which will now hold almost 1 in 5 seats in Parliament, would vote against any potential government coalition that did not grant his party significant influence over immigration policy. “There will be a mandatory vote on the prime minister in a few weeks and then we will of course vote no to all governments that do not give us any influence,” Åkesson explained to Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet after the results were announced. “The faster [current Prime Minister] Stefan Löfven goes the better.” He urged the Moderate Party to contact him if it wanted his support to form a majority government — but the last Moderate leader who broached the possibility was unceremoniously removed from office.
The impressive election result was a new record for the Sweden Democrat party, which surged from less than 0.1 percent of the vote in the early 1990s (when it was reportedly associated with some National Socialist elements) to almost 20 percent today. It also grew more than any other party in this election. For countless Swedes, many of whom are quietly in despair about the mass migration of recent years and the transformative effects it is having on the country, the surge in votes for Sweden Democrats and the quiet shift toward tougher immigration controls by the other parties seeking to avoid losing more voters was a vindication. But at least one former politician with the Sweden Democrats party said the electoral result was actually a “catastrophe,” noting that many unassimilated immigrants from Africa and the Middle East would be able to vote by the next election and that their votes would almost certainly go to pro-mass migration establishment parties. “Bye bye, Sweden,” he added.
The press, which is mostly funded or outright controlled by government in Sweden, has played a key role in misleading voters and people around the world on these issues. To understand just how misleading the establishment media’s reporting is, a closer look at Sweden Democrats and its actual agenda is edifying. For years, the press has falsely characterized the party as “far right.” But no matter which political spectrum is used, unless “far right” simply means whatever the establishment does not like, the party does not qualify. One version of the left-right spectrum has no government (anarchism) on the far right and total government (fascism, communism, socialism) on the far left. The other, used by clueless “political scientists” around the world, has slight variations of totalitarian government on both the right (fascist) and the left (socialist and communist).
Because Sweden Democrats is neither anarchist nor fascist (at least not any more fascist than the other major parties), they cannot possibly be “far right,” unless all of the other major Swedish parties are also far right. Of course, the press constantly harps on the alleged “Nazi roots,” of SD, but never provides any evidence to support its allegations aside from a party member here or there who says something racist while intoxicated. Meanwhile, the press ignores (and censors) the actual National Socialist (Nazi) roots of the ruling Social Democrats, facts that were recently exposed in an explosive documentary called One People, One Party. Basically, the Social Democrats (Socialist) party not only advocated National Socialism, it even bought into the racist pseudo-science peddled by Nazi quacks in Germany who were influenced by racist evolution theorist Charles Darwin. SD is certainly no more fascistic than any of the other major parties.
Indeed, perhaps the only significant differences between SD and its two largest rivals, the Social Democrats and the Moderate Party, is that SD supports slightly stricter immigration controls, a slightly tougher approach to crime, and is more skeptical of the EU. They all agree on huge government, massive taxes (by any standard), government healthcare, government education, government media, cradle-to-grave government “welfare,” feminist ideology, the LGBT agenda, globalism (generally), multiculturalism, official neutrality in military matters, strict gun control, draconian restrictions on free speech, and much more. For perspective, consider that the Sweden Democrats on a conventional political spectrum would be far to the left of even the increasingly radical left-wing Democrat Party in the United States. Unless those same reporters calling Sweden Democrats “far right” would label the party of Barack Hussein Obama and Hillary Clinton “ultra far right,” then they are being dishonest or naive.
There are also suspicions about the election in some quarters. For the first time in history, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) sent “election observers” to Sweden. And observers at the organization, which was once dominated by operatives for communist regimes and their allies, were not impressed. “During all the election observations I have been on, I have never seen an election as undemocratic as the Swedish one,” said Danish Parliamentarian Michael Aastrup Jensen, a member of Denmark’s OSCE delegation to the Swedish election, blasting it as “far from the European standard.” Among other concerns, he noted that ballot papers were kept completely open and unsecured, and that “party soldiers” stood outside polls and tried to influence voters. “We have to send the sharpest signal to Sweden that they will introduce rules that we have in Denmark and virtually every other country in the world.” Some leftists bragged on social media about stealing ballots that were cast in favor of the Swedish Democrats, too.
While the election in Sweden was not the earth-shattering political tsunami that was anticipated in some quarters, it does show a few things clearly. For one, the Sweden Democrats and their popular demands for more restrictions on mass immigration and crime can no longer be ignored, no matter how badly the establishment would like to deny reality. Second, it shows that the socialist Left so admired by U.S. socialists like Bernie Sanders is already in terminal decline — in fact, Sweden today is ranked more economically free than even the United States, and socialism was never succesful here. And finally, it shows that the ongoing growth of “populist” revolts against the globalist Western establishment is reaching even into bastions of “progressivism” such as Sweden, regardless of the establishment’s lies and propaganda aimed at stopping them. Analysts expect weeks of tough negotiations ahead before a government is formed. And there may still yet be surprises before it’s all over.
Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is based in Europe and spent years living in Sweden. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU or onFacebook. He can be reached at email@example.com.