Populists look to end 100 years of Social Democrats’ dominance in Sweden

by WorldTribune Staff, August 17, 2018

The populist Sweden Democrats party is poised to possibly win the most seats in Sweden’s parliament, knocking the Social Democrats out of power for the first time in more than a century.

Some polls now show the Sweden Democrats at 25 percent, which would likely gain them the majority in parliament in the Sept. 9 election. The Social Democrats have won at least 25 percent in every election since 1912.

A poster campaign by the Sweden Democrats at a subway station in central Stockholm. / tt newsagency via AP

The Sweden Democrats, highly critical of the current government’s handling of the migrant crisis, have ridden a populist wave that began with Brexit and the victory of U.S. President Donald Trump.

According to a Novus poll, only 5 percent of the populist party’s supporters think Sweden is heading in the right direction.

Sweden has accepted as many as 600,000 refugees over the past five years. Now, 18 percent of the population of 10 million were born outside the country.

Trump even said: “Who would believe this? Sweden! They took in large numbers, they’re having problems like they never thought possible.”

Even though the economy has grown under the Social Democrat-led government of Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, Swedes have complained about rising crime, including rapes by migrants and gang-related shootings.

On Aug. 13, police said scores of cars were set on fire in Gothenburg, in what appeared to be a coordinated attack.

A new party called Alternative for Sweden (AfS) has also entered the 2018 election campaign, with several former members of the Sweden Democrats defecting to the party.

AfS leader Gustav Kasselstrand told Voice of Europe: “We are facing problems more severe than ever before in our history, where Swedes face a situation of being a minority within 20 years if nothing is done to stop the replacement of our people. I would describe the problems in Sweden as a kind of low-intensity civil war (with gradually increasing intensity each day). What makes the situation even more difficult is, of course, the extreme political correctness that has haunted Sweden for decades, but which is now finally breaking up.”

Pia Persson, a 60-year-old who lives in Kristianstad and works at Absolut Vodka, told Bloomberg that she will vote for the Sweden Democrats. She described feeling neglected by the current government, including waiting too long at her doctor’s office, where Persson says she’s sometimes the “only Swede.”

“I think you need to start seeing the whole picture in Sweden and save the original Swedish population,” she said.

Opponents of the Sweden Democrats say the party is too far right, and some even say it is racist.

Being perceived as racist isn’t a big concern for Ulf Hansen, a municipal politician and also the drummer for the rock band Ultima Thule.

Hansen told Bloomberg that immigration has “gone too far.”

“People say there are ‘racists in the streets.’ Eventually, I just think, well, call me that then. I know I’m not, but…”


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