Before I write this post, I will say I am a big fan of The Local -Swedish News in English and recommend it to all those English speakers who move to Sweden.
I am on their email list and like to get their updates.
As some of you know I am bit of a political anorak and was astonished to read an email from the editor of the Local, Paul O’Mahoney titled ‘The dawn of Swedish Two Party Politics’.
I thought maybe there had been some seismic change within the Swedish political landscape and that the Social Democrats had merged with the Greens and the Left Party, and that the Moderates had cobbled together a new Party with the liberals of Folkpartiet, the farmers of the Centerpartiet and the bible bashers of the Christian Democrats.
However when I read on, Mr O’Mahoneys mail had no such exciting news. He basically wrote that Mona ‘Moaning’ Sahlin had allowed Lars ‘the Berlin wall was ok really’ Ohly into her opposition coalition along with the Green Party.
This hardly heralds the start of ‘Swedish two Party politics’ does it? The two major Parties -the Moderates and the Social Democrats cannot realistically govern without the input of the other smaller Parties.
I come from England where there really has been two Party politics, Conservative and Labour. The Liberals have been trying to force their way in but it’s a hard slog. In the US there are only two players, the Democrats and the Republicans of course.
Having grown up in a two Party country, maybe I appreciate the Swedish political scene a bit more. Conservatives (both Left and Right in the UK) derided proportional representation because it could lead to coalition governments, as if it’s something awful that should be avoided.
I believe the Swedes get better government because there is a national alliance of 4 parties. We all saw what Thatcher and Blair did with their massive majorities in the House of Commons; at least there is a safety check on that within Sweden as the junior partners in the respective alliance would certainly not allow that to happen.
I also think it’s fantastic that the Swedes can vote for a smaller Party and have some influence. In the UK I always voted Liberal Democrat and was always told that it was a ‘wasted vote’ as they never had a chance of winning. Here at least a Swede can vote for the Centre Party or the Greens and know their vote will count.
So Mr O’Mahoney surely this not the dawn of Swedish Two Party politics but the continuation of Swedish political pluralism and consensual politics? What do you think readers?
Maybe its your job to be sensational or you got carried away but I think that was a bit ‘tabloid’ as opposed to your usually good output.