Well that was disappointing. Twenty seats disappointing. Five point seven percent disappointing. Sverigedemokraterna disappointing. Because suddenly, an extreme rightwing party will be sitting in Stockholm.
Because I am a nerd, and have a strange affinity for watching election results from foreign countries, I turned on my computer, got myself a projector, surrounded myself with a few other Swedophiles, and watched the election results live. From the US.
I did a lot of head shaking. I shook my head at the fact that an anti-immigration party could gain so much support. I shook my head at the awkward position that all the other parties find themselves in with no clear majority. I even shook my head at the reaction of Lars Ohly trying to blame Sverigedemokraternas support on a social infection carried from mainland Europe.
It came as no surprise that SD grabbed some seats. It came as a surprise though that they grabbed so many. The results suggest some serious underlying issues in Swedish society. Fearing the other. Whatever the other may be. Clearly, immigration is an issue that must be dealt with in Sweden. It probably should have been dealt with long ago, but wasn’t. At least not satisfactorily if you judge by the election results. Now there is no excuse.
Unfortunately, I fear that comments like Ohly’s will do nothing to resolve the issue. Instead of confronting the problem as something Swedish, because it is. It is Swedish when Swedish people are voting in a Swedish election for a Swedish party that wants to preserve Swedishness at the expense of non-Swedes. Ohly wants to blame Europe. He wants to blame the others. He wants to blame the non-Swedes. It’s time to step up and realize that blaming the other only sows more distrust. More stereotypes. More hatred.
I’ve written about immigration in Sweden a lot. I think it is a broken system that must be fixed. I do not think this is fixing anything. I think this is a sad referendum on the state of Swedish politics. Even if I am only in Swedish-America.
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