Donate to Links


Click on Links masthead to clear previous query from search box

GLW Radio on 3CR



Recent comments



Syndicate

Syndicate content

Scandinavia

Winning power, not just government

 

 

By Florian Wilde

 

May 6, 2017
 Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Jacobin with the author's permission Is it a shortcut, if it’s seemingly the only path on offer? Many left parties in Europe today see participating in a center-left coalition government as the only realistic way to win reforms. They often justify joining these administrations by reasoning that having a left party in government will at least block the most regressive policies and keep a more reactionary formation from taking power. These parties also believe government participation will increase their credibility in the eyes of voters and members, ultimately strengthening their prospects to govern on their own.

 

Twenty-five years of history, however, suggest that these expectations are rarely met.

 

Denmark: Fresh openings for Red-Green Alliance as it marks 25 years

For more on Denmark's Red-Green Alliance, click HERE.

By Liam Flenady

May 24, 2014 -- Green Left Weekly -- Denmark's Red-Green Alliance (RGA) marked 25 years since its founding at a national conference on May 16 to 18, 2014. A radical left unity project marking 25 years in existence is itself a cause for celebration, but this conference was able to celebrate much more. After about 20 years as a fringe party in Danish politics, the RGA has recently emerged as a significant force.

In elections in 2011, the party tripled its presence in parliament from four seats to 12, jumping from 2.2% to 6.7% of the vote. In last year’s municipal elections, the RGA hugely expanded its presence, winning representatives in almost all municipality and regional councils.

And the RGA is set to expand further in parliamentary elections in September. It is polling at about 11%, making it potentially the fourth-largest force in Danish politics.

With the growth in influence, scope and members, this year’s congress was largely focused on making steps to become a mass party of the left.

Sweden: How the welfare state was stolen

[For more on Sweden, click HERE.]

By Adam Bott

April 2014 -- Red Pepper, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- For a hundred years, ABF-Huset on Sveavägen has been the headquarters of the workers’ education movement, a pillar of Sweden’s "study-circle social democracy". Every day and all evening the classrooms and lecture halls are filled with adult education classes, theatre and music performances, as well as political discussions.

Tonight’s public meeting is standing room only. The mood is cheerful, earnest, disciplined and, dare I say it, rather churchly. Fittingly, we begin with songs: first a hymn tune with the refrain "Everything is for sale", then a jazzier number that goes "Got any money? (Then you can buy a place in the queue)". Next there’s a short dystopian pantomime set in a hospital waiting room: the man with the private plan goes straight upstairs while the lady on the public option has to wait in line. The sheepish uninsured fellow with the broken leg is shown a price list, then the door.

Denmark: Red-Green Alliance big winner in municipal elections

Map of elected representatives of the Red-Green Alliance.

By Anne Rehder, international secretary, Enhedslisten (Red-Green Alliance, Denmark)

November 20, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Denmark's municipal and regional elections on November 19 were a historic success for the Red-Green Alliance (RGA or Enhedslisten). We are now a nationwide party with representatives in all regions and corners of Denmark. With an increase in votes from the previous election in 2009 from 2.3% to 6.9%. The RGA now has seats in 79 municipalities and all regions of Denmark, up from only a presence in 10 municipalities and one representative in the capital region around Copenhagen. The total number of city councillors has gone from 14 to 119 and from one regional elected to 15.

Furthermore the results grants the RGA a seat in the National Organisation of Municipalities, which negotiates the economy of the municipalities with the government and has been tolerating one austerity budget after the other even though it previously had a majority consisting of the Social Democrats (SD) and the Socialist People's Party (SPP). This gives the RGA a change to break the austerity consensus.

Why Norway's 'red-green' government was defeated by the right-wing coalition

Seats won: SV – Socialist Left Party; A – Labour Party; MDG – Green Party; FRP – Progress Party; H – Conservative Party; V – Liberal Party; KRF – Christian Democrats; SP – Centre Party. Source: http://www.valgresultat.no/bs7g.html.

By Asbjørn Wahl and Roy Pedersen

September 20, 2013 -- Transform! -- The red-green coalition government in Norway, whose political platform when it took power in 2005 was called the most progressive in Europe, experienced a bitter defeat in the country’s parliamentary election on September 9. A coalition of four centre-right and right-wing parties, including a right-wing populist party, gained a solid majority and are now negotiating the political platform for a new government.

Sweden: 'Unemployment, inadequate schools and racism' behind riots

By Mathias Wåg, translated from Swedish by Petter Nilsson

May 28, 2013 -- Transform! -- Stockholm suburbs have been ablaze. Cars have been torched in suburbs around the city and when the firefighters and police arrive they have been met by youths throwing stones. Why is this? Why now? How come in Sweden?

Seen from the outside, Sweden can still seem like the promised land of welfare, the balanced third way between socialism and capitalism. But inside during the last 10 to 20 years, neoliberal policies have been eating away like termites consuming the welfare state's foundations from within, leaving it as an empty shell. And Stockholm, where the riots started and were centred, is the testing facility for neoliberal reforms large and small.

Denmark: Red-Green Alliance congress grapples with increased influence

By Jody Betzien, Copenhagen

May 27, 2012 -- Green  Left Weekly -- Red carpet and champagne marked the start of the first Red-Green Alliance (RGA) congress since the party tripled its mandate at a poll in September last year.

The 385 delegates representing the 8000 members packed a basketball stadium in the migrant and working-class Copenhagen suburb of Norrebro to grapple with the party's new increased influence on Danish politics.

Party membership has more than doubled in the past two years, with the party welcoming into its ranks many ex-members of the Social Democratic and Socialist People's parties.

Danes voted in droves in last year's elections to punish the right-wing parties. The poll resulted in the Social Democrats heading a coalition government — and Denmark's first woman prime minister. But this took place on the back of the lowest vote for the Social Democrats since 1906.

There was also a collapse in support for the country's most right-wing parties, including the overtly racist Danish People's Party (DPP). The vote for left parties rose.

The Social Liberals are the most conservative of the four left-of-centre parties supporting the government and the RGA the most radical.

Iceland’s loud 'No!': Can't pay, won't pay

By Silla Sigurgeirsdóttir and Robert H. Wade

August 2011 -- Le Monde Diplomatique -- The people of Iceland have now twice voted not to repay international debts incurred by banks, and bankers, for which the whole island is being held responsible. With the present turmoil in European capitals, could this be the way forward for other economies?

The small island of Iceland has lessons for the world. It held a referendum in April to decide, more or less, whether ordinary people should pay for the folly of the bankers (and by extension, could governments control the corporate sector if they depended on it for finance). Sixty per cent of the population rejected an agreement negotiated between Iceland, the Netherlands and the UK to pay back the British and Dutch governments for the money they spent to recompense savers with the failed bank Icesave. That was less resistance than the first referendum last spring, when 93% voted no.

Sweden: Far-right election gains met with spontaneous mass protests

On September 20, 2010 -- the day after the Swedish general election -- 10,000 people in Stockholm protested against the far-right Swedish Democrats party.

By Johann Sommansson

September 23, 2010 -- The counting of votes in the September 19 Swedish parliamentary elections sent out shock waves. The far right made its parliamentary debut, and for the first time in modern Swedish political history an incumbent non-Social Democrats government has been able to win a national election. As such, the process of dismantling the Swedish welfare state is set to continue unabated.

Syndicate content

Powered by Drupal - Design by Artinet