Scandinavia

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.

 

Map of elected representatives of the Red-Green Alliance.

Seats won: SV – Socialist Left Party; A – Labour Party; MDG – Green Party; FRP – Progress P

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.

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.

By Silla Sigurgeirsdóttir and Robert H. Wade

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.