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I don't think it is about immigration. Finland, Denmark adn Norway has more succesfull ugly parties with much less immigration.

Of course we could have had an anti-immigration party in parliament much longer, had not New Democracy imploded in 1991-4. The Moderates and the Soc-dem drew the lesson from then to decrease immigration and stop discussing the issue. The harsher rules for immigrants fed a pro-immigration opinion on the left and the liberal centre while the lack of discussion fed an anti-immigration opinion on the far right (with problems for the Moderates that span from conservative right to neoliberals). So on one hand we have a rascist party with 13% of the seats, on the other they are really disliked.

But immigration is not the reason for the rise of the far right. The foundation is instead economical. With the abolishment of full employment white, straight men with low economic, cultural and educational position has seen their relative status sink against just everybody else. That feeds anger and resentment. The communist answer would be to direct that anger against the upper class and the bosses. The fascist answer is to direct that anger against swarthy people, gays and feminists.

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by A swedish kind of death on Tue Sep 23rd, 2014 at 03:14:29 PM EST
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This is one of narratives we see in the Swedish media, and from the political left: the rise of the Sweden Democrats is due to increasing economic inequality, hopelessness, and so on, and everything will become better if we just raise taxes and pour money into welfare.

I don't believe this narrative at all. TL;DR - it's the immigration, stupid.

Immigration has never been popular in Sweden, but it has not become an important issue for voters until the Reinfeldt government came to power, due to the simple reason of volumes. Immigration doubled under Reinfeldt, and he promised/warned it would increase by another 50% in the next four years.

10 years ago, immigration was say the top 8 or top 10 issue for voters. Now it's the top 3 or top 4 issue. People have the same view of immigration now as they had back then (mainly negative*), and the only thing which has changed is the volumes. To me, this explains the entirety of the recent election result.

* According to the very big and anonymous SOM (2012) poll made by the university of Gothenburg, these were the views on immigration in Sweden.

"Recieve fewer refugees in Sweden"

Good idea: 45%
Bad idea: 29%
Neither: 26%

"Recieve more refugees in Sweden"
Good idea: 18%
Bad idea: 50%
Neither: 31%

If you look at the views of the Moderate voters, you get this result.

"Recieve fewer refugees in Sweden" (Moderates)

Good idea: 53%
Bad idea: 21%

"Recieve more refugees in Sweden" (Moderates)
Good idea: 12%
Bad idea: 57%

This also explains why the Moderates had a huge loss of voters (4 percentage points) straight into the Sweden democrats. This is equal to more than half of the total election gains of the Sweden Democrats.

It also doesn't hurt that the Moderates have run an atrocious defence policy (Moderate core voters are defence friendly), while the SD has a very strong pro-defence stance.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed Sep 24th, 2014 at 12:20:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Immigration is up, resistance towards immigration in general is down. "Receive fewer immigrants" has steadily fallen with a top year in 1992 when 65% answer yes to that.

Importance of the issue is up, but in my experience that is much more a question of what is discussed on TV, then on what happens. Surveillance was an important issue in 2009, and then the Moderates and the Soc-dems decided not to debate that anymore. The rise of the Sweden Democrats has forced the Moderates and the Soc-dems to discuss migration, and that discussion benefits the Sweden Democrats, because the problems they blame on immigration are not solved within the high-unemployment policy setting. Reinfeldt in august even blamed immigration for lack of financial elbow room to do much more of anything, which was an excellent set up for the Sweden Democrats.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Sep 25th, 2014 at 08:39:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The 65% number is really a bump, due to the very large volumes during to the Yugoslav wars. If you go back to the 80's you'll see that it trends in the 40-50% range ever since.

I don't think the media is very important either. Due to the refusal of the media and the political parties to discuss the issue, the discussion has moved online, to more or less rightwing extremist/populist websites.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Sep 25th, 2014 at 09:07:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Even the left-liberal New York Times is now reporting on the very queer situation in Sweden regarding these issues.

In Sweden, a closely patrolled pro-immigration "consensus" has sustained extraordinarily liberal policies while placing a virtual taboo on questions about the social and economic costs. In Norway, a strong tradition of free speech and efficient administration has produced a hard-nosed approach about which refugees, and how many, to take in.

The Norwegian Foreign Ministry has calculated that because of all the social, health, housing and welfare benefits mandated by the state, supporting a single refugee in Norway costs $125,000 -- enough to support some 26 Syrians in Jordan. And the Norwegian press has reported that following an alleged terrorist threat from abroad in July, Norway's immigration authorities deported asylum seekers who raised security concerns.

Unlike the far-right Sweden Democrats, which have been shunned by other Swedish parties, Norway's own anti-immigration party, the populist Progress Party, has entered a coalition government and makes its concerns heard. Solveig Horne, the minister of children, equality and social inclusion, and a member of the Progress Party, complains that Norway already has more asylum seekers than it can accommodate. "More and more are allowed to stay in Norway," she told me in Oslo last month. "But many communities are saying, `Wait. We have to be sure we can integrate the people we already have.' "

This is just the kind of blunt talk that is strictly avoided in Sweden. Take the comments of the incumbent prime minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, a few weeks before last Sunday's election. He asked voters to "open their hearts" to Syrian refugees, even though the escalating cost of supporting them would preclude further welfare benefits for Swedes. The comment caused an outcry -- not because it seemed to favor refugees over Swedes, but simply for suggesting that refugee policy needed to be considered on economic grounds.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Sep 25th, 2014 at 11:23:07 AM EST
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