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Government formation in Sweden

by fjallstrom Wed Oct 31st, 2018 at 12:10:38 AM EST

When last we left of, the election night, things ended inconclusive. And not much has changed.

To recap, the left bloc got 144 seats and declared themselves winners. But so did the right bloc with 143, on account of the left bloc losing more. And of course the far right Sweden Democrats with 62 seats also declared themselves winners.

Front paged - Frank Schnittger

Since then, prime minister Löfven has been voted out, but remains until a new PM has been appointed.

Parliament elected a speaker from the Moderate party with the votes of the right and far right, but then elected a Social Democrat, a Centre Party MP and a Left party MP as vice presidents of the parliament, snubbing the far right of any seat.

The Speaker first gave the Moderate party leader the mission to form a government. He failed, as the Liberals and Centre refuses to rule dependent on support from the far right, and the Social Democrats refused to support a right bloc government. But he didn't bring it to the parliament so no (out of four), attempts has officially been tried yet.

Then PM Löfven got a new try. He failed as the Liberals and Centre refuses to join his government. He also didn't bring it to parliament, so still no votes (out of four).

Now the Speaker has declined to give a new party leader a go. Instead he has called the party leaders of the right bloc and the current government to a series of meetings to find out what they want. Everyone is still tight lipped about the actual progress, but if I were speaker, I would find out what the Liberals and Centre wants, because they are the key.

My gut feeling is that the Liberals and Centre are playing it out in order to get less of a backlash when they split the right bloc and joins the current government (with or without the Greens). But we could get a new election, and since we haven't had one of those for almost a hundred years, nobody knows how the voters will react.

So, eventually we will see. In the meantime, the Moderates and the Social Democrats has divided up chairmanships in the parliament committees (normally, the government parties get those), reflecting that they don't know where this will land. And the finance minister has called the finance spoke-persons from the right bloc to do some form of consensus budget (otherwise the last one rolls over, with indexed increases).

Thank you
Sweden is lucky, in a sense, in that the political space is sufficiently fragmented that there is no possibility of a "Grand Coalition" of the two dominant centre left-centre right parties (please tell me it's not an option!)  That is the usual recipe to send the far right on a feeding frenzy.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Oct 31st, 2018 at 09:50:20 AM EST
It's the favourite option of the main business organisation, and it is thus usually included if papers does a long run on options, but in reality it isn't there. Last time those parties were in coalition was during World War two, and neither of the involved parties has even mentioned it as an option. I don't think that will happen.

What might happen down the road is if the right bloc splits into two conservative parties - the Moderates and the Christian Democrats - and two liberal parties - the Liberals and the Centre Party, then after next election the conservatives may very well enter into coalition with the far right. Currently the liberal parties refuses that and nobody wants to be seen as splitting the rather successful right bloc.

by fjallstrom on Wed Oct 31st, 2018 at 11:49:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The process proceeds slowly.

The Speaker has now declared that on Monday the parliament will vote on Ulf Kristofferson as PM. It's not expected to go through, but the Speaker has said that it is time to start voting to get the process going, in effect to put pressure on the negotiations.

My gut feeling is still a Liberal, Center and Social Democratic government, with or without Greens. If I would guess, I think Center party leader Annie Lööf wants the PM seat, but I don't think the Social Democrats will let it go. That would explain stuck negotiations.

by fjallstrom on Tue Nov 6th, 2018 at 05:18:29 PM EST
And now that it is Monday, we are told that the vote will be on Wednesday.

At least it is clear what will be voted on. Kristofferson has presented a Moderates and Christian Democrats government. Liberals and Center has declared that they will vote it down. There is mutual recriminations about who split the Alliance. So this far the split in the Alliance is playing out and both sides are trying to avoid the blame by placing it on the other side.

The party leader of the Left party - which will not be included in the government if the liberal parties join - has commented that the Alliance is over, and the liberal parties needs to negotiate with the Social Democrats, but that the Left party supports the Social Democrats party leader as prime minister. That supports that it is indeed the PM position that is the problem.

by fjallstrom on Mon Nov 12th, 2018 at 01:31:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And now it's Wednesday. The parliament voted down Kristofferson with 195 to 154, straight along party lines.

Interestingly, after the vote, the Greens said that Lööf should be given the opportunity to try to form a government. I think the Social Democrats will have a hard time accepting that, they are still in the mindset that they in principle should be able to govern alone, and they are larger than the other possible coalition parties put together.

by fjallstrom on Wed Nov 14th, 2018 at 11:03:10 AM EST
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