Parliamentary elections in Sweden: Bullerbü was always just a fantasy


The success of the Sweden Democrats in the parliamentary elections is being watched with concern. But whether they will have anything to report is uncertain.

A red wooden house stands on a bay

When you think of Sweden, you quickly end up with red wooden houses in the landscape Photo: Rico Ködder/imago of Rico Ködder/imago

It is inherent in myths that debunking them usually fails. Oktoberfest, Rüdesheimer Drosselgasse and the Berlin Wall: Tourists who want to visit Germany cannot score points, they say there is more to this country than these strange places. If you think of Sweden, in green-alternative circles and far beyond them, the stories of Astrid Lindgren, forests, falun-red houses, Ikea and of course Abba and Queen Silvia come to mind in your imagination.

This country is now having one unscrupulous liberal conservative politician named Ulf Kristersson get a Prime Minister who, with an open announcement, wants to at least be tolerated by a party that has grown out of Nazi stuff, the Sweden Democrats. That seems to contradict the phantasm that Sweden has been a country of social-democratic consensus for a hundred years.

The only thing that is true is that the bourgeois bloc around Kristersson would have forever no chance against the social-left-liberal bloc with the Social Democrats at the top, so he had to take a political risk. He did this by making it transparent that he, the ever-changing political figure, allowed himself to be elected by the right-wing populist Sweden Democrats.

Especially since this is no longer a Nazi formation, as it was when it first began to gain popularity in the 1980s on the southern Swedish coast around Karlskrona. What the right-wing populists have in common is the belief that migration must be scaled back, that much more money is needed in the state budget to get migrants – and even criminal Swedes with a migration background – out of the country again, that there is a need for less queer content on television and that people like it reestablish a country like in the blissful sixties.

Disastrous election result

Even truer is: Kristersson and his parties apart from their Swedish Democratic allies, achieved a disastrous election result, both in the country and in the local and municipal elections held at the same time. The winners are actually the Social Democrats, led by the resigned Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson – and of course the same Sweden Democrats. They are now the second strongest force in the Stockholm Riksdag, behind the Social Democrats, whom they hate, but ahead of the Moderates, as Kristersson's party is called.

In short: what Kristersson will now realize is something that the Hamburg CDU politician Ole von Beust also set in motion in 2001 - despite massive losses in his party, he and the FDP were able to throw the SPD and Greens out of government because they were in the Senate also brought in the right-wing populists around former judge Ronald Schill. Incidentally, this was to the great financial loss of the city – which, among other things, sold power plants and land during this time.

What is almost truest is that Kristersson and his alliance will arm the police force in the supposedly more successful fight against so-called migrant clan crime; that it is important to these parties that education policy will focus more than ever on the recruitment of elites and less on the participation of students from non-privileged backgrounds.

The new Sweden, as the liberal-conservative politician dreams of, should be more performance-conscious and less welfare-state. Whether the Sweden Democrats will really have something to report is uncertain, they only say: Sweden first! But they are not really needed, their political offer is not capable of winning a majority.

No demographic workforce problems

What is truest of all, however, is that Bullerbü was always just a fantasy village; that the country is fit for the future because, among other things, it has increased its population by a quarter since 1970 with the help of its open migration policy. Sweden does not have a demographically based labor force problem like Germany, France and Italy.

Incidentally, the political commitment of “Sweden first!” is not of right-wing populist provenance, but stems from the social-democratic spirit of the government. Their refugee policy during the Nazi era was only exceptionally friendly towards German Jews; aid to Baltic refugees fleeing the Stalinist emperors in the 1940s was scarce: Sweden has only recently become a more immigrant-friendly country. And it will probably stay that way – closing the borders, as in Viktor Orbán's Hungary, excludes the Liberals and Christian Democrats in Kristersson's alliance.

Against all myths, the fact remains that without the new, migrated Swedes, Sweden would not have a functioning restaurant business, no service sector worthy of the name - and show business that would exist without the heroes and heroines in pop, none of them like Annika, Lisa, Karlsson or bosses look, would not have an aesthetic connection to the world.



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