The Sweden Democrats have entered parliament.
It would be so easy to speak about the darkness that now, as the election night is reaching its end, is falling upon Sweden.
It would be so easy to talk about the shock.
It would be so easy to say Goodnight Sweden.
Let us instead speak about the difficult part. About the fact that the Sweden Democrats have entered parliament because their ideas are characteristic for our times. Let us speak about what will happen next. This was, strictly speaking, not very unexpected. The Sweden Democrats have for a year been lieing close to, and many times above, the four percent threshold. Moreover we know from before that there is a voter group that sympathizes with The Sweden Democrats' view on immigration. They voted for New Democracy in 1991, a part of them fell for the Swedish Liberal Party's calls in 2002. Now their period in the wilderness is over.
The question is what will happen now. There are plenty of reasons to be worried.
We can count with a strengthening of the White Power Movement because of the Sweden Democrats' success. They see the party's entrance into parliament as a sign that the "national awareness" has been awakened.
Experience from other countries also shows that there is a risk of an increased polarization and a debate climate with a bigger acceptance for stigmatization and prejudice. There is also a risk that the other parties accept the Sweden Democrats' problem formulation. This would lead to a colder and more fragmented Sweden. Because that is how it goes when racist ideas establish themselves. It tears countries apart, it diminishes us and it paves the road for the deepest of injustices; to be judged, not because of what we do, but because of who we are perceived to be.
If we get there or not will to a large extent depend on how media and the other parliament parties relate to the fact that the Sweden Democrats are now in the parliament.
There are different ways to deal with a party like the Sweden Democrats. It is possible to try to eliminate it by trying to copy the party's rhetoric and in that way steal the voters. It is possible to invite it to cooperate for it not to be able to take advantage of its martyr role. There are those who will take the party's entrance into parliament as a pretext that a "harder line" is needed in integration and migration policy.
That would be a big mistake.
And it is a strange way of reasoning.
Moderaterna is hardly ogling at the Left Party's and thinking; if that many people are voting for them, then maybe we should listen to them. Maybe it is time for a bit of planned economy after all. In the same manner the Left Party does not turn its eyes to the Christian Democrats' and think; maybe we should listen to them. It might me time for some care benefits after all.
This can't be done anymore. The point is that it is madness to let the small minority behind the Sweden Democrats influence one's policy.
The Sweden Democrats' presence gives in a way a fairer image of the political situation in Sweden. We have an illusory image of ourselves as the most tolerant country on earth. It is not true. There is racism and a xenophobia that constitutes a serious social problem. Combined with dissatisfaction and frustration it has acquired a voice in parliament.
This does not mean that one has to adapt to it. The Sweden Democrats is still a small party. It is most probably still the country's most hated party. For all those who wonder how to relate to the Sweden Democrats. It is strictly speaking not so complicated. Take the discussion against all of the party's ideas, vote for the proposals one likes, cooperate with the parties that are the closest and let the own ideology lead the way.
The Sweden Democrats can grow and they can diminish. The most important is what impact the party's ideas will have. Previously Sweden distinguished itself as one of few countries where we did not have a party like the Sweden Democrats in our parliament. Now that era is passed. Let us instead become a country that distinguishes itself because we woun't let the party's ideas influence us.
The Expo Foundation is a privately-owned research foundation founded in 1995 with the aim of studying and mapping anti-democratic, right-wing extremist and racist tendencies in society. The foundation is run on a non-profit basis. The Expo platform safeguards democracy and freedom of speech against racist, right-wing extremist, anti-Semitic and totalitarian tendencies throughout society.
In 1995, the white-power music scene was at its peak and Sweden was the world's largest producer of hate propaganda. The same year, seven people were murdered in Sweden in Nazi-related violence.
The Expo Foundation was established in order to counteract the growth of the extreme right and the white power-culture in schools and among young people.
The initiative was taken by teachers, journalists and youths. Expo adopted a platform which was to be free from any links to specific parties or political groups, with the following purpose: to safeguard democracy and freedom of speech against racist, anti-Semitic and totalitarian tendencies throughout society.
The foundation is the publisher of Expo magazine. Editor-in-chief is Daniel Poohl.
Reports daily news on the homepage, expo.se.
Maintains the Expo archive, the largest source of information on the extreme right and anti-democratic phenomena in all of Scandinavia.
Lectures and informs on the Swedish and European extreme right for, amongst others, teachers, politicians and journalists.
Carries out continuous research on the extreme right.