Saturday, November 24, 2007

Moderaterna Blows Hot and Cold

Moderaterna (the Moderate Party) is the party currently governing Sweden under the leadership of Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

The party is “moderate” only by Swedish standards. To an American, its policies might seem slightly to the left of International ANSWER. The Moderates, like all other parties in Sweden except for Sverigedemokraterna, fully support Sweden’s immigration policies, and have reached out to Hamas in the past.

“Moderate”, min röv.

Their rule is only a lacuna in the long reign of the Social Democrats, who were unexpectedly ousted in the last elections. Given the political culture of Sweden, a return of the Social Democrats seems all but assured, unless Mr. Reinfeldt’s party can find and forge an alliance with a smaller party that would never form a coalition with the Social Democrats.

Enter Sverigedemokraterna (the Sweden Democrats). They are the pariahs of Swedish politics: the only party in the country to oppose the open-ended immigration policies of the Swedish ruling establishment.

That’s why this headline from a couple of days ago came as such a surprise:

Moderate council strikes deal with Sweden Democrats

Members of Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt’s Moderate Party in a town in southern Sweden have defied the party leadership to start cooperating with the right-wing populist Sweden Democrats.

Karlskrona council leader K-G Svensson, a Moderate, reached a deal last week with the Sweden Democrats’ group leader Richard Jomshod, on education in the town.

The Moderate Party’s policy is that its politicians should not cooperate with, negotiate with or become reliant on the Sweden Democrats, which have their roots in racist far-right movements.

Moderate officials in Stockholm were on Wednesday insisting that there was nothing they could do about the situation in Karlskrona.

“We should avoid doing deals with the Sweden Democrats, but local situations sometimes mean that you have to. There are no mechanisms for sanctions for people who break with the policy. It would be wrong to impose diktats centrally,” said the party’s head of communications, Pär Henriksson, to Blekinge Läns Tidning.

Can you tell how worried the Moderates at party HQ were? They were shocked — shocked! — to find their Karlskrona affiliate contemplating an alliance with those evil racist xenophobic neo-Nazi Islamophobes in Sverigedemokraterna.

Fortunately for the party’s reputation, the infatuation with SD didn’t last. Two days later we see this:

Moderates: ‘no more deals’ with Sweden Democrats

After days of heavy criticism, councillors representing Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt’s Moderate Party in the southern Swedish port of Karlskrona have said they will strike no more deals with the right-wing populist Sweden Democrats.

A deal between Karlskrona Moderates and Sweden Democrats on education policy revealed on Wednesday led to strong reactions from Reinfeldt and other leading Moderates. The party’s policy is for its elected representatives not to cooperate with the anti-immigrant party.

Moderate council leader K-G Svenson wrote in an internal letter to party colleagues that there would be no further deals with the Sweden Democrats. The two parties’ local branches could still conduct informal talks, but not formal negotiations, he wrote.

Richard Jomshof, group leader for the Sweden Democrats in Karlskrona, said he was not worried by the move, adding that the Moderates would be forced to negotiate with his party later in the current term.

“If they’re not willing to negotiate with us, they will have problems getting their proposals passed,” he said.

This very much resembles the recent movement in Belgium towards Flemish independence: two steps forward and one step back.

There’s no doubt about it: Sverigedemokraterna are a force to be reckoned with. They know it, Moderaterna know it, and everybody else knows it. At some point one or more of the acceptable political parties — the real players in Sweden — are going to have to cut a deal with them.

It’s only a matter of time.

Thanks to KGS, Fjordman, and Paul for keeping me informed on this story.

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