The Swedish election, summarized by me

The Swedish elections for the parliament, the county councils, and the municipal assemblies took place last Sunday.

Since I don’t live in Sweden anymore, I only get to vote for the parliament. Which I hope I did. What are the chances that the vote I mailed from Mountain View on the 14th would have arrived in Sweden on the 20th…? Dear USPS, I hope you did your job, for once.

Most of the time there are seven parties in the parliament. At least 4 % of the votes are required for getting any of the 349 seats; aside from that exception, seat allocation is more or less proportional to share of votes received. With no party getting the majority of votes, one coalition is formed by the evil right wing parties, and another by the red-green mess.

The evil right wing parties

The evil right wing parties have ruled for the past four years. They want things like lower taxes, less support for people on long-term sick leave, cementing gender roles, and torturing puppies. They have formed a coalition government consisting of the following four parties:

Moderate Party (M)

The moderate party —  not too much, not too little. Just right. This encapsulates the Swedish mentality perfectly. Lagom. That doesn’t really have a whole lot to do with their politics, and it tells you nothing about the party leader that mostly looks like an egg:

Fredrik Reinfeldt, egg shaped.

This documentary is informative of their efforts in privatization, if you understand Swedish.

Center Party (C)

The center party is for everyone who loves cows and wears hats like this:

The classic Lantmännen cap

No, they’re not hipsters! They’re farmers. They’ve worn the same cap since the spring of 1957 (probably without washing it) and drive tractors, not fixies.

Liberal People’s Party (FP)

You should always be suspicious of a party or a country that has “people” in its name. The problem lies in that “people” isn’t well-defined in this context. Like the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which is mostly for people named Kim Jong-Il, or the Danish People’s Party which doesn’t acknowledge the people-ness of persons that are not of sufficiently Danish origin according to their standards. The Swedish People’s Party isn’t as restrictive, but it still makes me question whether they consider voters that don’t support them to be people or not.

Christian Democratic Party (KD)

We already sent most of our religious crazy people to the US in the 1800s, so there’s not really a whole lot of need for a Christian party. This party is for the approximate total of three old ladies in the country that still go to church on Sundays, and for a handful of members of Christian cults in the woods who like to shoot their guns but don’t like divorces. The Christan Democratic Party member is an endangered species.

The red-green mess

The commie parties, or the red-green mess as they are commonly referred to, are a lot less evil but only slightly less delusional. They like the Swedish welfare system but keep nibbling at it, equality for everyone except for maybe some, and kittens. It consists of:

Social Democratic Party (S)

The Social Democratic Party has been the largest party for the last 437 years* or so and thus it would be more fair to say that this party represents the Swedish mentality, rather than the Moderate Party. This is the party to vote for if you have 1.8 kids, your favorite dish is meatballs, and you drive a Volvo. Some of their party leaders have, perhaps, been even less photogenic than that egg dude of the Moderate Party. Ingvar Carlsson was commonly mistaken for a shoe:

1989 footage from screenshot via Youtube, oh yeah!

Ingvar Carlsson, shoe shaped.

Green Party (MP)

Supporters of the Green Party are often found near a big old rock covered in moss where they quietly stare at a string of ants passing by for hours, or in their back yard throwing smelly things on their mistreated compost, or perhaps at a campfire where they are cooking a healthy meal consisting of pine needles and old, withered leaves.

Left Party (V)

This used to be called the Left Party – Communists, but since they realized that as far as Americans are concerned we’re all commies in Sweden so they dropped the redundant bit in 1990.

As far as Swedes are concerned, they’re not really commies anymore. Unfortunately Lars Ohly didn’t get the memo and happily called himself a communist when he became the party chairman in 2004 – a mistake that cost a lot of votes.

Some other random parties that think they have a chance, too

There are a few parties that don’t fit in but who have been trying hard to get into the parliament.

Pirate Party (PP)

Arrrr! No, really. These guys are for real, and they’re pretty popular. They want to reform legislation on copyright and patents, and strengthen the right to privacy. While they have not yet reached the magical 4 % of votes to enter the Swedish parliament, they hold two seats in the European parliament.

Feminist Initiative (FI)

The Feminist Initiative party is spearheaded by Gudrun Schyman, formerly of Left Party. She’s the only politician who took proper notice of this “Party” word that adorns the names of, well, the parties – she’s been known to frequent rave parties and music festivals hanging out with people young enough to be her kids. If you want gender equality or a drink, this is the party to vote for.

Yeah Gudrun!

Sweden Democrats (SD)

This is a great party for anyone who thinks that that Hitler dude was kind of a swell guy after all, that anyone who doesn’t have blond hair with blue eyes should “go home”** and is somewhat confused about the definition of “home”, or that we should take care to preserve our wonderful Swedish culture but isn’t too concerned with definitions. Pizza is as Swedish as can be, right?

WTF (or, Results)

As the double-commie I am (1. Swedish 2. sympathizes with the red-green mess), I was disappointed to see that the evil right wing parties got more votes, again. That’s another four years of torturing puppies and distributing wealth in a manner more favorable for those who need it less.

But the real WTF lurks towards the right, in an innocent looking, dull shade of blue – 5.7 % of the votes to the Sweden Democrats.

That’s 94.3 % of Swedish voters being furious over what the hell those 5.7 % were thinking. Embarrassed that 1/20 people are bloody racist. People actually voted for this man:

I’d threaten to move to Canada, but that doesn’t make much sense, now does it.

* This is what I write when I’m too lazy to look up how long it’s actually been

** At least they should be ok with me staying in the US then I guess, I don’t have to “go home”!

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