There have been millions of voices rising against the rising power of the Swedish Democrats (SD) in the last many months before the September 19th elections in Sweden. I was among those who wished that the SD would not be able to get enough votes to have representation in the parliament; yet the steady rise of SD has triggered something in my mind. I personally believed that such parties that constitute a danger for democracy should be kept on its knees and not allowed representation. But this just hides the problem for a while and in the meantime it keeps growing and growing, like Amedee (as in Eugene Ionesco’s play). In order to prove that Swedish Democracy is ripened enough with full tolerance for all ideologies –as long as they do not turn into violence- SD will be given a chance in the parliament.
Let us consider the working methods of a racist and discriminatory party like SD. They usually tend to exploit the disillusionment of their electorate with the current political system, which the party in fact refuses to cooperate with. They like to organize events to gain further support and during such events they pump up the nationalist feelings of their audience, hoping to blind them with the images of a dream-land that was long past in the same space in a different time when outsiders were way out and everybody was happy being part of that dream-land.
Next method of such radical parties is to make people feel insecure and reflect onto the problems in public order, exaggerating the shortcomings of state force in coping with –immigrant caused- organized crime, harassment of individuals, rising violence in the streets, transformation of the country into an open prison and insecurity of the homeland nationals vis a vis the immigrants. When doing so, they keep referring to the immigrants causing all these problems and that their nationals are always victims in such actions, giving that all Swedish nationals are crystal clear in understanding that they should not do anything bad for the sake of being Swedish. The radical parties, rather than addressing the roots of the problems of higher violence among immigrant communities, tend to blame the culture of outsiders and fear that they will contaminate the Swedish society with their problems too.
Many people may think SD politicians and supporters are simply crazy and they are out of their minds, however they are rising to a point not possible to be ignored any longer. The more opposed, the stronger they become. In the last years, people had been talking of the SD as a threat to democratic society of Sweden. If they are not given a chance in the parliament to disprove themselves and lose the approval of their electorate, they will actually turn into a threat for society. Remember other radical parties that were not given what they rightfully gained in the elections; remember the obstinacy of the German President in the early 1930s that made Hitler’s audience to grow much faster than it naturally could.
The way to get rid of radical parties cannot be denying representation to a party that received more than 5% of the votes. Obviously the Swedish political system considers a party to be valuable enough to have parliamentary representation once they have convinced 5% of the population. And this political system that has enabled Sweden to become the social democratic welfare state and society cannot be totally wrong just because a racist party has penetrated into it. In order to prove that Swedish democracy has grown into a full ripened political forum, SD will be given a chance to raise their voices in the parliament as an opposition party, and be allowed the same treatment as all others.
They were aware of the fact that they would not be able to rise to the point where they would hold the government control, so they keep promising parliamentary representation to their electorate. And what will happen now when their electorate sees that SD is actually not capable of doing anything even from within the system? There is actually no need to worry at this moment, the presence of such a party in the parliament at this size is not going to affect anything for they will be ending themselves in several years. Achievement of their goal is the beginning of the end for such radical anti-system parties. Once inside the parliament, either their political culture will shift and they will adopt a much different rhetoric in order to survive in the system, or they will start melting down as they will not be able to fulfill any of their promises.
Considering the wish of many people one could think of what would happen if SD were to decide not to participate in the parliament as an outcast party, it would only work for the benefit of SD and they would come back stronger. The more they face denial the faster they grow; that’s how they managed to convince so many people the last several elections. They attract too much opposition and SD uses this opposition to market out their own ideas and to show that their image has risen to the point of fear in other parties. In such cases they find an open door to the minds of the nationalist Swedish people and try to show that SD is the actual representation of their ideology. They try to convince everyone that has even the slightest resentment about the crimes committed by immigrants or a Swedish person less fortunate than a kebab-shop waiter.
Even when I was in Sweden in discussions about integration and immigrants in Sweden, I have heard comments starting with “I am not racist but the immigrants…” and this can show that there is actually a problem not addressed by other political parties fully, and SD as a radical party is now in the parliament to demand a solution. The solution SD would suggest is inhumane and illogical, but the fact that they have raised awareness in the political forum is the one good thing that they have caused. If Fredrik Reinfeldt and his fellow government officers can hear this call from the disappointed Swedes, they will be the champion of integration in Sweden as well as the end of SD in Swedish politics.
They are dangerous, they are harmful. But let us wait and see how they will end their own political wealth in achieving their goals and leaving no more reason for their existence. After all, SD is just a radical party that preys on the fear that they cause in people’s hearts and minds. Their main promise being a new system and New Sweden reflecting the long gone days will be kept as a dream for some; however they will not be able to achieve any further success in their current situation. That was the same with contemporary national-socialist parties in eastern states of Germany, and that is still the same for all radical rightist parties be it SD, LAOS or Ataka.
21 September 2010