Scandinavian politics updated
For those of you who follow Swedish politics through this blog, the following story might be interesting. Norway had an election last Monday, it was won by the center-left (hurray!) and now the leader of the Social Democratic Party in Norway (Jens Stoltenberg) will lead a coalition together with the Left party and the Center/Farmers party. The Center/agrarian parties in Scandinavian politics have traditionally cooperated with the Social Democrats, in Sweden for example during the 1950s and the mid-1990s. But the Swedish Center party is now very neo-liberal and it is part of the right-wing opposition alliance in Sweden.
Funny enough, the Center parties of Sweden and Norway have quite a close cooperation (they basically have the same logo), so today I called the Center party in Sweden and asked if they had sent a telegram to congratulate their sister party in Norway, since they are part of the winning coalition that will form a government with the Social Democratic party. The answer was that they had not done that. But when I called the Center party in Norway they were pretty happy about the telegram from Sweden that they also sent me by e-mail.
Finally I also found the telegram on the Swedish Center party’s webpage, somewhat hidden. The comments made by the secretary general of the Swedish Center party were pretty funny, and you can read the whole story here. Three quick points in addition:
1. Congratulations to all my Soc Dem friends in Norway; Gry, Eirik (sälunge!), Geir, Kjetil and the others in AUF (I know I still owe you money Kjetil, and congrats to the Rosenborg victory yesterday Geir, and you were awesome in the Trondheim-debate Gry, I saw it on Swedish TV). And congrats to all your young, new MPs, Truls and the rest.
2. I prefer the Norwegian Center party to the Swedish one.
3. It is always more important for the opposition to have a concrete alternative to the ruling government than vice-versa; the voters know what they have but not what they will get. But the Social Democratic party in Sweden needs to think about how it wants to govern the country in the future – because I don’t want to see the leader of the Swedish Center party as a Minister of Anything in my country. Ever.