Monday, May 08, 2006

Danish populism and the race card – Swedish style

Swedish public television is running a series of documentaries about our main political parties. None of them has been especially noteworthy so far – until yesterday. The documentary showed, in a very convincing way, how Sweden’s (no longer) Liberal party (called “folkpartiet”) just has been coping the policies of the Danish populist party Venstre.

The whole idea behind the transformation of the “liberal” parties in Denmark and Sweden is simple; dare to play and use “the race card”. Blame the immigrants for not being well enough integrated into their new societies. That is, stop admitting that immigration is a difficult two-way process, put all the demands on the people who fled to a safe haven far up in northern Europe.

I have written a longer article about the transformation of Sweden’s “liberal” party, but I missed/did not know of the close link between Venstre and folkpartiet. On the other hand I think that the documentary yesterday totally missed the role that Mauricio Rojas has played in this transformation. To use immigrants in order to be harsh against other immigrants is a policy used by (for example) folkpartiet and night-clubs in Stockholm, as the journalist Mustafa Can once concluded.

One thing that my article and the documentary both dealt with at length is the key-role that another person has had in this transformation: the party secretary Johan Jakobsson (called “Sauron” by some people).

You will find the documentary here, my article here, and an op-ed about the documentary here.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Psj said...

Interesting article. Although I agree with you – Venstre, in Denmark, has also been learning from the UK (especially prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen). This is especially clear in his so called contract political approach. But more interesting you will find a growing unrest inside the liberal party in Denmark driven mainly with young liberal lions. They will by no means accept a Nordic/Danish welfare model – and are creating some trouble for the prime minister…

8/5/06 23:54  
Blogger Eric Sundström said...

The UK-connection seems plausible as well. Interesting that the right-of-center youth in Denmark is very neo-liberal, seems to me like we have the same situation in Sweden today. Good that you are keeping us posted about Danish politics (and other stuff) through your blog.

10/5/06 08:24  

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