Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Election Watch: Thanks, dear ”alliance”

The four right-wing parties in Swedish politics, also known as the “alliance”, presented their election manifesto today. The press conference was hilarious, especially the Q&A: the leader of the opposition (Reinfeldt) was grumpy, unshaved, wore a strange (checkered) tie, and looked uncomfortable at times. During the Q&A he did not face the journalists in front of him, instead he leaned away in different directions. Why? I don’t know. But I loved it when they got detailed questions about the manifesto, then they just looked at each other until someone pulled out the tables with their proposals.

Except for all them looking funny, this was a good day for the Social Democratic campaign because of the following reasons.

1. Ideology. Now we know that they, in spite of Sweden’s strong economic growth, are promising the voters to cut social security benefits for the sick, the unemployed, the old-age pensioners and people on a disability pension. Here is a huge ideological difference: we don’t want to worsen the conditions for those already in need. And unlike them, we don’t think that lower benefits will create new jobs.

2. The Swedish model. Sure, they are more united than we are used to. But hey, they have lost all elections but three since 1932 so they had to do something. They also pretend to be in favor of the Swedish model, but now we can prove that they are not. They are proposing quite a few reforms that totally will change the Swedish model (lower welfare benefits, weaker trade unions, change the unemployment benefit society, and put a press downwards on wages). Voters won’t like this, and a fight for the Swedish model is always a good fight to take. Especially when you have the trade unions on your side.

3. Economics and ability to govern. Our manifesto is very solid from an economic point of view (read what I think here). And now – all of a sudden – we are the party who are proposing the best deal for house owners. (The conservative "alliance" really messed this one up, but in short: if you don’t want your real estate tax to increase, vote for us). Moreover, a lot of their tax cuts are still unfinanced, which makes them look as irresponsible as ever. And: if you compare the deal for an entrepreneur who wants to hire an unemployed young person, our proposal is better (with our tax proposal, the employer gets a subsidy of 350 kronor per day, their proposal gives 65 kronor per day).

And still: the Conservative party wants to cut parental leave with four months, they want to cut foreign aid to the poorest people in the world, they don’t have any candidates of foreign background in electable positions to the Riksdag, they don’t have an equal representation of women, and their party leader has been flip-flopping for two weeks and recently said that Norway is a member of the EU. He also campaigned for Bush in 2000.

I am fired up, and remember that this is our campaign to win. And more important than the points above is our own campaign. Here is my general advice to the Social Democratic party [in Swedish].


Blogger Max Andersson said...

When did Reinfeldt say that Norway is a member of the EU? Could he really be that badly informed?

Could you please provide a link?

26/8/06 21:35  
Blogger Eric Sundström said...

29/8/06 13:13  
Blogger Max Andersson said...

Man tackar!

1/9/06 22:12  

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