Sunday, September 10, 2006

Election watch: Not K.O., but on points

Göran Persson won the debate against Fredrik Reinfeldt tonight. Full stop, period, over and out. I must admit I feel quite relieved, I know our guy is better, but you never know in these debates.

OK, I can agree that it was not a knockout. But it was a clear victory on points (I’m talking boxing now, folks). Three things gave Persson the victory:

1. Jobs: This time, Göran Persson explained our job-creating policies much better. The two alternatives were made clear, and the whole difference was obvious when Persson said that he did not want to pay (through tax subsidies) the person who cleans Reinfeldt’s house. Should Sweden compete with a knowledge-based economy, a competitive industry, green technology, and generous safety nets? Or should we create a market for low-wage jobs?

2. Sustainable development: This is Persson’s home turf, and it was clear that he has a vision and a personal commitment in this field. And it was very easy to see that Reinfeldt a) knows very little about this; b) really doesn’t care. This section clearly showed that it is – maybe surprisingly – the current government who has a vision for the future.

3. The plight of modern man: One thing that disturbs me is how Reinfeldt talks about people in this country. Reinfeldt’s attitude is negative, cynical, and skeptical. Sometimes I get the feeling that Reinfeldt does not think that people who are sick, unemployed, and early retirees really exist. They are just made up by the Social Democrats. And therefore you can lower their social benefits in order to give the rich a sweet tax cut. Sweden should be a more humane and equal society than that, Mr. Reinfeldt.

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Polls: Quite a few polls this weekend; they all show that the two blocks are neck to neck (we were just ahead in one and just behind in one).

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Weekend: I have been handing out quite a few leaflets and I have been putting up election posters in the area where I live (Kungsholmen). But I also watched the film Bin-jip (3-iron). A beautiful love-story, wonderful photo, masterful acting and it all takes place on the borderline between dream and reality. 88 minutes you must see.

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Reading: Dagens Nyheter had one interesting article about the training of US soldiers before they go to Iraq (here), and I really liked Olle Svenning's editorial about Leijongate today, in which he compares Leijonborg to Nixon (here).


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