Monday, October 09, 2006

We have a new government

Sweden has a new government. Some basic reflections:

1. It is heavily dominated by the Conservative party, who took all the important posts (Prime Minister, Minister for Finance, Minister for Justice, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Employment, Minister for Defense).

2. The old Prime Minister of the disastrous government we had in 1991-1994, Mr. Carl Bildt, is back in town as the new Minister for Foreign Affairs. Reinfeldt is probably hoping to be able to hand over all foreign policy stuff to Bildt, and concentrate on domestic policy with his friends Borg and Littorin. We will see if that works, and to what extent Bildt will dominate the new government. Moreover, Bildt supposedly has a lot of suspicious international skeletons in his closet that we should start digging into.

3. It is obvious that Reinfeldt's strategy is the same as in the election campaign: signal left, turn right. The statement of government policy was loooong, boring, badly written and delivered without emotions. Nevertheless, Reinfeldt continues to try to position himself in the middle, a very smart move leftwards towards the center. But his long-term policy, his choice of individuals in the cabinet (a lot of rich, upper-class people) and the domination of the Conservative party in the government indicates a slow turn rightwards. I have written an editorial about that here (in Swedish).

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The man I considered worthy of the Nobel Prize in Economics one year ago is no longer with us. Edmund S Phelps will receive it this year; why not Paul Krugman instead? Or why not a woman - for the very first time?

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Hope you didn’t miss yesterday's edition of Sweden’s best radio program about current affairs (especially the part about political makeovers...).

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Been watching season seven of The West Wing all weekend, I have really been enjoying it. Guess who wins, who dies, who comes back, and who Josh finally starts dating

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And after watching so many episodes of The West Wing in a row, I hoped I was just confusing things when I learnt about the recent development in North Korea. Politics in Asia, and in the world, has changed.


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