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DÖ is dead

by fjallstrom Mon Oct 12th, 2015 at 05:54:29 PM EST

Decemberöverenskommelsen (DÖ) - The December deal is being buried in Sweden. That is the name of the deal that prevented new elections in Sweden after last autumn's cabinet crisis in Sweden that followed the rather inconclusive elections. The deal that was supposed to last until 2022 did not last a year.

So is the crisis back on? Not at all.

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What has happened is that the Christian Democrats have had a revolt on their congress, with the congress voting to rip up the agreement. The party leadership has thus declared the agreement to be void and the other party leaders in the right bloc have confirmed that the deal is over.

So how does this not cause a return to the budget crisis? Well, because in the meantime parties in the right bloc have presented different budgets. Which in all likelihood means a return to the pre-2014 practice of the opposition parties presenting different budgets, each voting for their own and then abstaining in the final vote between the largest opposition party's budget and the budget of the government.

Essentially the right bloc has backed down from the position in the fall of 2014 that they should present a common budget as the Alliance, which means there is no need for a deal.

So, why did they present a common budget in the first place? Well, they promised to in the election, but why did they do that?

Fokus magazine, which is very good when it comes to the wheeling and dealing in Swedish politics - and horrendously neoliberal and Serious on everything else - did an expose on the run-up to Decemberöverenskommelsen in February. While it contains a lot, this is in my mind the most interesting gem:

En osvensk politisk historia - Fokus

Efteråt är det inte många som velat tala om det, men indicierna finns där. Sent på sommaren spreds från statsrådsberedningen en talepunkt som löd: Förlorar vi valet åker Fredrik till Täby och återvänder när Löfvens regering har fallit. Efter valdagen kom samma budskap från finansdepartementet: Anders kommer inte kandidera till partiledare, men kan komma tillbaka - som finansminister. Runt de två personer som varit moderaterna, Fredrik Reinfeldt och Anders Borg, fanns en idé att trots avgångsbeskeden ändra sig om allt kom i ny dager. Ingen av dem skaffade heller några nya uppdrag som kunde riskera ett sådant scenario.

Fredrik Reinfelt and Anders Borg were ready to return as PM and FM after Löfvén's government had fallen. That is why they resigned immediately, did not get new jobs, and scheduled the election of a new party leader for March.

Essentially they were counting on the Sweden Democrats to play the same role for the Alliance (the right wing bloc) that the Communists did for the Social Democrats during the Cold War - de facto support through not voting with the other side, while always kept at arms length from power. Just as it meant Social Democrats as the default government through the Cold War Decades, it would mean the Alliance as default now.

Except that backfired when the Sweden Democrats declared - just before voting the Alliance budget through - that they would always vote for the other alternative as long as there was not a government that gave them what they wanted on immigration. And then it backfired again when the Social Democrats declared that they would call snap elections.

This also explains the rather strange "Open your hearts" speech that PM Reinfeldt chose to open the election season with. In it, he made immigration the main policy up for debate, and confirmed the Sweden Democrats worldview that we can not afford welfare because of the refugees, and then proceeded to declare that we should accept them anyway. At the time it looked rather puzzling as the obvious beneficiary was the Sweden Democrats, but if one looks at Sweden Democrats as de facto support votes for an Alliance government, it makes perfect sense. At the time the red-greens had a majority in the polls, so making the election about immigration and positioning the Moderates and the Sweden Democrats as opposites is only logical.

In the end it did not work, but had it worked Reinfeldt would not only have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, but he would have transformed the Swedish political landscape and made the Alliance the default government option. Possibly for decades.

Display:
Oh, and means die in Swedish.

So there is a pun for you.

by fjallstrom on Mon Oct 12th, 2015 at 05:56:59 PM EST
"he would have transformed the Swedish political landscape and made the Alliance the default government option"

But the Alliance is just that, an alliance. And now broken. Did the other parts of the alliance know of this splendid plan?

And why should the Swedendemocrats just play along?

by IM on Mon Oct 12th, 2015 at 08:26:08 PM EST
IM:

But the Alliance is just that, an alliance. And now broken. Did the other parts of the alliance know of this splendid plan?

As I read it, yes. And that would be the basis for why they presented a common budget in the first place. The minor parties on both the left and the right usually use the seperate budget motions to raise their profile, which otherwise tends to be over-shadowed by the large party.

And the Alliance is not dead, it is just resting. Essentially it was a rebranding of the term Borgerliga partier, in effect "Bourgeoisie parties" or the non-socialists that the parties to the right of the Social Democrats has been using since at least the 70ies.

IM:

And why should the Swedendemocrats just play along?

Because their financiers are right wing and they voted something like 90% with the right wing government under the last parliament. The assumption was that the Sweden Democrats would be trapped, with their anti-socialist rethoric - culture Marxists with their PC crap keeping the ordinary (white) man down etc - they could not side with the socialists. The assumption was wrong, but not unreasonable.

by fjallstrom on Tue Oct 13th, 2015 at 05:53:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dead as the DÖDÖ?

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Tue Oct 13th, 2015 at 01:47:35 AM EST
In the doo doo.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 13th, 2015 at 05:40:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If that was Reinfeldt's plan then it has backfired enormously for two reasons, evident beforehand.

  1. According to the best surveys(SOM questionnaire) SD was the most trusted party in immigration issues, and their stance of lessened immigration had much more support than the alliance+green immigration policy. If you make that the biggest issue of the election then SD will gain.

  2. By not agreeing to be a support party SD became the only opposition party. in a situation where the new government implements the unpopular and struggling immigration policy of the Reinfeldt years. This led many old Moderate voters to SD, as well as a large part of the working class and they are now polling 25-30%.

Reinfeldt has been instrumental for the rise of SD and will have to take much of the blame for the current and future state of Swedish politics.
by chumchu on Tue Oct 13th, 2015 at 06:55:29 AM EST
chumchu:
According to the best surveys(SOM questionnaire) SD was the most trusted party in immigration issues, and their stance of lessened immigration had much more support than the alliance+green immigration policy. If you make that the biggest issue of the election then SD will gain.

That was the plan. Benefit SD on the cost of the left wing to prevent the left wing majority that the polls were showing. Worked too.

Also positioning yourself as the anti-SD is a vote-gainer as the Feminist Initiative showed in 2014s EU election. SD is the most disliked party by a large margin.

And the current liberal migration policy also sizeable support, though in proportion to parliament votes SD has most to gain from an election centering on immigration.

chumchu:

By not agreeing to be a support party SD became the only opposition party

I don't think to much should be read into that. They have claimed to be one party against the rest for years, so while the DÖ played into their rethoric I think the effect was limited.

chumchu:

they are now polling 25-30%.

Not quite.

Poll of polls from Svensk Opinion:

Bad enough as it is.

by fjallstrom on Tue Oct 13th, 2015 at 06:06:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It depends on what survey you look at. In the surveys where the SD polls the worst, they are at 15%. In the best ones they poll at 27%.

Do a poll-of-polls and they end up at 21%. Their true current position is probably a bit higher than that, but probably less than 25%.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sat Oct 24th, 2015 at 10:24:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No one has done more for SD poll numbers than Mr. Reinfeldt.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sat Oct 24th, 2015 at 10:22:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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