The Swedish elections are over and counting almost done. From not showing much interest a few weeks and months ago, I suddenly found myself growing more and more interested this week and have spent most of my free time today getting updates.
I wasn't surprised the Socialdemocrats lost, but for them to achieve the lowest number of votes since 1914 is quite a shock. Interestingly however is that among first-time voters, the Socialdemocratic party was the most popular party. Perhaps, the future is bright?
The other news that left me feeling nauseous is that of the Sweden Democrats getting 5.8% of the vote, and therefore getting seats in Parliament. Still I agree with my friend HF who said (and here I am loosely translating):
SD in Parliament...*vomiting*... perhaps it is good that Sweden is forced to confront its inner racist. How many Iranian doctors don't we have who are forced to drive taxis because they are not taken seriously by the authorities. One can't place blame elsewhere this time - Sweden has a racism problem, and now we'll get the opportunity to deal with it.
It is true that there is a huge problem with racism that is often disregarded, ignored, or brushed off. Now it will be a very real and present issue in Sweden and it will be interesting to see if the number of people who start sentences by saying "I am not a racist, but..." will increase, or rather they'll say "I am a racist and therefore...".
I think I prefer the latter. At least then we know what we're dealing with.
For more on the Swedish elections see Kajsa's blog.