The Daily Bork

May 16, 2005

Women for oil, or why no one wants the Greens

The Swedish Green party has, in the space of a month, dropped 1.4 points to 4.2%, just above the 4% threshold for getting into parliament under the Swedish system. Naturally this causes concern, particularly for a party that is officially aiming at 10% in the coming elections...

Mp har olika förklaringar till raset
Green party has different explanations for decline.

Explanations in the article fall into two camps:

1. The launch of the new "party", Feminist Initiative, has drawn supporters away even with the Greens having just held their conference under the title "With feminism in focus". Plausible, although it is difficult to imagine such a huge hit on support coming from a very narrow-minded personality band-wagon such as the Feminist Initiative.

2. High oil prices. Apparently some in the Green party consider that continued elevated oil prices are being blamed on the Swedish Green party. Somewhat more of a stretch and not subscribed to by all members of the party.

The first reason has some plausibility, the second not much since it is hard to see that present Green voters would really mind the continued price of oil. Both seem to be missing possible deeper issues, with the continuing growth in support for the liberal alliance and the drop in support for the Social Democrat coalition government. Recent months have seen a series of hits on the credibility of the leftist parties, ranging from Göran Persson's dubious honorary doctorate, the Left party's ongoing debate about its communist past, the bizarre formation of the Feminist Initiative which can't quite make up its mind about being a political party or how they disguise what is a thinly veiled vehicle for one or two personalities who crave media attention. Bizarre outbursts from various members of government, such as Margot Wallströms recent claim that opposition to the EU will lead to new concentration camps, hardly helps matters. Growing scepticism with green policies world-wide seems to be impacting more than the local party would like to admit and is in some ways analagous to the Democrats in the US trying to understand why certain people don't want to vote for them.

Despite their claims of unity, the leftist parties are highly fractious and far less amenable to harmonious alliances than are the liberal parties. Some would see something dark in this about those on the right, but it is a worldwide phenomenon and is indicative of the narrowly-focused and oppositional mindset of most current leftist parties. It wasn't always that way but today most have morphed into highly factionated parties that appeal to very few. Not that it is a bad thing, quite the contrary and hopefully it will continue and erode the power of the loonier elements on that side of the political spectrum.


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