We Mustn’t Make Åkesson Sweden’s Putin or Orbán

In about a month, Sweden goes to the polls in a general election that might become the breaking point in our democracy. The Sweden Democrats, a party formed by old and new Nazis in 1988, has soared in the latest opinion polls and is expected to win many new parliamentary seat. This is bad not only for minorities but for us all. This party often cites the authoritarian regimes in Hungary and Russia as role models, and that ought to make all Swedes frightened. And the party loathes the EU and NATO almost as much as it loves Kremlin.

It’s often said that most of those contemplating a vote for the Sweden Democrats are doing so not because they are racist but dissatisfied. This is probably correct. All research show that racist ideas have little support in this country. However, history has taught us that brutal racism seldom begins as such—it’s a process, whereby public opinion is slowly adjusting to extremist ideas. Nazi Germany didn’t start with Auschwitz. Hitler rose to power with the support of dissatisfied voters—the butchery became possible only after years of gradual normalisation of racist ideas once considered repugnant.

On 9 September, Swedes ought to reject xenophobic nationalism and maintain a state govern by laws based on equality. We don’t want party leader Jimmie Åkesson to become our Putin or Orbán. Vote in favour of democratic values!

Table shows median figures from the lates opinion polls.
Moderate Party19,1%
Liberal Party5%
Centre Party8,8%
Christian Democrats3,2%
Social Democrats24,2%
Left Party10,7%
Green Party5,1%
Sweden Democrats21,2%