The Socialist 21 September 2006 |
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Right victory punishes Social Democracy
THE RIGHT-wing coalition of the Liberal Party, Centre Party,
Christian Democrats and New Moderates won the 17 September elections in
Sweden, threatening attacks on working conditions and public services.
The Social Democrats had ruled the country for over 65 of the last 74
years and were convinced that they would maintain power, especially in a
period of 4% economic growth.
But Sweden's Social Democrats have followed the trend of former
workers' parties moving dramatically to the right and forcing through
social cuts. Many voters were so disillusioned that they voted in the
right-wing, pro-cuts coalition.
This shows the pressing need for a socialist alternative to Sweden's
capitalist parties for working-class people in Sweden.
This is highlighted also by significant increases for the Sweden
Democrats (Sweden's biggest fascist party) A new workers' party needs to
be built to show the way forward in combating the attacks on social
welfare, and to provide jobs, homes and services to combat racism.
The election of eight councillors from RŠttvisepartiet Socialterna (CWI
Sweden) will lead the way in showing that it doesn't have to be like
this. They will show that another world is possible - a socialist one!
Three new CWI councillors
ON 17 September, Rattvisepartiet Socialisterna (RS - CWI Sweden) made
important gains in local council elections. From five council seats in
the 2002 elections, RS has increased to eight seats.
Laurence Coates, Rattvisepartiet Socialisterna, Stockholm
Where a clear, fighting socialist programme is presented, as opposed
to the pro-big business, neo-liberal record of the outgoing social
democratic government and its two support parties, the Left Party and
Greens, a working-class alternative can make gains.
RS fought on a programme of opposing all cuts in services and
privatisations, for a revolt from the low-paid, especially women and
public-sector workers, and for a major expansion of employment in
schools, childcare and other council services.
RS also highlighted the threat from the extreme right Sweden
Democrats (SD) with anti-racist demonstrations organised in all three
cities where RS contested council seats.
The vote for the RS list in Haninge, a suburb of the capital
Stockholm, increased almost five-fold from the last election to around
1,240 votes and Mattias Bernhardsson and Lina Thornblom were elected to
the town council.
In LuleŚ in northern Sweden the RS vote rose by 25% from the last
election and should result in an increase from two to three seats in the
city council. In Umera RS looks set to defend the three seats it won in
2002 (up from two in 1998).