The Swedish election 2010 is a special one. The race is between the right wing Moderate Party (M) and it's Allies (a cooperation with the Centre Party (C), the Liberal Party (FP) and the Christian Democrats (KD)) and the Left Party and it's cooperation program the Red-Greens (the Left Party, the Green Party and the Social Democratic Party). About to enter the Parliament is the Swedish Democrats (SD), a "nationalistic democratic" party (according to themselves) with controversial opinions about immigrants and islam. It is the 19th of September and the polling stations close at 8PM. This is my report about the waiting for the results, and the feelings and reactions right after the results have been announced.
A few days ago, a Swedish blogger told her moving story about her sick mother who is being denied sickness benifits and is being forced to sell her home and is expected to start working although numerous doctors have certified that the woman is in no shape to work ever again. The story reached media within hours and reporters have tried to get a comment from the present prime minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt (M), in vain. The story of "how a young woman's blog post is changing the Swedish elections" have reached tens of thousands of readers and have been referred to by a Washington Post blogger. The story is unfortunately one of many. My own mother is in a similar situation, although not as bad as the mother in this story. Days before the election, a young woman's story, might be decisive for the results. It gives me great hope, getting proof that a single person can change the world.
I am no secretive Swede and hides my opinions. I'm not sure why Swedes don't want to tell what they're voting for. I'm proud to say that I'm voting green this year.
The tension rises; will Sweden get its first female prime minister, the Social Democrat's Mona Sahlin, or will Fredrik Reinfeldt be the first non-Socialist prime minister to stay for two election periods?
4 PM It just stopped raining and I'm putting the voting paper in my handbag and leaves for the polling station at the local upper level of compulsory school. My belly is tingling and I can't help but feeling nervous. It feels like this election is more important than any election I can remember. It is time to make Sweden humane again, and I will be part of that happening.
5 PM Me and baby brother Jimmy went to place our votes together. It was with mixed feelings that I saw the vote applications of the minor parties (Swedish Democrats, Feminist Initiative and Pirate Party) next to the major ones. Democracy is the core of freedom and welfare, but it's scary knowing that something so good can lead to improved influence for hateful racists. Speaking of which, if you make a google search, the first hit on the list will now be http://www.sverigedemokraterna.de/, an anti-Swedish Democrats information page. Go internet acivism!
5.30 PM Two and a half hour until the polling stations close. The election debate on Swedish TV4 starts an hour prior to the closing. According to the news, 3,9 million people that are authorized to vote are expected to vote. Nervous!
8 PM The polling stations are closed and Swedish Television (SVT) report an initial result from a survey made in some 130 polling stations around the country. The Allies report to lead with 49,1 % against the Red-greens' 45,1 %. Swedish Democrats are expected to get around 4,6 % of the votes, meaning that they will most likely enter the Parliament. The final results will take another couple of hours and I'll keep my fingers crossed that the luck will change! Time to put mini brother Anton to bed.
10 PM According to counted districts; the Moderates get 172 mandates, the Social Democrates 157 and the Swedish Democrates 20. There are mixed emotions to this and the Red-greens are still hoping for a win although it doesn't look like it at the moment. 4429 out of 5668 districts have been counted so far.
11 PM I'm crying for Sweden. For all the people that SD wish wouldn't be here and for all those who wouldn't be allowed to seek refuge here if they have a say. I'm crying for all the sick people that will continue to be kicked out to work, that have a time limit for their ilness' and have all their dignity taken away from them. I'm crying and I'm ashamed. I cannot believe that Sweden will have a racist party in the Parliament, that we have allowed hatred to enter our society to this degree. God, I hate this.
12 AM A right-wing minority government rule is taking place and community's vulnerable groups are mourning. We are writing a dirty chapter in our history and I will have a hard time explaining it to my future children. The Red-greens are planning to continue their cooperation and all party leaders within the program are stating that they will refuse all cooperation with a racist party. I salute them and support their continued work against oppression and for solidarity, justice and all people's equal value. Fredrik Reinfeldt says in his speach to his party friends that they will not rule with - or be dependant of - the support of SD. That remains to be seen.
I'm genuinely mourning, for all those (including me) that will have to pay for the sake of a thick non-Socialist wallet. I'm sorry, all of you, that this is happening. To all immigrants, and future immigrants: please do not think that this is the voice of all Swedes. Many of us remain, that will continue to fight for solidarity.