Democracy Under Threat in Sweden
What started as a curious news that the OSCE for the first time now is sending its observers to Sweden for the 2018 general election Sunday the 9th of September has now gotten a more serious undertone as Sweden’s capital city Stockholm has refused the right wing party Alternative for Sweden (Alternativ för Sverige) to have their final campaign meeting in the city as planned.
The decision to retract Alternative for Sweden’s permission to end their election campaign in Stockholm was taken by Karin Wanngård, a politician from the Social Democrats and the mayor of Stockholm, after the party was reported for hate speech the 2nd of September 2018 where Alternative for Sweden’s party official, Jeff Ahl, said that Sweden belonged to the Swedes.
Even though Sweden have very strict hate speech laws we think it is highly unlikely that this speech Jeff Ahl gave would qualify as hate speech. He was simply arguing one of the party’s main stance; that Sweden belongs to the Swedish people and that the Swedish people is a unique ethnic and cultural group that has a right to a country they can call home.
Alternative for Sweden was launched 5th of March 2018. Their main campaign promise is to invoke a remigration policy with the goal of returning 500 000 immigrants from Sweden to their country of origin.
We think it is fascinating how much traction Alternative for Sweden has got in only six months and how they already has shifted the political landscape. After they started their campaign for remigration both the Swedish Democratic party (Sverigedemokraterna) and the Christian Democrats (Kristdemokraterna) has started addressing the topic. The notion that this somehow should be hate speech is clearly a political interpretation of the law an a threat to democracy and the democratic process in Sweden.