The new Swedish model

by Joel Sherwood


I'm loving Swedish politics these days. The new government collapsed just before Christmas. Or so we thought. Politicians then had some glögg, caught holiday spirit and last weekend announced a drastic new agreement.

I read an article about this pact and figured there was a typo in the story. A key to the deal is no voting against government budgets...for the next eight years. Essentially carte blanche for whoever rules Sweden until 2022. No typo.

Why do this? To stop gridlock and a surging anti-immigration party. Mainstream parties are so (rightfully) against the far right party, they've willingly and collectively handcuffed their ability to oppose policy - the rest of this four-year term and all of the next one - to make sure the far right can't oppose policy either.

It's wild. But consider the rampant partisanship in the U.S. and the rise of anti-immigration parties around Europe. With that in mind, maybe this agreement is a refreshing, innovative, gutsy solution to gridlock and extremism the rest of the world should know about. Tell the world about the new Swedish model: handcuffs.