• Sweden edition
 
Social Democrats a 'gang of navel-gazers': report
SSU Chairwoman Jytte Guteland at debate at Stockholm's Kulturhuset, September

Social Democrats a 'gang of navel-gazers': report

Published: 14 Feb 2011 16:35 GMT+01:00
Updated: 14 Feb 2011 16:35 GMT+01:00

Stinging self-criticism is evident in one of the Social Democrats' crisis commission working group's reports obtained by newspaper Svenska Dagbladet (SvD).

In it, the Social Democrats are described as a party with poor self-esteem that has lost the initiative in policy debates and engages in "navel-gazing introspection."

The party is a closed world that does not engage the surrounding world with interest, the report continued. The working group described the attitude as "destructive" and suggested a number of proposals for how the party could improve itself.

One proposal is giving members greater influence through membership ballots for both personnel and issue-related matters. Another suggested measure is to make the leadership nomination process more transparent.

"Closed processes contribute to speculation and unnecessary rumours," the working group wrote.

The group also wants to trim the party's executive board, currently numbering nearly 50. According to the working group, the current system does not function as an effective decision-making body and results in the creation of smaller informal groupings.

The Swedish Social Democratic Youth League (Sveriges Socialdemokratiska Ungdomsförbund, SSU) welcomed the proposals. However, it wanted to go even further in terms of power sharing and elections for party leadership.

"The Social Democrats need a new reform programme for the organisation with more openness and a sharing of power. We cannot have representatives who sit 20 years in parliament," SSU Chairwoman Jytte Guteland wrote in a statement on Monday.

"The SSU wants to see term limits for all elected officials within the Social Democrats," she added.

The SSU demanded that "more young and new people" get seats in the party leadership and that the extraordinary congress next month will also select a new executive committee and a new party board.

The commission was set up after the Social Democrats' worst election showing since 1914 in September 2010.

Other groups have analysed the party's policies, election, idea debates and surrounding analyses. The findings will be presented on Tuesday.

At the same time, a new opinion poll conducted by United Minds and published in the Aftonbladet newspaper on Monday showed that support for the Social Democrats continues to sag.

According to the survey, only 25.6 percent of voters currently back the Social Democrats, a loss of nearly one in five voters since the election in September 2010 and a 1 percentage point drop since the previous poll.

However, support for the ruling Moderates has also retreated 3.3 percentage points to 31.8 percent, while the far-right Sweden Democrats have increased 1.5 percentage points to 8.5 percent.

The other members of the Alliance also saw gains in the poll. The Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) rose 1 percentage point to 7.2 percent, the Centre Party inched ahead 0.3 percentage points to 4.4 percent and the Christian Democrats advanced 0.8 percentage points to 4.6 percent.

The Green Party also rose 1.6 percentage points to 11.4 percent, but the Left Party fell 0.8 percentage points to 5.1 percent. A total of 1,158 respondents were interviewed online from January 17th to February 13th.

TT/The Local/vt (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

18:22 February 14, 2011 by Swedesmith
So they watch Baywatch, too.
20:21 February 14, 2011 by Tanskalainen
They are also champions at pocket-pool.
21:12 February 14, 2011 by Zala Russe
The Social Democrats (and I speak as a broad-based supporter) need to extract their heads. They are not navel-gazing but a*hole gazing. If the SocDems were a company, they would have long ago removed it's leadership for poor management performance. Stop trying to lay the blame at structure. It's the strategy that needs re-vamping. The Social Democrats need to appreciate that you cannot run with a schizophrenic power base. You CANNOT seriously be supportive of communities and organisations whose religious politics are in DIRECT contradistinction to your own values. Illiberalism, tolerance of terrorism, homophobia, sexism, anti-democratic leanings etc. The Social Democrats need to re-engage with, NOT the Sweden Democrats, but with the concerns that have propelled them to the inflated vantage point they enjoy. DON'T BLAME THE VOTERS! Get out of your ivory towers of dilettante socialism, and idealistic self-abuse. Address the 'here and now' not the 'way back when'. Be proud but be responsive. Represent and reflect the core values of the mainsteam fair-minded but hard-working average Swedish person. LEARN pragmatism by listening TO, rather than pontificating AT people.
21:40 February 14, 2011 by Syftfel
Where do I even begin on this one? I could easily lash out in a lithany of invective as to why the social dems are pack of useless gas bags, faux communists, klepto-liberals, who long ago outserved their usefulness with their tax hiking, income re-distributing edicts, nearly turning Sweden into a socialist swamp with their remorseless expansion of the welfare state. May they rest in peace, never again rear their sticky fingers. PS I'm voting SD next time.
08:56 February 15, 2011 by RobinHood
The Social Democrats had, (and still have) excellent policies - for the 1970's, but are completely baffled why people don't want them now. They just don't represent the hopes and aspirations of the modern working Swede.

Sweden needs an effective opposition to keep the ruling party in check. Someone has to change; either the modern working Swede, or the Social Democrat Party; the party thinks it's the Swede. While members see the party only as a cosy club whose purpose is to get each other well-paid jobs in public service, rather than an electoral machine to represent the leftward leaning portion of Swedish society, there is no hope for change. Potential party leaders seem to recognise this and don't want the job. Senior party members seem happy with a non-entity they can bully into leaving things just as they are.

The risk is that political gravity will eventually get a grip on the Moderate party. If the only other option is a trip back to the seventies, Sweden is in for a dose of government and policies 50 years out of date.
Today's headlines
Motorists in sticky drama after jam spill

Motorists in sticky drama after jam spill

Drivers in western Sweden were forced to jam on the brakes after a van shed its load of preserves and juices which led to major traffic problems. READ  

Property of the Week
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån

In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week

Why settle for owning a house when you can own part of the island it is located on? This week's property allows you to get your money's worth of solitude while spending some time with your closest neighbour - the sea. READ  

Saab buys Swedish submarine shipyard
File photo: TT

Saab buys Swedish submarine shipyard

Swedish defence and aeronautics group Saab said Tuesday it had completed the acquisition of German heavy industry giant ThyssenKrupp's submarine shipyard in southern Sweden. READ  

Opinion
'The Danish narrative on Sweden is based on a lie'
File photo: Shutterstock

'The Danish narrative on Sweden is based on a lie'

There is a popular narrative that in Sweden people bite their tongues while in Denmark they speak their minds; political commentator Brian Esbensen debunks this, arguing that Danes simply find it easier to criticize others. READ  

Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'

Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'

After reports that wandering elks were scaring the public, police on the island of Frösön have decided not to open fire on the animals, but have urged locals to exercise caution instead. READ  

Swedish funds to tackle female genital mutilation
Sweden's Minister of International Development Cooperation Hillevi Engström with Foreign Minister Carl Bildt. File photo: TT

Swedish funds to tackle female genital mutilation

Sweden has earmarked 48 million kronor ($7 million) of its development aid budget to a United Nations programme to tackle female genital mutilation. READ  

Swedish leaders speak out on Gaza crisis
Photo: TT

Swedish leaders speak out on Gaza crisis

Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt believes Israel is interested in negotiating a ceasefire with Hamas while Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven has stood by his comment about the Israelis having a right to defend itself. READ  

New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
File photo: Systembolaget

New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries

Swedish micro-breweries have reacted with concern to new distribution regulations being imposed by the state controlled alcohol monopoly Systembolaget, which they fear may put them out of business. READ  

ABB and Volvo in electric buses tie-up
Volvo hybrid bus. Photo: Volvo Buses

ABB and Volvo in electric buses tie-up

Swiss-Swedish engineering group ABB and Volvo Buses of Sweden have announced a joint project to develop a system for electric buses to recharge their batteries fast when at bus stops. READ  

'First ever' heat warning issued for Sweden
Photo: TT

'First ever' heat warning issued for Sweden

Swedish weather agency SMHI has issued its first ever warning for high temperatures with the many areas set to bask in plus 30C heat. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Society
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Gallery
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Tech
Swedish Wiki vet sets new content record
Blog updates

22 July

PROTECTING GIRLS FROM ABUSE OF THEIR RIGHTS (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Today (22 July) my Prime Minister, David Cameron, and UNICEF, are hosting the world’s first #GirlSummit in London. The Summit’s aim is to mobilise domestic and international efforts to end the appalling practices of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Child Early Forced Marriage (CEFM). This is a high priority for the UK government and the Prime..." READ »

 

18 July

Starting over (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

" I’ve now been off the water for almost 14 days. At first I was totally gutted being forced into a rest period, I had Stockholm in my sights and apart from the pain and discomfort in my shoulder, spirits were high and I was starting to gain some momentum. The news hit me fairly hard and..." READ »

 
 
 
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån
Lifestyle
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching July 15-16
Photo: Ola Ericson/Image Bank Sweden
Society
What's On in Sweden
Photo: Lisa Mikulski
National
Hope springs eternal for expat pet shop owner
Gallery
Princess Estelle steals limelight at mum's birthday
National
Swedes risk infants' lives by covering up prams
National
Swede runs for office just using Bitcoin funds
Gallery
People-watching July 11-13
National
Malmö mayor slams Danish beggar ban
National
Swedish anti-abortion midwife sues county
National
Swede's salary chopped for Facebook use
National
Northern Sweden warmest in 90 years
Gallery
'Victoria Day': Crown Princess Victoria turns 37
Politics
Mona Sahlin to fight extremism in Sweden
National
EU tells Sweden to cover up snus flavours
Society
Swede snags assassin role in Tom Cruise film
Lifestyle
Top ten ways to spend a few days in Malmö
Gallery
Swedish summer tourism highlights
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

699
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se