• 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)

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
Vote quirk gives Sweden Democrats extra seats
Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson celebrates his party's election success. Photo: Lars Pehrson/SvD/TT

Vote quirk gives Sweden Democrats extra seats

The Sweden Democrats, who became the third largest party in Sunday's election, have learned they will get two more seats than expected due to a quirk in the country's election system. READ  

Ericsson to axe modems and cut jobs
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg, pictured here presenting the comapny's quarterly report in July. Photo: Annika af Klercker/TT

Ericsson to axe modems and cut jobs

Swedish telecom giant Ericsson has confirmed it will cut jobs in Sweden and abroad after the company announced on Thursday morning it would stop developing modems. READ  

Elections 2014
Centre party laughs off Löfven's advances
Annie Lööf speaks after her meeting with parliament's speaker on Wednesday. Photo: Fredrik Persson/TT

Centre party laughs off Löfven's advances

UPDATED: Centre Party leader Annie Lööf has reiterated her reluctance to cooperate across bloc lines with Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven, as he renews his attempts to form a fresh government. READ  

Elections 2014
Sweden Democrats want prized speaker job
Sweden Democrat party secretary Björn Söder celebrates Sunday's election result. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Sweden Democrats want prized speaker job

UPDATED: As Sweden’s third largest party, the Sweden Democrats "assume" they will be given one of a handful of prestigious parliamentary speaker jobs, party secretary Björn Söder tells The Local. READ  

National
Teens in intensive care after school 'initiation'
Photo: Peder Skrivares school

Teens in intensive care after school 'initiation'

School inspectors are investigating after an initiation ceremony at a high school in Varberg in south west Sweden left four girls in hospital. READ  

National
Pirate Bay Swede 'mistreated' in jail
Peter Sunde. Photo: TT

Pirate Bay Swede 'mistreated' in jail

The brother of Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde has questioned the conditions of his brother's Swedish jail, slamming both the institution and the guards. READ  

Elections 2014
Fresh election fears in divided Sweden
Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson may not support a Social Democrat budget. Photo: TT

Fresh election fears in divided Sweden

UPDATED: The leaders of Sweden's main political parties have been called to parliament as speculation grows that the Sweden Democrats could hold the key to new elections. READ  

Presented by Stockholm Business Region
Introducing... the Stockholm collection
Photo: Imagebank Sweden

Introducing... the Stockholm collection

Moving to Stockholm, or just dreaming about it? Either way, this is your ultimate guide: for housing, finances, insurance, business, and so much more. READ  

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

In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week

Time for some luxury this week - we're heading to a sprawling Eskilstuna property with a location and view to die for. READ  

National
Row over viral 'Nazi receipt' in Swedish shop
A cashier in a Coop supermarket: Photo: TT

Row over viral 'Nazi receipt' in Swedish shop

A photo of a till receipt with the Nazi slogan "Sieg Heil" printed on it has gone viral in Sweden, with supermarket chain Coop launching an internal investigation. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Gallery
Property of the week - Eskilstuna
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
How I became a surf blogger when I moved to Sweden
Blog updates

17 September

Deep election analysis (Blogweiser) »

"You think you’re bad? Well I’m American. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFbomLID0vU Deep deep analysis on Swedish election results. Vlog post: https://t.co/tjQgfa5Yie #svpol #val2014 #politics pic.twitter.com/oEK5ADFT8L — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) September 17, 2014 " READ »

 

15 September

Liten, litet, små & lilla (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej igen! Have you ever been confused about when to use “liten”, “litet”, “små” and “lilla”? Today I’m going to sort out how use the adjective “liten” (small) and the different forms of it. Liten or litet? “Liten” is the form we will use when referring to a noun with the gender “en”. For example: Min pappa har en..." READ »

 
 
 
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Gallery
People-watching: September 11th
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Politics
Five possible election outcomes
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week - Hornstull, Stockholm
Analysis
Five differences between the UK and Sweden
Welshman Jonny Luck is now a chef in Sweden
Society
How I opened my own restaurant in Sweden's Malmö
Sponsored Article
Stockholm tech fest: relive the magic
Gallery
People-watching September 8th
Photo: TT
Politics
Feminists fight for first seats
Politics
Immigration cut push from Sweden Democrats
Sheryl Sandberg says women have "low expectations"
Tech
Facebook exec talks women's limits in Swedish business
Politics
Left Party calls for justice and equality
Politics
Green Party wants 'better world' for kids
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
National
Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
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

863
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
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
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