• 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
Business & Money
American sales squeeze Ericsson profits
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg presents the third-quarter earnings report at the company's headquarters in Kista. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

American sales squeeze Ericsson profits

Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson reported a decline in net profit in the third quarter despite an increase in sales, boosted by business in emerging markets. READ  

Interview
'Too many concerts feel the same'
Sofar hosts secret gigs in Swedish apartments. Photo: Sofar

'Too many concerts feel the same'

Kattis Bjork founded Stockholm's secret gig scene - Sofar - a year ago. The Local caught up with her as she prepared to celebrate the project's anniversary this weekend and revealed the concept will spread to other Swedish cities in 2015. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sweden calls off suspect submarine search
Ships are returning to shore in Sweden. Photo: TT

Sweden calls off suspect submarine search

The core search for a suspected foreign vessel in Swedish waters has been called off. The armed forces said they remained convinced foreign underwater activity had taken place but had not identified an intruder. READ  

Business & Money
US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks
Ed Carbaugh prepares to install parts on a truck engine on an assembly line at Volvo Trucks' powertrain manufacturing facility in Hagerstown, Maryland, March 2014. Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP

US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks

Sweden's Volvo, the world's second-largest maker of trucks, said Friday it saw a spike in profits in the third quarter, boosted by thriving sales in the US and Japanese markets. READ  

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery
Cigarettes and beer photo: Shutterstock

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery

Inspectors who were sent to shut down a doctor’s surgery in Gothenburg were physically attacked and fled the premises to get help from the police. READ  

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water
A Swede loads a car with alcohol in northern Germany. File photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water

Swedish police say they will pay a man 16,000 kronor ($2,200) in damages after much of the alcohol they confiscated from him was stolen, while many of the bottles they returned were filled with water. READ  

Diplomacy
US to get first female ambassador in Sweden
File photo: Athena Center for Leadership Studies

US to get first female ambassador in Sweden

The United States Embassy in Stockholm is set to get its first female ambassador after the White House announced it was nominating the Iranian-American ex-investment banker Azita Raji to take over from Mark Brzezinski. READ  

Neo-Nazi attacks
Neo-Nazis cleared of knife attack on Nigerian
Police intervene after neo-Nazis attack an anti-Nazi rally in Kärrtorp, December 2013. Photo: Hampus Andersson/TT

Neo-Nazis cleared of knife attack on Nigerian

A Stockholm court has cleared three neo-Nazis of stabbing a Nigerian man in an unprovoked attack. But two of the men will face jail after they were convicted of racial agitation at a riot. READ  

Julian Assange
Assange court ruling expected on Monday
Julian Assange at Ecuador's embassy in the UK. Photo: Anthony Devlin

Assange court ruling expected on Monday

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can expect the next court ruling on his case to take place on Monday October 27th in Stockholm. READ  

Politics
Sweden to get EU 'Christmas present'
Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven at an EU summit in Brussels this week. Photo: TT

Sweden to get EU 'Christmas present'

Sweden is set to get 1.2 billion kronor ($168 million) back from the EU on December 1st, according to leaked EU documents which suggest that other European countries will have to make large top-up payments this year. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
Blog updates

24 October

Editor’s blog, October 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Get ready to read our weekly digest of Swedish news in less than 60 seconds. The..." READ »

 

24 October

Is darkness weather? (Blogweiser) »

"I try very hard not to talk about the weather. This has come after a decade..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
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

979
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