• Sweden edition
 
THE LOCAL AT ALMEDALEN
Sweden's Green Party: moving to the city?

Sweden's Green Party: moving to the city?

Published: 04 Jul 2012 12:35 GMT+02:00
Updated: 04 Jul 2012 12:35 GMT+02:00

The Swedish Green Party (Miljöpartiet) has gone from being nerdy to trendy. In the 1980s, when they were a new phenomenon, the Economist described the party “nutty but well meaning”.

Today they are a serious political party that could be in government after their next election. Despite their new found professionalism, they have maintained the structure of the old pro-environment party. For example, they have two leaders who are referred to as språkrör (which translates literally as "speech pipe", but is commonly known in English as 'spokesperson').

One is Gustav Fridolin who is young, charismatic and has a touch of Barack Obama in his rhetoric. The other one, Åsa Romson, is a bit more of an environment nerd...something which isn't too hard to fathom when you see her.

On Monday, Romson spoke in Almedalen for the first time. She was clearly nervous and thought that the audience would have rather listened to Fridolin – or former Green co-head Maria Wetterstrand, who received a lot of the credit for the party's recent success.

But Wetterstrand had stepped down and Fridolin was on paternity leave, leaving Romson alone on centre stage.

But Romson had a solution for anyone concerned that she lacked the requisite star quality to wow the crowds at Almedalen.

She invited Pär Holmgren, a famous TV-weatherman, up on stage to talk about climate change. The folksy Holmgren, who is also very engaged in climate issues, was a hit with the crowd.

His part of the presentation was very entertaining and felt like more of a discussion. When Romson said “you cannot negotiate with the climate” she also received a huge round of applause. It's also the issue which wins the strongest support among voters.

People trust them when it comes to the environment. Romson knew that but she also knew that the party had to broaden its electoral appeal. However, she did not succeed in doing so with her Almedalen debut.

For example, when mentioning “foreign policy” she said the Greens wanted the massacres in Syria to stop. That was it. She did not suggest any form of solution.

And when she criticized the current centre-right Alliance government she sounded much like a ranting left-wing politician.

It was easy to forget that, only a week ago, the Green Party had made a deal with the government that would grant illegal immigrants access to Sweden's public healthcare system.

But the main message of the speech was that the government was doing things the wrong way. It was a speech for the already converted.

Romson failed to understand that the Green Party has to speak to the electorate, and not to those who wave huge “no to nuclear power” banners as some in the audience did.

She was later interviewed on TV and had difficulty defending why those who live in the Swedish countryside should pay high taxes on petrol.

If anything, this is a sign that the Green Party is becoming a very urban party – something she could have explained in the speech.

Overheard at Almedalen

On a final note, although many journalists and members of the chattering classes vote Green, some of them looked rather bored during the speech. One of them was Gunnar Wetterberg who is head of research for one of Sweden’s largest white-collar trade unions, SACO.

In the audience there was also a fair amount of what some Americans might call liberal elite arrogance. When Romson said that “we need to understand the climate” a girl representing a student union at Uppsala University quipped: “Duh, we're the ones here, we get it”.

David Lindén is a PhD student in history at King’s College London who is serving as the acting political editor for Länstidningen in Södertälje for the summer 2012. Follow him on Twitter at @davidlinden1.

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

13:29 July 4, 2012 by Uncle
Hehe.

Seriously? "wowed" the crowd? "Huge round of applause"? "From nerdy to trendy"? No looking into the trunks? No digging in the purses?

No wondering why a party that has no plan whatsoever on replacing the nuclear energy or how to avoid economic collapse if their crazy proposals in regards to making air cleaner in a country that emits less than half a percent out of world emissions, became a "normal" party that could actually win the next elections?

How come? Is it perhaps because they are tightly related to the left wing, obviously so cherished by the reporter? Mmm. Good that they added "commentator" in his title. No sign of journalism so far.

I am sure that the applause to the social democrats leaders will be "deafening" and the happy, as well as inspired youth will throw flowers to their feet with tears of ecstasy in their eyes.
14:16 July 4, 2012 by cbgbg
Don´t forget that cycle repairs will be cheaper
14:24 July 4, 2012 by Youdee
>Surely it should be white COLLAR?
15:23 July 4, 2012 by Chloe Monroe
..and a political party is a collective noun - 'IT was', not 'THEY were'.

Only The Local brings out the grammar Nazi in me *sighs*
18:25 July 4, 2012 by JohnAndersson
The translation is very confusing, since Grönapartiet (The Green Party) is not the same as Miljöpartiet (The Environment Party).

The Environment Party is a neoliberal party with green nuances, while The Green Party is a left-leaning party with a green focus.
19:18 July 4, 2012 by old git
I like her dress- reminds me of my curtains in the 70's...recycled maybe? A definite save the climate statement....especiallly with her red knitted cardi...don't get angry folks - just having some fun1
11:39 July 5, 2012 by Puffin
Strange article - haven't Mp always been a city based party? Whereas C have been the countryside party of the farmers

The big news reported in the Swedish media is that mp is going to increase its activities outside of the cities mainly as the new C leader is deeply unpopular in rural communities - yet The Local's headlines read the other way around???
Today's headlines
Swedish Tetra Pak factory to shut down
Photo: TT

Swedish Tetra Pak factory to shut down

A Tetra Pak factory in southern Sweden is set to shut down due to a decrease in demand, meaning 250 Swedes risk losing their jobs. READ  

The Local List
Ten false friends in the Swedish language
Photo: The Uppsala Koala

Ten false friends in the Swedish language

Never, ever take the Swedish language at face value. This is a language where "puss" means "kiss" and "kiss" means "pee". And that's just the beginning... READ  

Sami museum hit in suspected tear gas attack
Permanent exhibition on the life of Sami nomads. Photo: Bengt Oberger/Wikipedia

Sami museum hit in suspected tear gas attack

The Sami museum in northern Sweden had to be evacuated after two attackers sprayed an unknown substance which left several people violently ill. READ  

Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Emir Selimi: The winner of the 2014 Raoul Wallenberg Prize. Photo: Charles L. Sjölander

Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize

A Roma man has been hailed as "inspirational" after scooping this year's Raoul Wallenberg Prize for setting up an organization to help stamp out racism against the community. READ  

Government keen on Nato forces in Sweden

Government keen on Nato forces in Sweden

Nato will soon be able to deploy forces to Sweden, with the government likely to sign an agreement with the military alliance this week, but an expert told The Local that full membership remains unlikely. READ  

Beggar hit in exhaust fume 'attack'
Exhaust fumes. Photo:Shutterstock.

Beggar hit in exhaust fume 'attack'

A beggar in southern Sweden was forced to flee in terror after she was enveloped with thick black smoke, part of an apparent attack that was captured on video and spread via social media. READ  

Elections 2014
Sweden opens the gates for election voting
Don't forget to vote. Photo:Shutterstock.

Sweden opens the gates for election voting

If you're busy on September the 14th, or simply can't wait to have your voice heard, Wednesday morning marked the opening of the polling booths for early-bird voters. READ  

Whooping cough alert after two infants die

Whooping cough alert after two infants die

The Swedish Public Health Agency has urged parents to be aware of the dangers of the infectious whooping cough disease after two babies have recently died from the illness. READ  

Chuck Berry wins 2014 Polar music prize
Chuck Berry performing in Oslo in 2007. Hakon Mosvold Larsen /Scanpix Norway

Chuck Berry wins 2014 Polar music prize

The Polar music prizes were handed out in Stockholm on Tuesday night, with Chuck Berry and theatre director Peter Sellars sharing one million kronor ($153,000) in prizes. READ  

Swedish store scraps high heels for toddlers
The shoes pictured are indeed the shoes in question. Photo: Joakim Loamotte/TT

Swedish store scraps high heels for toddlers

UPDATED: A social media storm has seen a supermarket chain recalling its heeled children's shoes. The man behind the storm says other countries could learn from how seriously Sweden takes equality. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Politics
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
National
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
Society
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
Blog updates

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 

25 August

The Dollar Store (Blogweiser) »

"A dollar store in Sweden. Blog post: http://t.co/tNuuvcP1q0 #USD #greenbacks #sweden #sverige pic.twitter.com/RHFAYf7U1k — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) August 23, 2014 There’s a chain here in Sweden called The DollarStore. This name always stood out to me in a country where they don’t use dollars. I went there for the first time this weekend. They actually accepted greenbacks..." READ »

 
 
 
National
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Gallery
People-watching August 22-24
National
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
National
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Gallery
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Gallery
See the destruction from the southern Sweden floods
Politics
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Society
Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching August 20th
Society
Did you know the Bronx in NYC was named after a Swede?
Society
Swedes slam Danes for 'racist' art
National
Majority of Swedes favour more or just as many refugees
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Society
This gold coin may be the key to solving a Swedish massacre
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
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

724
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