Swedish politicians ‘have low moral standards’

Half of Swedes think their politicians have low moral standards, a new survey indicates. Journalists and company executives also have a bad reputation.

In the survey, conducted by researchers at Gothenburg University, 48 percent of those asked said that politicians’ morals were poor or very poor. Only 14 percent responded that morality among the country’s elected representatives was of a high or very high level.

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt’s Moderate Party got a lower score than when the same survey was carried out last year. The party has been dogged by a number of scandals involving politicians using black market labour, and Reinfeldt’s closest aide Ulrica Schenström was forced to quit over a drinking session with a journalist, which opponents claimed was inappropriate.

The score for the Social Democrats was up slightly on lat year.

While journalists and businesspeople came out badly, researchers were viewed as having high moral standards.

The annual survey was conducted by Sören Holmberg of the SOM Institute at Gothenburg University and Lennart Weibull, professor of communications at the university.

The 750 people quizzed in the survey were also asked to rate the morals of Swedes in general. 34 percent said the country’s moral standards were high or very high, with 14 percent saying their fellow countrymen had low or very low morals.

More than half of those asked said they thought morals had deteriorated over the past 10-15 years.

“The fact that [the results] were so clear this year could be seen as a bit worrying. If we all believe that other people’s morals are deteriorating it can turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy,” said Holmberg.