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Left Party changes name to 'Welfare Party'

TT/The Local · 5 Jul 2010, 16:58

Published: 05 Jul 2010 12:37 GMT+02:00
Updated: 05 Jul 2010 16:58 GMT+02:00

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"Our V [from Vänsterpartiet] today stands for the Welfare Party [Välfärdspartiet]," Ohly told SvD.se on Monday. "We want to create the world's best welfare system without profit interests. This is our most important election issue."

Ohly sees his party as welfare's strongest defenders, even against its coalition partners, the Social Democrats and Green Party.

While the Left Party gains some credit for its ideological consistency, its party leader remains a problem, according to a media and public opinion analysis from Retriever and Synovate which indicates that party could gather the votes of only one in 20 in the autumn election.

The news comes as the Left Party kicked off Almedalen Week (Almedalsveckan or Politikerveckan i Almedalen) with its name change announcement, stating that while the official name will only last a day, it wants to be known as the "Welfare Party" for the duration of the election campaign.

Almedalsveckan is an important annual political event in the first week of July described as a "rock festival for politics" that takes place in and around Almedalen, a park in Visby on the island of Gotland. This year, the autumn election campaign unoffically kicks off here.

In launching the novel initiative, Ohly also took the opportunity to attack the government. In the last two years, at least 25,000 jobs have disappeared into welfare, Ohly said. He also singled out unemployment, labour market exclusion and a lack of jobs for young people.

"It is a gigantic failure," he said.

According to the Synovate survey, the best thing about the Left Party is that it champions the disadvantaged and supports gender equality, according to both current and potential voters.

However, voters in general are more skeptical about the Left Party than the other parties. To win new voters, the party must change its fiscal ideology, as well as its party leader the report argues.

Story continues below…

"The media and voters agree that Lars Ohly is problematic," wrote Kajsa Bergvall, chief analyst at Retriever, in the report.

Three of four voters do not see the party as an alternative, lower than the figures for the other parties on average.

Like other parties with low poll numbers, the Left Party is fighting a strong headwind. The party has attracted some attention recently for its foreign and defence policy, especially after it called on Sweden to leave Afghanistan.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:16 July 5, 2010 by eppie
Shouldn't the translation of välfärd be 'prosperity' in this case?
14:48 July 5, 2010 by hpunlimited
It is a party that is for people going on Welfare instead of working, so the translation is correct.
14:58 July 5, 2010 by rugla
It should the: Let´s not work and be taken care off by others party!
15:03 July 5, 2010 by Kevin Harris
There are two stories here The Local.

The name change, which is humerous and trivial, and Malm's accusation that the Left Party has been channeling Swedish taxpayers' money to violent, extreme left dictatorships, which is not funny at all, and a much more important issue. Tidier journalism please.
16:52 July 5, 2010 by Byggare Bob
I guess TL felt that there was a link in the sense of the image of the Left Party and presumably did not want to appear to be The Left Party's News in English.
17:01 July 5, 2010 by millionmileman
The "Tea Party" Movement in the USA works with an appropiately named organization called AFP (Americans for Prosperity). We are taking a stand against the nanny state, cripling taxes, government waste and the destrution of the nation. Yesterday, July 4th was our National Holiday (DEPENDENCE DAY)!
18:00 July 5, 2010 by diegoveggie
why not call it the 'work hard' party? or the 'my merit counts' party? oh wait.. it's the left party!
01:09 July 6, 2010 by wenddiver
How about thePeople's Social Degeneracy, Anti-Sweden, Welfare Party.
08:16 July 6, 2010 by Manoj

Yea right! anyone with eyes can see that the 'Tea Party' is racist and just a tactic of the Repubs who want to climb back into power.
23:23 July 8, 2010 by wxman
Wow, honesty in politics! Who would have thought? And BTW, Manoj, you're an idiot.
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