Introducing the Sweden Democrats
Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 13 Sep 2010, 11:45
Published: 13 Sep 2010 11:45 GMT+02:00
History and ideology
The Sweden Democrats were founded in 1988 and in contrast to other far-right parties across the EU, has roots in the neo-Nazi movement, specifically the Keep Sweden Swedish (Bevara Sverige Svenskt) group.
The party under Mikael Jansson, and now Jimmie Åkesson, has worked hard to tone down its more extremist elements in recent years in an attempt to attract a broader base of support outside of its core of young working class males.
The party's ideology is based on nationalism and social conservativism.
Immigration underpins all of the Sweden Democrats' policy positions, with immigrants and Sweden's culturally mixed society argued to be the source of all of the country's perceived ills.
2010 election platform
The party campaigns against immigration and multicuralism and argues for the construction of a culturally homogenous Sweden.
*Curtail immigration and return to assimilation policies of the 1970s
*Tough on crime, including significantly higher penalties for serious crimes and repeat offenders
*More money to pensioners
The Sweden Democrats are inspired by the electoral success of Pia Kjærsgaard and the Danish People's Party.
While, like Kjærsgaard, SD rejects accusations of racism, the party's election campaign has been notable for a series of mishaps which have damaged the party's attempts to present a shift away from the political extremes.
Despite, or perhaps because of, these electoral campaign controversies, polls indicate that the party is on course for seats in parliament but, regardless of the result, is unlikely to gain any influence on government policy.
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