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Sahlin's final plea: isolate the Sweden Democrats

TT/The Local/vt · 19 Jan 2011, 15:06

Published: 19 Jan 2011 13:56 GMT+01:00
Updated: 19 Jan 2011 15:06 GMT+01:00

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"Sweden is too small for major conflicts. Our framework has grown through cooperation. That which is built across coalition boundaries remains strong and endures," she said.

Sahlin ended her speech with a call to end partisan politics in order to reduce the influence of the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats, who entered the Riksdag for the first time following Sweden's 2010 general elections.

"It's the only way to isolate a xenophobic party," she said.

Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson brought neither a present nor warm words for Sahlin. Instead, he stated that she served as an inspiration for the Sweden Democrats "as a symbol of the failed multicultural project."

Sahlin thanked her parliamentary colleagues for the fun and tedious debates she has engaged in over the last 30 years and was thanked in turn from the right to left.

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt thanked Sahlin for a "solid and genuine political performance".

"Mona Sahlin has the power to arouse feelings far beyond the boundaries of one's own political party," he stated in tribute.

He also presented her with a farewell gift: an iPhone with Mahatma Gandhi's book "The art of turning the world upside down" to listen to during her power walks.

Sahlin and outgoing Green Party spokeswoman Maria Wetterstrand admitted that they will miss each other.

"However, now we can go out and have a drink together," said Sahlin.

After Wetterstrand's speech, the speeches of thanks continued, with the exception of Åkesson's, for Wetterstrand and Green Party co-spoekesperson Peter Eriksson, both of whom, according to party rules, must step down this year.

In her closing speech, Wetterstrand chose to go on a frontal attack against the xenophobic policies of Denmark and expressed the hope that the government will cooperate to prevent Sweden from becoming what Denmark is today.

"The Green Party stands for openness, freedom, diversity and responsibility for future generations. I cannot imagine a worse restriction than to have what is in place now in Denmark, where one cannot marry whoever one wants," she said.

Liberal Party leader Jan Björklund commended Sahlin for her courage and regeneration.

Story continues below…

"It is not my business to replace the Social Democrats' party leader, but I think the party has made a mistake," he said.

Björklund also praised Sahlin for the speech she gave after her departure.

"If you had made this speech earlier, even I would have voted for you," he joked.

Centre Party leader Maud Olofsson recalled the tough battles she had with Sahlin and expressed the hope that the next Social Democratic leader will be a woman.

TT/The Local/vt (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:15 January 19, 2011 by thegreat
Thank you mona and Maria, you were best
15:39 January 19, 2011 by TheOneWhoTravels
Sahlin is anti-democratic and anti-free speech for trying to muzzle the participation of the Sweden Democrats. What a fascist!
15:58 January 19, 2011 by fauna
Great example of democracy: Swedish People choose fairly to be represented by SD and the rest of parties try to omit this people's will. Greeeaat
16:03 January 19, 2011 by Bilskrot
Isolating an elected party is both an insult to the people who voted for this party as it is just plain stupid. Look at Belgium, look at The Netherlands. Isolating just leads to a steady grow of these parties.

These parties are there for a reason, and the reason is not racism or xenophobia. It is because people just have had enough of problems associated with immigrants. These problems are real and people's worries are justified. If Sahlin doesn't want the Sweden Democrats to grow, than she has to open her eyes for the existent problems and deal with them in a credible way.
16:21 January 19, 2011 by Tanskalainen
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
16:28 January 19, 2011 by calebian22
They can be ignored now, but when SD reaches double digits in 2014, it will be much harder to isolate them. I can't wait to see the Lefties wring their hands in disbelief.
16:31 January 19, 2011 by RobinHood
Many left wing politicians have a nasty habit of supporting democracy while it suits them, and dismissing it as an inconvenience when the people vote for someone other than themselves. Voltaire said, "I do not agree with a word you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it". I think Churchill stole it from him. I know Voltaire and Churchill is a high bar to set for Ms Sahlin, but she could at least try and reach for their greatness, instead of, in her last speech as party leader, sounding more like a banana republic despot.

If I were an SD supporter, or one of the hundreds of thousands of Swedish SD voters (I am neither), I would be somewhat peeved at Ms Sahlin's speech. As a democrat, I am certainly peeved, and I don't feel good about sharing a cause with the SD one little bit. Thanks for that Mona.

A democracy is a full-time system. It can't be switched off when it's inconvenient. All politicians who say they are democrats should be given a test to make sure they understand this. Ms Sahlin clearly does not, and she's not a democrat in the proper sense of the word. It's good she's going, democracy is safer without her.
16:33 January 19, 2011 by cowboykodp
Hamas also won through democratic means. However, everyone who is bitching about SD being ignored is not too worried about democracy when it comes to Hamas. ???

Hamas and SD are being rejected by all who actually, truly care about democracy and human rights.

But obviously you people don't REALLY care about democracy, but your own blind prejudices.
16:55 January 19, 2011 by Bilskrot
@ Cowboykodp

I must have missed the news. I didn't know the SD called for violence recently. Nor did I know that they shot a rocket to Sahlin and Jimmie Åkesson tried to blow himself up.
17:12 January 19, 2011 by cowboykodp

Your logic is mind boggling.....

I don't really know why this wonderful group, the SD; is so disliked???

I suppose you can always ask the other 95% of Swedes who did not vote for them.

Let me know when you find out.
17:14 January 19, 2011 by miss79
what?why isolated Svd?the swedish people WANTS change!!!!..its good moderates cooperating with Svd..the changes are coming..
17:28 January 19, 2011 by TheOneWhoTravels
Sahlin's final plea: Militant Political Correctness Run Amok!
17:38 January 19, 2011 by truthworthy
Good call Mona. Isolate the bigots to save Sweden from their destructive ideas. A country that is loved all over the world doesn't have a place for xenophobes.
17:44 January 19, 2011 by calebian22

That is a weak comparison. Fatah political rivals were forced to flee Gaza for the West Bank or face death after Hamas won the general election in 2006. There are essentially two Palestinian "States" because of Hamas' violent hatred of their Fatah brothers, one in Gaza and one in the West Bank. How are the Sweden Democrats like Hamas?
17:55 January 19, 2011 by cowboykodp
"How are the Sweden Democrats like Hamas? "

Both parties represent HATE and DIVISION.

I can go on and on, but you catch my drift.

I think by now, you and I pretty much know where each stands on this issue.

Are you in Germany or Sweden now?
18:45 January 19, 2011 by dt804a
The Swedish Democrats have the support of those North Americans who are deeply concerned about Jihadists. See, for example, the article by Robert Spencer at http://www.jihadwatch.org/2010/09/anti-jihad-party-wins-20-seats-in-swedish-parliament.html. As one of the North Americans who shares Spencer's views, I, too, wish the Swedish Democrats success.

To those who use Hamas and Swedish Democrats in the same sentence, I offer this reminder: Hamas took over Gaza in a bloody coup; furthermore, this terrorist organization's charter explicitly advocates the extermination of every last Jew, and, of course, the eradication of Israel. In contrast, the Swedish Democrats are committed to democracy and, unlike other Swedish parties and government, support Israel.

May the Swedish Democrats prevail.
19:02 January 19, 2011 by cowboykodp

I too am an American, so you can't pull that BS with me.

The problem is you and the "North Americans" that are fans of Robert Spencer and his cronies are a ridicule in the US.

And if you think the SD are fans of the Jews, then you have been duped too. Read a real news organizations evaluation as opposed to a looser blogger's personal vendetta.

19:26 January 19, 2011 by Nemesis
Mona Sahlin's last act.

To ensure the Sweden Democrats at minimum double there vote at the next election by putting the Sweden Democrats at the top of the agenda, even though they are an irrelevant minority, with the same size of vote as the irrelevant Left party.

As for those of you who are so stupid you think the Sweden Democrats or any other political party in Sweden supports Jews. The Sweden Democrat support Jews to draw a clear distinction between themselves and Muslims for political convenience. If the Sweden Democrats suceeded in getting rid of Muslims from Sweden in the future, Jews followed by everyone commenting on this forum, will be next.

As for the Social Democrats. They supported Eugenics against the Sami in the north of Sweden from the 30's to the mid 70's as well as forced land seizures of Sami land for forestry and mining. They decimated an entire minority. The Social Democrats are also nazi's.

That sort of ideology is not far from the surface in most parties in Sweden.
20:06 January 19, 2011 by calebian22

It would have been better if you went on and on. When has the SD party advocated violence? When has the party committed violence? The same can not be said for Hamas who have killed their own people. And of course let's not forget Hamas' sponsorship of terrorism against civilians sitting in a cafe or a pizza parlor in Israel. Your comparison is still weak.
20:22 January 19, 2011 by Nemesis
Regarding the people from the USA who support the Sweden Democrats.

The Sweden Democrats oppose any cultural, financial or other method of influence of any description, from the USA.
21:00 January 19, 2011 by cowboykodp

eloquently put.

A person who sees through the BS.


I think you INACCURATELY thought that I support Hamas?

I just think the SD is the same bag of crap only in different clothing and different MO.

I'm sorry for you that you don't see that.

"Repackaged Racists" , that is all they are. They have nothing to contribute but, well you know...
21:39 January 19, 2011 by dt804a
To all those who denigrate the Swedish Democrats, including those like #17 who use foul language: Have you actually read the Party's platform? Here is a link to start with: http://www.jihadwatch.org/images/Presentation%20of%20the%20Sweden%20Democrats-3.pdf

Someone cited above an article in Ha'aretz. Two points: (1) Ha'aretz is in my view a leftist entity with zero credibility - even less than the New Duranty Times. (2) The article cited says nothing at all about the issues debated here. In fact, I have yet to read any substantive complaint against the Swedish Democrats - all I read is innuendo and slurs.

All this does not surprise me in view of the universal decline of the left. In the US, the current leftist president admitted to have been "shellacked"; in Holland and Sweden, Wilders and the Swedish Democrats, respectively, have made huge inroads into mainstream politics. These are facts.
22:32 January 19, 2011 by calebian22

Nope, I didn't think you supported Hamas. I was only commenting on your comparison. Hamas is classified as a terrorist organization. SD is not.


As an American, I can understand why the Sweden Democrats feel as they do. Illegal immigration, immigrants who refuse to learn the language of the land, illegal immigrants living off the taxpayer, are all things that irritate me about 15-40 million (depending on which politician you believe) illegals in the US. I support them, because I agree with them when it comes to supporting your own culture, your own traditions, your own policies. They understand that when you cross a border, the rules change and people need to follow those rules. Their dislike of US foreign policy and influence does not impact my support for them at all. That may seem odd, but I am flexible on a lot of different social issues.
23:40 January 19, 2011 by know
You can't compare Hamas to SD because Israel took theirs land but for example Russia didn' take swden. There is no war here !
00:16 January 20, 2011 by dt804a
Reply to "know" (#24) who seems to not know:

The nonsense about Israel taking Arab land is outright silly. In accordance with international law, Palestine was given to the Jewish people after WW I in the San Remo Conference of 1920. This was further enshrined into international law by the League of Nations' mandate document of July 1922 and ratified by individual nations. Let me be clear: Palestine belongs to the Jewish people; the Arabs who gravitated to Palestine once the Zionists developed the land are usurpers and occupiers. You can verify these facts by googling "san remo conference" or "British mandate for Palestine"; Wikipedia articles on these topics are a good start.

Let's stop silly accusations against the democratic republic of Israel.
01:26 January 20, 2011 by ornery henri
"'The New Totalitarians' (by Roland Huntford 1971) analyzes the political and social climate of early 1970s Sweden, and argues that it resembles a benevolent totalitarian state in the mould of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.

At the time, Sweden was a nation controlled by the Social Democratic Party of Sweden, which had ruled the country's government for over 40 years. Huntford argues that this had led to the complete dominance of socialist thought at all levels of the government, including the bureaucracy and the judiciary, which were all controlled by a powerful interconnecting network of Social Democratic labour unions, lobby groups, and partisan organizations. He also points to the fact that these networks made it very difficult for non-socialists to achieve any position of real power in Sweden, but noted that few Swedes seemed to view this massive politicization of their state with any concern."

02:58 January 20, 2011 by technoviking
SD is not a violent terror group anything like Hamas and this is not Gaza. This is an extremely stupid comparison unless you have a child's mentality where everything is black and white. Hate or love, etc...

Expressing an opinion that immigration policy is not working and needs fixing is not hate. It's an opinion about policy that's entitled to representation in government if enough voters believe in it. For now, enough do.

Mona and others would like to suppress these opinions but they are here and most likely will grow. Excluding SD from the debate and treating them like monsters because you disagree is very undemocratic.

Extremism can come from the left and the right and this is a perfect example.

There is plenty of evidence that immigration is broken. The debate needs to be had and the chips will fall where they will. SD will either grow, fail or, most likely, their growing pressure will pull the government towards the center on immigration and they will melt into the existing system.
08:40 January 20, 2011 by Ravioli
The comparison of Hamas to SD is completely ignorant and a really sad reach by a desperate left-wing lib who has had far too much coffee this morning.. Cowboy speaks only for himself and not all North Americans. In fact, most N. Americans in Sweden (such as myself) are very disappointed with what Sweden is doing to itself via its immigration policies.

At the same time, I'd like to thank Cowboy and people who share his opinion for increasing the support of SD. It's funny how he comes on here and calls people stupid but doesn't realize that he is only helping the political party which he hates the most. Also kinda funny how Nemesis pointed out how ignorant he was and then Cowboy agreed with it. LOL.
09:11 January 20, 2011 by kcussmilsum
That would never happen in a Free World, but that's only in a Free World.

I support SD on slowing down immigration as this will be saving tax payers money : - )
10:08 January 20, 2011 by bijbab
Factual Error in this article:

He also presented her with a farewell gift: an iPhone with Mahatma Gandhi's book "The art of turning the world upside down" to listen to during her power walks.

The gift was and ipod shuffle and the book was "Mahatma! Eller konsten att vända världen upp och ner" by Zac O'Yeah.[http://www.zacoyeah.com/Home/books/mahatma]

The correct translation of the book to English would be "Mahatma! Or the art of turning the world upside down "
10:09 January 20, 2011 by cowboykodp
Wow, Lots of raw emotion whenever any thing to do with Islam is mentioned!

Lets try again;

Hamas: A party based on hate, fear, exclusion, supremacy, false propaganda, etc...

SD: A party based on hate, fear, exclusion, supremacy, false propaganda, etc...

Both elected democratically. Ignored and disliked by the vast vast majority of the western world.

I actually tend to lean to the right on most issues, but compassion is a non negotiable issue.


Nemesis said that SD is as irrelevant as the left party, he also said SD are using Jews as bait. How are those points contradictory to my views?

I am guessing you were not a star student???

Try reading and UNDERSTANDING peoples posts.
10:12 January 20, 2011 by know
Reply to "know" (#dt804a)

It sounds like a joke, no body can give a state to religious people because of the religion is in the hole world. There are Jews in Europe, America, Australia and they have citizenship there. The problem is What Will happen to the people who lives in palestine for thousands of years, you can't throw them out of their apartments, at least this people should live in the state of Israel as minority, maybe may be they like to convert on to Judaism If you do't mind.
11:29 January 20, 2011 by johnny1939
Glad to see you finally go MONA. You were way past your "past due" date. Hope to never hear from you again. Sayonara!!!

There are a lot of people that voted a certain way but would never be brave enough to admit it.
23:04 January 20, 2011 by Syftfel
This has to be the best sales pitch SD could ever hope for. When Mona says something most decent Swedes instictively feel they have to do the opposite! It's only a natural, pavlovian, reaction. Personally I now regret bitterly that I did not vote for SD last September 19th. Accoring to various polls today SD would have gotten 8% of the vote, and at the rate things are going in Sweden, at next election they will be mightily victorious! So, to quote commentator #33 above, Sayonara Mona, may you find happiness in some socialist proletarian paradise somewhere. Shame we don't have the good old DDR anymore. I hear your buddy Hugo is looking for talent of your ilk.
01:33 January 21, 2011 by JoeSwede
@Robin Hood

Well stated.

I am ashamed of Swedish Parties behaving so anti-democratically in their statements. They are shaming people into surpressing their beliefs and undermining democracy in the process. Democracy is the healthy outlet of peoples ideas and feelings. It's much better to vent it than to surpress it.

There is a need for new blood in Swedish politics. The old generation needs to move on except for the fact that there are sooooo many that they will dominate for decades. Right now the economy is doing well...be afraid, be very aftraid of old ideas that do not balance well with the realities of our age.
05:25 January 21, 2011 by soultraveler3
Comment: technoviking in comment #27 hit the nail on the head!

How politicians here have the nerve to say Sweden is a democracy is beyond me. It's not a democracy when opposing parties REFUSE to work with a party whos ideals they don't agree with. It's scary to think that free speech and democracy only apply in Sweden when it's convient.

If the current politicians in office do what Mona asked them to and isolate swedish democrats even further it's only going to futher the SD cause. She's too stupid and full of herself to realize that though.
22:32 January 21, 2011 by Smiling Canuk
Seems almost like an act of desperation on Sahlin's part? For better or worse, I'd suspect the SD will continue to make strides with the voters. Not my problem but is interesting to outside observers.
14:14 January 23, 2011 by kcussmilsum
Almost forgot the main point...

Sahlin was a complete Airwaster, and comtributes Zero to the political zone.

Glad to see her on the move outward.

I Support SD on immigration halts : )
09:35 February 1, 2011 by Juan Harry Bush
SD party is Awesome!

Not only was she an AirWaster, but a leach of tax payers hard earned money.

Always complaining, but never did anything to contribute to society.

Goobye and Good Riddance Mona : )

I'm OK with immagration, so long as the guests don't infringe upon the rights and culture of the generous host country in which they seek refuge.

Also, learn the language and get a job, and start paying taxes.

"When in Rome, Do as the Romans Do"

Respect goes both ways : )
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