“It’s just a logical step. There was no other decision to make”, the municipal and regional politician Jerzy Golowkin told the Hallandsposten newspaper, where Golowkin originally published an op-ed that was scathingly critical of party leader and Prime Minster Fredrik Reinfeldt’s immigration policies.
To make matters more offensive to the top brass, he co-signed the article along with Sweden Democrats (SD) Oleg Datsishin and Georg Cserti. The trio argued that the Moderates did not listen “to the voter’s opinion but instead made an agreement with the Greens”. Since the 2010 elections, the ruling Alliance coalition, dominated by the Moderates, strikes deals with the Green Party in order to keep the immigration-critical Sweden Democrats out of the lawmaking loop.
Furthermore, the op-ed authors argued that freedom of opinion in Sweden was sometimes as narrow as that in “the old communist countries”.
The backlash was immediate, said Golowkin as he explained why he this week had decided to leave his years in politics behind him. Not only did he face heavy criticism by party colleagues and other politicians in the media, but he was dragged through the mud on social media sites Twitter and Facebook.
Despite the furore, his stand does not, however, appear to be wholly unique. According to a 2010 survey from the Expressen newspaper, 14 percent of the elected Moderate politicians thought the party should cooperate with the Sweden Democrats.
While he was less isolated in his SD flirting than the backlash may have hinted, he decided to quit, saying he “no longer recognized” the party he joined in the early nineties.
Despite his tirade against his former party leader’s stance on migration, however, Golowkin told Hallandsposten he would not be joining the Sweden Democrats.