Fascist Methods in Sweden

At the Swedish elections of last week-end, the far-right Sweden Democrats (SD, Sverigedemokraterne) got their highest score ever: 2.9% on a national basis. The party is mostly concentrated in the South of Sweden, in Skåne, and that's probably due to the influence of the nearby Danish People's Party (DF, Dansk Folkeparti). However, the party was the victim of some attempts by the antifascists to sabotage the election process.

The most remarkable part of the story is perhaps that the Antifascist Action (AFA, Antifascistisk Aktion) can document and brag about its sabotaging the election process at several places, while the police (or the press for that matter) doesn't seem to do anything against them. Here's a shortlist of some of their «heroic» deeds of the last weeks before the elections:

  • The party's election posters were systematically removed from the streets;
  • The party's election propaganda was systematically removed from the libraries;
  • The party's election propaganda was taken out of people's mail boxes;
  • Election candidates of the SD received (personal) threatening letters to withdraw from the elections, and as a result some actually did withdraw because they couldn't take the pressure;
  • An election speech in Västerås by the National Democrats (ND, Nationaldemokraterne), another party of the far-right, was effectively disturbed.

The most serious part is probably that the voting ballots for the SD were systematically taken away from the polling-booths, both on the day of the elections and before. A short note about the Swedish voting process can explain why this is a problem: In every voting-booth, there is supposed to be a pile of voting ballots for every party, with either the list of the party's candidates or just the party's name. You can use the latter type of voting ballots if you just want to vote for a party without any special preferences for the order in which its candidates will be elected. So if you want to vote for a particular party, you take one of its ballots, put it in an envelope and put the envelope in the ballot-box. However, if there aren't any ballots for your party left, you still have a third option: you can write the name of your party on an empty voting ballot, which is of course more complicated, and more prone to errors which can make your vote invalid.

I do not know enough about SD, ND or similar Swedish parties to judge whether they have fascists in their ranks or amongst their voters, but it's clear that there must be some fascists member of the AFA. Their methods surely can't be called very democratic if you ask me.