Photo: Svenska Dagbladet
The extremely weak coalition government made up by leftist S and extremist green party MP will mostly likely not see their budget pass parliament. This, prime minister Löfvén stated just earlier today, means he will resign and the government be dissolved.
But there are some tricks that could still be played, so it’s not over until the fat lady sings. The tricks, however, all have one thing in common; they will only benefit nationalist party SD.
The background is found in the budgeting process itself. While the government drafted a budget to be voted on tomorrow, the four parties in the opposition block (the Alliance) drafted a budget of their own which will also be put to a vote. The historical reason for this is mostly that of making a statement about how the opposition think the budget — and by extension, the government focus and priorities — should be. Of course, since most governments have a solid majority, it’s all a charade and general posturing.
However, with the emergence of nationalist party SD as the third largest party, they have now presented their own budget. Pointing out that BOTH the government and the Alliance budgets are severely underfinanced (neither takes the exploding costs of dramatically increased immigration into account, instead using old estimates), SD pleads for reason to preserve what welfare and services still remain.
Now, everyone knows that SDs budget will be voted down. The other seven parties all deem it a law of nature that Sweden should have 1000% higher immigration than the European average (!) and challenging this extreme is nothing but pure fascism. So SDs budget is dead on arrival, but like always, it’s a statement.
The interesting part is what happens when the government’s budget is put up for the vote vs. the Alliance budget. Many pundits believed and hoped that SD would simply abstain, casting no votes at all, which would let the government budget pass.
But instead, temporary party leader Mattias Karlsson just held a press conference announcing that they will cast their votes for the Alliance budget for the explicit reason of breaking up a disastrous government. In other words, if the vote tomorrow proceeds as planned, the government will fall.
Since green party MP has proven absolutely toxic to the much larger S, with everything from drug scandals to ridiculously unrealistic political demands, it is possible that prime minister Löfvén will take the opportunity to ditch the baggage and try to form a new government. This would either be completely solo, which would require constant negotiations with the Alliance parties to do anything, or he could try to break up the Alliance and lure a few of the smaller parties over to form a formal government. But these small guys are already hovering just over the 4% mark that is the threshold for staying in parliament, and the perceived betrayal by the voters would guarantee extinction in the 2018 election. So that option seems unlikely.
Perhaps more importantly, this would also make it painfully obvious that SD is the only real opposition party, since the others are mere interchangeable placeholders. While this would be a huge boon for SD, it would be the death knell for the other seven who would suddenly be fighting for the same voters — especially since more than half the population supports SDs immigration policy.
There are also other maneuvers the seven parties could pull. Löfvén could retract his budget “for revisions” so tomorrow’s vote doesn’t take place. But then what? Unless he makes dramatic changes to the immigration-related posts, SD will simply bring it down again.
The Alliance parties could vote AGAINST their own proposed budget, which is exactly as wonky as it seems. Not only would it be awkward to shoot down your own budget (explain that one to your voters) but to do it to support the leftist economic model that you spent the past year publicly shredding during the election campaign is political suicide.
Then there are some procedural shenanigans that could, theoretically, enable the voting to go the governments way. Of course, that kind of brazen manipulation would be so deplorable in the eyes of the voters that it is doubtful anyone takes it seriously beyond the politics pages in the newspapers.
So, as of this writing all eyes are on Löfvén. It’s his move.
SD made a clear statement that they will do everything in their power to shut down any government that refuses to discuss the exploding immigration. So something’s got to give. And soon.