The Election for Change -Times Online: "Yet while the idea that it is time for a change has many advocates — even the Government puts itself forward as a champion of change — there is remarkably little agreement over what it is time to change to. What sort of Britain do we want? What vision for this country are we being offered?"
I'm reading this somewhat up-beat discussion of where the Times want the UK to move in the future. In Sweden we seem to want the job-line or the handout-line. However, I don't seem to recall that I have heard what these mechanistic objectives should lead. The visions of the two blocks please? And please end the technobabble on TV?
Is Sweden going to side with Norway and the UK and stand by the side of the EU and EMU? Sweden seems to be split on this issue. We don't speak with one voice, like the EU. However, the US, masters of one voice speak, nowadays speak with many voices as well. It's Republican, Democrat, Independent and Tea Party advocate and even recently the military who claim Israel is dangerous to their soldiers.
Another question is whether Sweden is going to follow the lead of Denmark that led to the top NATO job or if we are going back to neutrality politics? Denmark has lost over thirty soldiers in the wars and is more hardened than the Swedes today. Carl Bildt today confirms that the Parliament of Sweden is not in charge in a comment on our security politics on his blog. We have apparently not had a firm grasp of what we have been doing earlier. Perhaps we are split on that one as well? It would be interesting of Fredrik Reinfeldt followed up on Bildt's comment with a note on trashing our constitution.
The Swedish election differ from the British on one very important matter--the economy. I have a feeling that the Conservatives are not to keen on taking over the financial situation and that Labour rather wants to continue at the helm to weather the storm they are in. In Sweden it seems like Social Democrats have disappeared and that we will get environmental stuff with a foreign policy from the Left party.
The British election might end up becoming hung, as they say, and there will be a possibility that the Liberal Democrats, the third largest party, might side with Labour and form a coalition. We have the Sverige Democrats instead. Apparently 4-5% of the Swedish population is supposed to be treated like paria so they are not likely to side permanently on either side.
People in Sweden have a vision of a society that is gender equal which is interesting and possibly good if it materializes naturally. Apparently the quotation rule for boards in Norway has led to an exodus from Sweden of highly talented women that have made the Norwegian quota possible. There were not enough women in Norway. I'm against such quotations but I like the idea of a gender equal society. However, I would predict that we are going back to a neutrality politics in our foreign policy in this case and distance ourselves from the EU. Hilary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, claims that gender equality around the world is a matter of national security for the US.
So, unlike many countries in the EU Sweden could look forward-- especially if we we plan for ourselves. The economy is good. We are well on the way on the Green trail. We are a superpower in international aid, they say. We spend our 3% on research even if there seems to be problems of spending them wisely. However, we don't have enough jobs. Can you imagine that? There is not enough for people to do, especially young people. This is a mystery to me.