Reading today in Svenska Dagbladet about a fragmentation in Swedish politics. The Center party in Sweden wants to break lose from the Allians, a right of center coalition of the Moderaterna, Folkpartiet, Centerpartiet and Kristdemokraterna. Recently the ten year party secretary Maud Olofsson announced that she will leave her post coming a congress in September. She had been instrumental in forming the Allians that initially won the election of 2006.
Small parties like Kristdemokraterna and Centerpartiet have suffered from losing voters being minors in the Allians. People have moved to the largest party Moderaterna to gain influence. They now poll around 4% which is the entrance bar to the Parliament. The finance minister Anders Borg, Moderaterna, have made an invitation at the yearly political gathering in Almedalen to offer collaboration with The Green party. I guess he saw the fragmentation coming. Another reason is that the Alliance is ruling as a minority government, a phenomenon that is common in Swedish politics, and is thus looking for a more stable situation. The Greens are moving forward like in Germany.
Also Jan Björklund, the minister of education, is suggesting that Sweden as the first country in Europe should introduce Chinese at the high school level. He says it will be more important for Sweden than French and Spanish. He did not say German, which gives the general direction of the thinking of government. They are German Chinese in their minds and will combine this with the Anglo-American presence. I have heeard comments that it is easier to collaborate with the Chinese than with neighbors in the EU so I guess it all makes sense. China seems to be successfully ruling by dividing in Europe.
Which brings me to the question of the prospects of the US. Walter Russell Mead, the editor of The American Interest and a professor of foreign policy at Bard College in NY, wrote a very up-beat article about America on wsj.com because of Fourth of July that was nice to read. It all made sense in the gloom given in the press about America at presence. I am a firm believer that the US will work themself out of their current fiscal problems and stand tall again. I even kept my American pension money in New York. Europe on the other hand seems to lean towards Chinese help rather than self-reliance.
Sweden is an engineering country and today there is a debate article in Svenska Dagbladet where people claim they should broaden the engineering education which is overdue. The article is a response to a report issued by Svenskt Näringsliv where the relative role of Natural Science/Technology and Humanistic subjects was discussed. I tried to read most of the main articles in this debacle but did not see the question about what the competition from China and India study. Volumewise they will churn out hundred of thousands, almost a million, engineers per year that work for lower salaries. I guess what Sweden wants to achieve is to produce engineers that can make Swedish companies rather than working for foreign companies in Sweden. This might require a modernization of an earlier successful educuation as Nina Wormbs and Sverker Sörlin argued in their article.