As Populists Gain Ground, Sweden Sheds Its Taste for Compromise

Young women listen to a member of the Sweden Democrats, Stockholm, Sweden, Aug. 31, 2018 (AP photo by Michael Probst).
Young women listen to a member of the Sweden Democrats, Stockholm, Sweden, Aug. 31, 2018 (AP photo by Michael Probst).
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As the nationalist, anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats claimed their best result yet in Sweden’s parliamentary elections last Sunday, the nation’s newspapers went bold with their headlines. “Chaos,” read the front pages, in all caps, of the two largest tabloids. Dagens Industri, a financial newspaper, called the outcome “a political earthquake.” But the subject of their worry was not the rise of the Sweden Democrats, the latest party to surf Europe’s anti-establishment populist wave. Instead, it was the utter fragmentation of the country’s political landscape. That few focused their attention on the far-right party’s performance—it gained seats but still came in third […]

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