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1  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Big Bad Swedish Politics & News Thread on: October 19, 2015, 12:13:25 pm
The Moderates have agreed on immigration package by a large majority on their National Congress.

- temporary residency permits for refugees
- fast settlements of applications for asylum seekers
- those refused will be sent home quicker
- the refused will get no financial support,
- requirement for family reunification will be tightened.
- liberalization of the labor market to will make it asier for refugees to get jobs.

In addition municipalities should be able to prohibit begging (SD has ran an aggressive campaign against begging)

Anna Kinberg-Batra: "I have initiated a major review of our migration and integration policy."

Political commentator at Svenska Dagbladet Ewa Stenberg: "Fredrik Reinfeldt's vision of Sweden as a humanistic great power was buried over the weekend at the Moderates congress."

Former Defense Minister Anders Björck: "I've been waiting for this for a long time. The Moderate are starting to rediscover their true self."
2  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Great Nordic Thread on: October 19, 2015, 09:03:54 am
True to their consensus tradition the Faroese Union Party has settled on just one candidate for both chairman and deputy chairman despite their deep internal cleavages. So the election at the party convention on Saturday will be a formality.

Current deputy chairman Bárður á Steig Nielsen will be the new leader. He is an economic neoliberal and generally seen as a traditionalist (= cultural conservative and unionist). His deputy will be the economist Magni Laxafoss, who so far is the only MP that has declared he will vote in favor of gay marriage. Laxafoss is an economic right-winger, but a Social Liberal.

They both support an auction based fishing quota system - like the current centre-left/libertarian coalition. So there will be a shift in the party's position on this central area. A new fishing quota system will be impossible to revert if UP and the government agrees on a compromise.
3  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Big Bad Swedish Politics & News Thread on: October 19, 2015, 05:55:26 am
Jan Björklund has previously advocated tighter immigration policies, could Fp go right? Or are they too internally divided?
4  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Big Bad Swedish Politics & News Thread on: October 19, 2015, 05:54:20 am
SD claims KD is getting closer to their views, which Thor obviously denies. Seems a bit shortsighted of Åkesson to undermine KD like that. A stronger KD would be a strategic advantage for SD - pressuring M towards the right.

Is it undermining them though? By saying KD is getting closer to their views they do paint KD as the most attractive second choice for SD-voters and an acceptable alternative. SD obviously want a centre-right minority government dependent on them, and painting KD as an attractive alternative to their supporters would actually probably benefit them. 

My thinking was that they would want KD to attract voters from M, thus pressuring M to go towards the right (KD would be a more respectable alternative for M right wingers than SD). If KD only "borrows" voters from SD this wouldn't pressure M in the same way.

M are currently losing voters to both SD and Centre, I would assume they would only turn right if the loss to SD and KD became bigger than the loss to Centre.

Do you think Batra has actual liberal principles regarding this issue? Or would she drift right if the loss of votes were big enough.

(its easy to assume no politicians have deeply felt principles on anything, but Reinfeldt clearly had on this issue and even if Batra isn't quite as committed she may have too)
5  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Replace God Save the Queen? on: October 19, 2015, 05:00:07 am
Jerusalem is a great song, infinitely better than the dirge, but it's an English anthem, not a British one.

Yeah, replacing it with Britain wouldn't really work. Scottish mountains aren't all that green and "green and pleasant" and Scotland doesn't really fit...

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon Britain’s mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On Britain’s pleasant pastures seen?
And did the countenance divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among those dark satanic mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear: o clouds unfold!
Bring me my chariots of fire!
I will not cease from mental fight;
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
Till we have built Jerusalem
In Britain’s green and pleasant land.

While God save the Queen is of course Christian. Jerusalem is so more unequivocally (not just a non-specified "God", but Christ as the Lamb of God and building Jerusalem). Many would probably want a new national anthem to be non-religious.
6  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Europe-Middle East-Africa Refugee Crisis General Thread on: October 19, 2015, 04:44:11 am
They are entitled to these privileges because they worked hard to establish these welfare systems, contrary to the millions who are now lining up at the border and want to enjoy these goodies too.

Oh, I see, so Middle Easterners are just lazy freeloaders and that's why their countries don't look like Austria. Thanks for proving my point about racism.

Welfare states are a form of collective insurance. You pay into them with your taxes when you are working and you (or your children) can use them when studying, sick, unemployed, retired etc. It does create bad will when people who haven't paid the "insurance premium" gets ahead in the queue (so to speak) to fx housing or hospital treatment or too many non-payers use the systems and fx hospital waiting lists go up. You may find this selfish, but its a natural sentiment.

Tender didn't say anything about why most Middle Eastern countries malfunction (which is a complex issue).

Non-citizens generally pay taxes in the countries they reside in, and that goes for migrants and refugees as well. Why shouldn't they get access to the same services and benefits other taxpayers receive?

Well, they pay taxes when and if they enter the labour market. They haven't done so on arrival. Plus their labour market participation is low in many countries - especially those with high minimum wages, which are the same ones that have an extensive welfare state.

Most unemployed people, whether native or immigrant, are looking for jobs. If they don't get them, that's probably due to economic circumstances that can be reversed through appropriate stimulus policies. But either way, the native unemployed person is in the same situation as the immigrant one. Why would you blame the latter more than the former?

I am not blaming anyone, I am trying to explain how people think.

If the you is not meant to include me, but is a generalized "you", then the answer is that most unemployed people are former taxpayers or related to taxpayers. Even if not so they are mostly part of a group other tax payers feel solidary with given that they have a shared ethnicity. This is (much) less so than it used to be, but the "we are paying to our own" factor is still important.

There is a classic 2001 US of why America doesn't have a welfare state by three Harvard professors, that pointed out that one main reason was that an America lacked the ethnic and social homogeneity of Western Europe and a large welfare state would mean massive redistribution across ethnic and racial groups. The second most important factor being the relatively equal distribution of political power.

Extensive welfare states were established in countries with a high degree of ethnic homogeneity, because most people are willing to pay higher taxes to help their own group than "foreigners".  
7  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Europe-Middle East-Africa Refugee Crisis General Thread on: October 19, 2015, 04:12:15 am
Do you think we should have two threads, one for news on the crisis and the other to bicker about economic migration?

No, "bickering" comes and goes in the thread. It is primarily a news thread - once in a while someone tries to discuss something and then we once again find out we can't discuss this issue and things move along.
8  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics on: October 18, 2015, 10:24:41 pm
Knife stabbed Henriette Reker elected Lord Mayor of Cologne, while still in artificial coma after the assault.

She got 52.7 and her closest competitor Jochen Ott from SPD got 32. So a clear victory in the first round.

Congrats.
9  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Europe-Middle East-Africa Refugee Crisis General Thread on: October 18, 2015, 10:18:56 pm
They are entitled to these privileges because they worked hard to establish these welfare systems, contrary to the millions who are now lining up at the border and want to enjoy these goodies too.

Oh, I see, so Middle Easterners are just lazy freeloaders and that's why their countries don't look like Austria. Thanks for proving my point about racism.

Welfare states are a form of collective insurance. You pay into them with your taxes when you are working and you (or your children) can use them when studying, sick, unemployed, retired etc. It does create bad will when people who haven't paid the "insurance premium" gets ahead in the queue (so to speak) to fx housing or hospital treatment or too many non-payers use the systems and fx hospital waiting lists go up. You may find this selfish, but its a natural sentiment.

Tender didn't say anything about why most Middle Eastern countries malfunction (which is a complex issue).

Non-citizens generally pay taxes in the countries they reside in, and that goes for migrants and refugees as well. Why shouldn't they get access to the same services and benefits other taxpayers receive?

Well, they pay taxes when and if they enter the labour market. They haven't done so on arrival. Plus their labour market participation is low in many countries - especially those with high minimum wages, which are the same ones that have an extensive welfare state.

All I am saying is that this is a natural and unavoidable sentiment - you need an altruistic view of the world not to see it that way. Most people haven't got that, or only to a certain extent.
10  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: transgender individuals in the girls HS locker room? on: October 18, 2015, 10:00:20 pm
Congratulations, everyone. This is the worst thread I've ever seen on Atlas. I wish that were a hyperbole.

You haven't seen many then. The forum can go much lower. Try searching for the Sandra Fluke thread or one dealing with rape.
11  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Big Bad Swedish Politics & News Thread on: October 18, 2015, 07:28:07 pm
Ebba Busch Thor (KD) keeps establishing her party as the "hardliners" on immigration/refugees among the mainstream centre-right. She wants temporary residency permits for refugees to lower the "asylum pressure" and faster rejection of baseless applications. Her view is that Sweden shouldn't have more favorable rules than Germany. Rather moderate in an international context, but still controversial in Sweden.

SD claims KD is getting closer to their views, which Thor obviously denies. Seems a bit shortsighted of Åkesson to undermine KD like that. A stronger KD would be a strategic advantage for SD - pressuring M towards the right.
12  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Euro 2016 Qualifying on: October 18, 2015, 07:09:31 pm
Yeah, Denmark seems to be quite strong and has quite a good generation, but I think it's a "tossup/tilt Sweden" in Atlas terms, with Zlatan making the difference. If Zlatan wouldn't be in the Swedish team, I'd place my bets on Denmark.

Hmm, I think even most Swedish commentators have it the other way round: fairly close, tilt Denmark. Especially with the second match in Copenhagen.
13  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Europe-Middle East-Africa Refugee Crisis General Thread on: October 18, 2015, 06:54:02 pm
They are entitled to these privileges because they worked hard to establish these welfare systems, contrary to the millions who are now lining up at the border and want to enjoy these goodies too.

Oh, I see, so Middle Easterners are just lazy freeloaders and that's why their countries don't look like Austria. Thanks for proving my point about racism.

Welfare states are a form of collective insurance. You pay into them with your taxes when you are working and you (or your children) can use them when studying, sick, unemployed, retired etc. It does create bad will when people who haven't paid the "insurance premium" gets ahead in the queue (so to speak) to fx housing or hospital treatment or too many non-payers use the systems and fx hospital waiting lists go up. You may find this selfish, but its a natural sentiment.

Tender didn't say anything about why most Middle Eastern countries malfunction (which is a complex issue).
14  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Europe-Middle East-Africa Refugee Crisis General Thread on: October 18, 2015, 06:39:55 pm
@Old Europe: Population changes are de facto irreversible and given the number of asylum seekers is very large (+ will result in family reunifications) and is unlikely to go down in the foreseeable future (at least according to UNHCR) it is an usual situation, especially with the next election so far out.

The question is if there is a point beyond which it simply isn't fair to consider something a normal political decision? And if you are approaching that point?

Germany doesn't really have constitutional methods for dealing with this situation (other than just pretending it is a normal situation).

A Volksbefragung (people's inquiry) is the only referendum option, and just non-binding plebiscite. So using it would rely on politicians being willing to follow a result.

The German constitution only allows early elections after a vote of no confidence or inability to form a majority government. So not really an option.

Given that there isn't really any realistic options for getting to vote on this monumental decision some strong reaction is unavoidable from the opponents. So far it has actually been milder than one would have expected (Germans are a remarkably disciplined bunch - and so are Swedes). You could hope civil disobedience will be the weapon of choice rather than violence, but continued low level violence with arson against refugee facilities and some direct attacks seems likely.

You would have had attacks from hardcore racists anyway, but the frustration of being unable to influence this is bound to increase the level of violence.

(I will emphasize that what makes it monumental is the cumulated effect of a continued migration - if one believes it is a temporary crisis it becomes a more "normal" crisis, but that seems unrealistic.)

I don't see the necessity for a referendum.


Well, didn't figure you would, but the narrative that Merkel is ignoring "the will of the people" and that this allows "extraordinary measures" will continue otherwise.
15  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: transgendered individuals in the girls HS locker room? on: October 18, 2015, 05:52:27 pm
Locker rooms are traumatic places.

I disagree. At least, you have to make an effort to fit in like you do anywhere.


Joke, but many are uneasy about them. Its a vulnerable place, especially when you are young.
16  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Euro 2016 Qualifying on: October 18, 2015, 05:40:42 pm
I guess you believe in the Zlatan magic, but he has never scored against Denmark and never played his best against us.

Norwegian FCK coach Ståle Solbakken:

- Denmark is a notch better, but Zlatan can equalize it. If he decides 100% that he wants to be in the European Championship in France, then that may be what determines it. Denmark is a bit better and has the advantage of finishing in the park, but clearly the biggest potential match winner is Sweden's Zlatan. He seems fit again, and he's got the speed back after his injury. It's a monster.

- If Zlatan hadn't been Swedish, but Norwegian, we had been through already and Denmark had been huge favorites.

Without Ibrahimovic Sweden is pretty weak at the moment. The Danish defender Simon Kjær has neutralized Zlatan before and had Ronaldo under control recently.

Obviously I am biased, but I fail to see why Sweden objectively should be favorites with DK finishing on home turf. Of course this could be the first time Zlatan actually plays his A-game against Denmark, but it all hinges on that (which also requires Kjær to be beneath top level). And I think Zlatan would need to be on or close to top level in both matches. Denmark is unlikely to collapse against Sweden, so it won't be a big win if Sweden wins in Stockholm.
17  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Blair approved the Iraq War in 2002 - does it change your opinion of him? on: October 18, 2015, 05:15:58 pm
I don't think this is really news. He was gunning for a war as soon as him and GWB got in cahoots.

Its news that it is confirmed.
18  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Euro 2016 Qualifying on: October 18, 2015, 05:12:29 pm
I think Ukraine, Sweden, Bosnia and Norway will make it.

I agree with David's picks actually though I'm not totally confident about any of it. I guess Ukraine would be what I am most sure about.

Why Sweden?
19  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Germany prepared to accelerate accession process for Turkey’s membership of EU on: October 18, 2015, 05:09:57 pm
Would the EU really stomach having its eastern end border with Syria and Iraq? Maybe if there was an independent Kurdistan to act as a buffer...

I think this is mostly symbolic. There will never be agreement to accept Turkey as EU-member and both Merkel and Erdogan knows that.
20  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Germany prepared to accelerate accession process for Turkey’s membership of EU on: October 18, 2015, 04:38:13 pm
But this is not only about extremists, it's also about the demographic balance. Unlimited immigration from Turkey would affect this just as much as immigration from Arab countries, if not more.

Sure, but he asked about Merkel.

Turkey is also a NIC and one of fastest growing economies in the world - if seen over the past 5 years (currently slowing a bit).

There are of course very poor areas of Turkey, but its not comparable to Third World countries (to use a non-PC term). Its not like half the population would suddenly move to Western Europe if they got the chance.

Besides whats on the table is visa liberalisation for businessmen and students, not free labour migration.
21  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Germany prepared to accelerate accession process for Turkey’s membership of EU on: October 18, 2015, 03:49:50 pm
so an influx of Muslim immigrants have Frau Merkel worried but letting free movement to citizens of one of the largest Muslim states doesn't?

Stating the obvious: There are far more Arab extremists than Turkish or Kurdish ones.
22  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Euro 2016 Qualifying on: October 18, 2015, 03:32:31 pm
Statistics doesn't decide football matches, but its still a fun fact (at least if you are Danish), that Denmark hasn't lost to Sweden since Morten Olsen became head coach in 2000, apart from a "desk defeat" in 2007 after an episode where a drunken Danish spectator ran on the field and tried to attack the referee. The score was 3-3, but got changed to a 0-3 defeat afterwards.

A similar incident is probably Sweden's best chance Wink
23  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: transgender individuals in the girls HS locker room? on: October 18, 2015, 03:19:35 pm
My high school just had a third locker room for people who felt uncomfortable changing in either of the gender-specific locker rooms. As far as I know, it never lead to any problems.

Next reason to think that US is strange country. Many students in high school thinks that they are adult but that doesn't mean that they should be allowed to smoke cigarettes in school. Similarly with people who thinks that they are opposite sex while they are not. I don't see any reason for allowing them to both use locker rooms of the opposite sex or some other than the rest. The first case is pretty simple - it will make other student feel not comfortable and may lead to inappropriate situations and protests of both students and parents. Second case is just wasting school's money on whims of people who have problems with their identity/mental health/are just attention hungry.

Roll Eyes
24  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Euro 2016 Qualifying on: October 18, 2015, 03:00:45 pm
Predictions for playoffs:

Ukraine
Denmark
Bosnia
Norway
25  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Euro 2016 Qualifying on: October 18, 2015, 02:43:46 pm
Predictions for playoffs:
Ukraine
Sweden
Ireland
Norway

Why?

Sweden has lost the last 4 matches against Denmark and failed to score in the last 5 - and we get to play them at home in the last match.
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