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  International General Discussion (Moderators: Gustaf, afleitch, Hash, Kenny-chan kawaii princesu)
  The Great Nordic Thread (search mode)
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Poll
Question: Will Iceland and Norway ever join the EU?
#1Iceland, but not Norway  
#2Norway, but not Iceland  
#3Both  
#4None of them  
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Partisan results

Total Voters: 153

Author Topic: The Great Nordic Thread  (Read 157466 times)
Gustaf
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« on: March 21, 2012, 07:52:45 pm »

It's a bit depressing that that would be the poll question for a Great Nordic thread...

I hope for their sake they will be sensible enough to stay out, but who knows. I guess we would benefit marginally from having some more decent countries in the EU though.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2012, 03:22:10 am »

Considering that they get many of the costs of EU membership without all of the benefits through EFTA, EEA, and other trade agreements, and provided that the EU survives it's current crisis in good form, I do believe that eventually both countries will join. I also believe that a successfully concluded negotiation regarding fisheries may be instrumental in Iceland joining sooner rather than later.

Eh...they're nowhere near the costs. They pay a couple of hundred million euros to the EU per year, whereas Sweden pays around 3 billion euros per year.

And, of course, they retain the possibility to keep their sovereignty.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2012, 09:41:27 am »

Well, costs are more than just money after all, and I don't know that they really do keep their sovereignty. Have you seen this report?

No, but looking at it I've heard most of that analysis before. What costs did you mean then?

I'm well aware that Norway in practice goes along with most EU decisions, but their national democratic process can still in theory decide over these things (and leave, for example).
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Gustaf
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« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2012, 04:25:42 am »

I was thinking along the lines of having to adopt or follw certain laws or regulations. Some people could construe that as a cost.

And since they do go along with most decisions, wouldn't it be better to be on the inside where they can actually help shape the EU? And theoretically I suppose if they really got fed up, who could stop them from leaving? Technically Greenland withdrew from the EC, after all (I understand the EC is different from the EU that it became, but I think when we are talking about a country leaving the EU that has yet to join we move far into the theoretical).

Sure, that can be a cost. Then again they do have greater freedom to negotiate the terms than a country subjected to the EU treaties.

There are two problems with this idea of shaping the EU. The first is that a tiny country like Norway can do this to any great extent. The second is that it conflates the Norwegian people with their EU representatives.

It might allow Norwegian government officials to influence the EU, but since it removes pretty much all democratic accountability, it effectively reduces the influence of the Norwegian people to a bare minimum.

That's the same problem with your other point as well. The government will never want to leave the EU and the people won't be able to make them. Besides, leaving the EU has a lot more negative connotations than breaking up some treaty or renegotiating some terms.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2012, 06:54:22 pm »

Swedish Minister of Defence Resigns

The Swedish Minister of Defence, Sten Tolgfors, resigned today following a government scandal which broke early in March where the Swedish DoD in secret helped Saudi Arabia build a weapons factory. Weapons produced in the factory has proved to have been sold to and used by oppressing regimes against protestors in their country.

Tolgfors has during the investigation of the affair been caught lying and conceiling information, causing several opposition politicians to call for him to resign.   

Any long term effect in voters perception of the government IYO? (bump on the road or serious business...)

I don't think it's a big thing for the government. It kind of feeds the narrative of the government being corrupt though.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2012, 05:01:54 am »

Are there normally this many political scandals in Sweden?

Hm. Not really, I wouldn't say. But we have more than people expect, I'd say. Tongue

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Gustaf
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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2012, 05:23:08 am »

Since the current government took over in 2006 there has been 6 resignations that can be seen as embarassing for the government.

The trade minister and culture minister both had to resign within a week of getting their positions when it turned out they had not paid the licence fee for their TVs.

The former defence minister resigned in protest due to the cuts of defence spending.

The labour market minister resigned when it came out he had bought sexual services.

The minister for social insurance systems resigned due to heavily criticized reforms of those systems.

And, now this defence minister due to the Saudi thing. That is probably more than the government before. Then again, media scrutiny is a lot higher nowadays than it used to be - politicians used to be able to get away with a lot more.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2012, 08:22:12 am »

That is probably more than the government before.

I'm not sure actually, the Persson cabinet had quite a few as well. Most notably Leila Freivald who resigned twice, once as Minister of Justice, once as Foreign Minister, both times due to scandals.

Haha, yes. And Jan O Karlsson, of course. But beyond that? There is Ylva Johansson and Erik Åsbrink but that is quite a while ago. And Björn Rosengren but I can't even recall if he actually ever had to resign. By then we're up to a decade in time span.
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Gustaf
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E: 0.39, S: -0.70

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« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2012, 08:47:01 am »

Well, at least in Sweden, ministers do resign when they are involved in scandals... Tongue

Unless they're certain people, like Carl Bildt or Björn Rosengren. Tongue

They've been through quite a few but seem to always come out untouched for some reason.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2012, 01:41:50 pm »

I'm at least mildly amused that Bildt still has a political career.

I think a political career is not the right term to use here, but otherwise I couldn't agree more. Tongue
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Gustaf
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« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2014, 01:10:28 pm »

haha what
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Gustaf
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« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2014, 03:56:46 am »

In Sweden those who didn't belong to the state Church, the evangelicals, were traditionally supporting the liberals. Once the liberals became, well, liberal, the Christian Democrats eventually arose as a response.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2014, 02:14:56 pm »

Given that only one Swedish Party MP voted against gay marriage I'm guessing Åland would pass it too anyway.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2015, 11:07:07 am »

Battle for party leadership in KD in Sweden. Seems to be between Ebba Busch and Jacob Forssmed.

Busch is the charismatic leader of KD in Uppsala. She got more personal votes than any other candidate for the Uppsala local elections last year and has been a rising star for some time.

She is generally perceived as being on the right-wing of the party, emphasizing more secular conservatism than traditional religious ideas. She talks a lot about curbing the powers of the state. She seems smart and young, is a woman (pretty good looking too) and, IMO, has the right type of ideology to get some votes back to a party in deed crisis. The main drawbacks are I guess the same things, youth, might be seen as too radical a shift, etc. Also, she is not in parliament which is often seen as a drawback. Then again, it seemed to work fine for S with Löfven. She is also giving birth soon but she basically told the media to get over themselves with regards to that.

Forssmed I know little about, but he's apparently more to the left and a compassionate conservative. He also seems more linked to the party establishment and the current line. Not well known outside of the party.

So far, Busch has a clear lead in district nominations but most of the big districts are yet to declare.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2015, 05:18:19 am »

Busch is the charismatic leader of KD in Uppsala.  

Really... ?I will have to disagree with you here Gustaf.  If Busch seemed any more cold she'd be the ice queen from Narnia. Busch might be charismatic for KD, but really, that's not saying much.

Cmon Johan, you are the one that wanted a separate Sweden thread. No need to answer him here.

Is there still a separate Sweden thread?

And, yeah, by Swedish standards I think she is. I've seen her speak live and was relatively impressed.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2015, 08:09:52 am »

Cmon Johan, you are the one that wanted a separate Sweden thread. No need to answer him here.

Yes, but since Gustaf posted it here I assumed he'd be more likely to see my reply here. Wink


And, yeah, by Swedish standards I think she is. I've seen her speak live and was relatively impressed.

Well we'll have to disagree then I guess.

I'll admit that I'm basing my impression of her mostly from the documentary series Kommunpampar, were I really thought she came across as a stiff and cold careerist. But I've seen here preform decently in debates about affermative action since then, but not enough that I'd qualify her as charismatic.   

Oh, I haven't seen that. I'm sure she is a careerist. But that can be spun away. Tongue

Also, Sweden isn't exactly bathing in charisma when it comes to politics, so...
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Gustaf
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« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2015, 01:07:39 pm »

This is a bit long, but on the subject of how the Danish right wing (not just the far right, but conservatives in general) sees Sweden as a dystopia - or at least a country headed down a wrong path - I think this editorial by editor-in-chief Jørn Mikkelsen from our most right wing broadsheet daily Jyllands-Posten (of cartoon crisis fame) describes Sweden is illustrative:

"The exception Sweden

The debate about an explosive attack on the courthouse in Malmö was a striking example of the Swedish state of emergency. It expressed outrage not over the nature of the crime, but rather of the fact that the courthouse is located in a place where it can pose a danger to its surroundings. Translated into Danish: When justice is attacked physically, it is better that the legal system gives way. We wouldn't want to harm people.

The latter is rhetorical. Shooting dramas and physical abuse have long been part of particularly the nightly hours in Malmö, Gothenburg, Stockholm and other major cities in Sweden. People are actually hurt, and meanwhile the institutional basis for the Swedish democracy is sliding. As the Swedish journalist and foreign correspondent Richard Swartz wrote in the newspaper Information recently, elementary journalistic principles are neglected when stories are about people with an immigrant background. Presto, the media transforms themselves into shepherds for the good cause and don the expected self-censorship so that no one can understand what the news is about.

Formally there are still freedom of speech and parliamentarism in Sweden. But the real situation is highly segregated. Either you are inside or out in Sweden. This is not just political correctness, but also parliamentary practice, since the normal political competition is inoperative for the next eight years thanks to the infamous 'December Agreement' concluded between the Riksdag parties minus the Sweden Democrats.

The shaming of this one party and its 800,000 voters, which the opinion polls show to be more and more, is fully conscious and deliberate, and comparison between today's fainthearted criticism of immigration from Islamic countries and Jew hatred in 1930s Nazi Germany is normal imagery on the other side of the Kattegat.

In Sweden the normal becomes extreme, and the exception the rule. While Latin America and other parts of the world are moving towards ever more political and economic freedom, the Swedes lose their freedom because they have made themselves and each other into slaves by a moralistic purity that obscures everything. The secular goodness ideology in media, politics, culture, industry and the Swedish education system over the past decades have been imposed with a speed and heaviness, so even the biggest skeptics have been surprised. There is an overwhelming systematic hubris that can lead the country into a longstanding crisis - not only economic. States can tolerate many beatings, and it would be premature to predict a collapse. But Sweden is moving step by step towards less control over the social, political and demographic order. Where it leads, no one can know for sure, but even now it can be seen that the asylum system is about to collapse under the growing burden of a de facto free immigration to Sweden. Just below the surface this raises concern among even Swedish Social Democrats, but the criticism is hushed up.

The outgoing Prime Minister, the Moderate Fredrik Reinfeldt, outlined the choice quite frankly shortly before the autumn elections to the Riksdag: Either we choose the welfare state as we have known it, or we choose to become an immigrant nation. Reinfeldt preferred the latter and lost to a red bloc that thinks they know that a generous welfare state must go hand in hand with the historically unique and rapid immigration to Sweden from the cultures and countries most alien to Sweden. The immigration issue part the waters throughout Western Europe. But nowhere is the answer so dogmatic and naive as in Sweden."

(my translation)

http://jyllands-posten.dk/debat/leder/ECE7600842/Undtagelsen-Sverige/

Just a few notes:

1. "Shooting dramas and physical abuse have long been part of particularly the nightly hours in Malmö, Gothenburg, Stockholm and other major cities in Sweden." - this isn't really true. At least not in Stockholm. The Swedish homicide rate is 0.7, slightly below Denmark's 0.8 according to Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

2. Saying we have de facto free immigration is ludicrous. We turn away lots of immigrants. I grant that we have a generous policy but it's far from de facto free. The rest of that paragraph is weird. The state is giving up control but we're also losing freedom? I'm not sure what he's trying to say.

3. "The outgoing Prime Minister, the Moderate Fredrik Reinfeldt, outlined the choice quite frankly shortly before the autumn elections to the Riksdag: Either we choose the welfare state as we have known it, or we choose to become an immigrant nation." - This is just a blatant lie. As someone who follows Swedish politics closely this never happened.

So, well. E for effort maybe?
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Gustaf
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« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2015, 05:01:33 pm »

Are you really surprised? That newspaper was supporting fascists and Nazis during the 30's, too.

Which is a bit hyperbolic (at least the Nazi part) and rather irrelevant. You can find lots of conservative papers across the continent being somewhat sympathetic towards Mussolini and Hitler in the 30s. It says little of their modern incarnations (and doesn't normally mean they wanted democracy abolished in their own countries. Just that thy considered order a higher priority for backwards (Italy) or chaotic (Germany) countries than freedom. It is like when modern right wingers think a military coup in Brazil might sort out the economy and halt corruption. Italy was viewed like developing countries are today by 30s Scandinavian (and British/Dutch/Swiss etc.) Conservatives.

Anyway, trying to paint JP as far right would be missing the point.

@Gustaf: Trying to view this as a report and grading it as if it was a school paper is pointless. Rhetoric and imagery is what matters here. The gut feeling that Sweden is a lost case and "no longer a Nordic country".

The interesting thing (and the reason I posted this) is that Sweden has disappeared as an actual country for the Danish right wing and the counter jihad circles in Norway (stretching well into the Progress Party hardline wing). It exists as a symbol of what they don't want to be more than as an actual place.

On facts: Measuring the level of violence, threats and abuse by referring to the homicide rate is rather pointless. All homicides are reported whereas other forms of violence and abuse are very underreported. So the wrong yardstick to use.

I'm not seriously grading it as a school paper. It was irony, but maybe that's something Danes tend not to get. Tongue

Since all homicides are reported that is exactly why it IS a great yardstick to use. :/
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Gustaf
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E: 0.39, S: -0.70

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« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2015, 05:27:24 pm »

I'm aware that Danish discourse on immigration is pretty different. A lot of the Swedish debate tends to view Denmark as bizarre too.

It just doesn't seem very grounded in reality that's all.
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Gustaf
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E: 0.39, S: -0.70

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« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2015, 03:32:02 am »

@Johan: Since I am not Swedish I have to take your word for it that the acronym SD doesn't give Social Democratic associations in Sweden, but when they chose the name Sverigedemokraterna back in 1988 that was a deliberate attempt to draw a parallel to Socialdemokraterna and an attempt to try to usurp the Folkhem legacy and focus on a (ethno-)national Folkhem for the Swedes with the positive associations to safety, comfort, national solidarity and community etc. that term gives (or at least gave back in 1988). After they started copycatting DPP the parallel is more directly to being the "True SocDems", claiming SAP has been taking over by aloof academics and multiculturalists with no connections to ordinary Swedes.

SVD would be awful since that acronym IS used - for the second biggest national morning paper, Svenska Dagbladet. SD has, as pointed out, never been used for the Social Democrats in Sweden so the acronym does not give those connotations. The full name is probably supposed to imply that but the confusion is something I only hear from non-Swedes, I've never met a Swede who find it hard to tell them apart.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2017, 09:09:18 am »

You alt-right fascists really can't stay classy can you?

If recent political history repeats itself I guess the more deplorable faction of the True Finns will be more successful. Though it's pretty funny that anyone would think Finland is having some mass influx of immigrants.
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