As Europe braces itself for new terror attacks, its political establishments face a choice: Will they finally start listening to their citizens' growing concerns over Muslim mass immigration and the spread of political Islam, or will they dig in and try to perpetuate decades of failed multicultural policies?
Sweden, perhaps leading the way, seems to have chosen the latter. As part of the country's so-called December Agreement, six of the eight political parties represented in parliament (Riksdagen) have simply decided to exclude the Sweden Democrats [SD] -- the only party to oppose mass immigration and defend Swedish culture -- from the parliamentary process.
No new elections
Technically, the six parties (in addition to the ex-communists, who were not included in the agreement but will no doubt adhere to it, as they are close allies of the Social Democratic government) have agreed that the budget presented by whoever is prime minister will not be voted down by the opposition. That was what happened in early December 2014, when Social Democratic Prime Minister Stefan Löfven's budget proposal failed because the Sweden Democrats voted with the center-right opposition. Consequently, Stefan Löfven's minority government found itself in the intolerable position of having to govern on the basis of the opposition's budget.
PM Löfven decided to call for new elections, to be held on March 22, 2015. But unfortunately for both the government and the opposition, several opinion polls left no doubt that the Sweden Democrats were steaming ahead. Some polls put them at 18% (up from 12% in the last election), meaning that neither the ex-communist-green-socialist governing block nor the center-right opposition could command a majority in a new parliament.
So the six parties got together in a common front against Sweden's only real opposition party, the Sweden Democrats. On December 27, they announced that there would be no new elections. Thus, the one million plus Swedes who had intended to vote for the SD, would have to wait for another four years, and even then their votes will not matter because the December Agreement runs until 2022.
Until the unlikely event that the Sweden Democrats obtain 51% of the vote, their supporters might as well howl at the moon. No other party will negotiate with their representatives or listen to their arguments.
Politics from the back room
The December Agreement may be fairly described as a soft coup d'état that has paved the way for Sweden's demise.
On the surface, Sweden's democratic institutions are intact, but from now on they are a hollow shell. The December Agreement introduces what may be labeled a dual parliamentary system. The official parliament, Riksdagen, remains in place, but in the shadows lurks the real parliament, made up of the seven party leaders -- all the way from the ex-communists (Vänsterpartiet) to the conservatives (Moderaterna). This back-room assembly conducts its deliberations in secret and protected from public scrutiny. From time to time, it will present its decisions to the Riksdag. As the seven parties make up 300 of the 349 members, the Riksdag will, of course, give its assent.
The new system may also be described as a consensual dictatorship. Regardless of what government Sweden will have over the next eight years, it will in reality have dictatorial powers. Its yearly budgets, which are the foundations of any other policies, are guaranteed to pass. In addition to the budget, the unified parties have announced that they will seek unanimity on defense, security, pensions and energy.
"Orderly" and "responsible" government
According to the six party leaders, the December Agreement was necessitated by Sweden's need for "orderly" and "responsible" government. Only the leader of the centrist People's Party (Folkpartiet), Jan Björklund, revealed the true intent: To keep "resentment parties" (read: the Sweden Democrats) away from influence.
None of the journalists present at the press conference, where PM Löfven revealed the new political order, asked the obvious question: Is it not the obligation of the political opposition to oppose -- indeed be resentful of -- the government's policies? Otherwise, what is the opposition for? And why have democratic elections if all "responsible" parties are expected to agree?
Unfortunately such questions were not asked, and by and large -- with a few dissenting voices -- the Swedish mainstream media have applauded the December Agreement.
At the December 27 press conference, hardly a word was said about the overweight elephant that is stalking Sweden: Immigration from the Middle East and Africa, which is so massive and costly that it is bound to thwart any budget.
14 billion dollars
No official statistics on the costs of immigration are available. But according to professor of ethnology Karl-Olov Arnstberg and journalist Gunnar Sandelin (authors of the noted book, Invandring och mörkläggning – Immigration and Concealment), the price tag is 110 billion Swedish kroner (close to $14 billion) per year.
That is a lot of money in a country with 10 million inhabitants. Others have put the net figure much higher. The politicians, however, keep insisting that immigration from third-world countries is an indubitable economic boon and refuse to discuss the issue. Nor is it discussed in the mainstream media. Anyone even daring to mention that there may be a problem is routinely labeled a "racist," a "fascist" or a "xenophobe."
Sweden's official statistical office, SCB, documents that a massive demographic shift is under way. Over the period 2000-2013, inhabitants with a foreign background grew by 713,000, whereas the number of inhabitants with a Swedish background increased by only 50,000.
Sweden has the highest number of asylum seekers per million inhabitants in Europe. According to the latest prognosis for 2014, 95,000 will have sought asylum in Sweden. The vast majority will be granted permanent residence.
Participants in Sweden's Asylstafetten (Asylum Relay) 2013 marched for 34 days from Malmö to Stockholm, to demand their government enact a "humane refugee policy," with more support and protection for refugees.
With vast parts of the Middle East and North Africa in turmoil, there is every indication that the number of asylum seekers will increase in the coming years. And as there is no sign that Sweden's seven united parties will dismantle their open door policy, one may safely predict that Sweden's goose will be cooked well before the December Agreement runs out in 2022. Sadly, its days as a free and democratic welfare state will be over. A population of perhaps eight million Swedes cannot accommodate and pay for perhaps four million such immigrants in eight years. It is as if the United States were to accept 150 million immigrants.
If we estimate that 80,000 asylum seekers will be granted permanent residence every year for the next eight years, we reach a figure of 640,000. As it is generally estimated that every new permanent resident from third-world countries will be followed by 2-3 family members or dependents, we are probably talking about an influx of two and a quarter million by 2022.
By that time, Sweden, which prides itself on being a "humanitarian superpower," will have become a failed state and there is nothing the discontented can do about it except leave the country. This was precisely what the UN predicted, but subsequently, it withdrew this prognosis.
Many have wondered what motivates the political establishment. Why do they insist on filling the country with foreigners, most of whom will become dependent on the state because they do not have skills required for jobs in the modern economy?
Check in next week.
Ingrid Carlqvist and Lars Hedegaard are editors-in-chief of Dispatch International.