Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Swedish voting procedure – An illusion of secrecy

September 11, 2018

Sweden has a population of just under 10 million and 7.49 million were registered to vote in the general election last Sunday. There were 6005 polling stations so each polling station would deal, on average, with less than 1300 voters. As a comparison, an Indian General Election has 814 million voters and 930,000 polling stations giving an average of less than 900 voters per polling station.

On average a Swedish polling station has 50% more voters than an average Indian polling station. Yet the Swedish voting procedure is almost entirely manual with very little use of electronic devices. Surprisingly, it is also prone to human error in the recording of who has voted.

The voting process has five key steps.

  1. Select a ballot paper from the party of your choice (NOT IN SECRET)
  2. Mark your preference for a particular person on the party list. (IN SECRET).
  3. Put your ballot paper in an envelope. (IN SECRET).
  4. Identify yourself to polling official who crosses you off the electoral list and
  5. places your envelope in the ballot box (NOT IN SECRET).

The voters choice of party is made in Step 1 but there is no pretense of secrecy around this step. The secrecy surrounding Step 3 adds no value. In Step 4 there is no cross check that the name being crossed of the electoral roll is actually the person who has voted.

Considering the voting process as a whole, it is remarkably old-fashioned but steps 1 and 4 are not fit for purpose for even an old-fashioned process.

 

This year the Swedish election has had international observers. I would be surprised if they did not comment on Steps 1 and 4.


 

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Sweden election 2018: Too many parties spoil the governance

September 9, 2018

We are about to go and vote.

Red/green or Blue or Blue/Brown.

But the simple reality is that Sweden is actually a politically fractured country with 8 significant parties (9 including the Feminist Initiative) who could cross the 4% barrier and get into parliament. There is zero possibility of getting a majority government. Back room deals and the undue influence of minority parties is a foregone conclusion. We have had the undue influence of the Green party in the last Red/Green government. Instead of 2 major parties we will now have 3. The Sweden Democrats is the Joker in the pack.

Whatever transpires we have a politically messy period ahead of us.

There are just too many parties.


 

Election time in Sweden and stupidity is in the air

August 26, 2018

The Swedish general election takes place in about 2 weeks and it is almost impossible to avoid stupid pronouncements by politicians of all colours and all parties.

There is not a single media outlet which does not have its own agenda. Some openly support a particular party. Others are more sophisticated and oppose particular parties. The most intelligent keep their preferences hidden but support or attack particular policies which, on balance and by a strange coincidence, just happen to be those of a particular party. But there is not a single one which does not have its own agenda. But the worst thing is the oozing, sickly sweet stench of political correctness.

Stupidity is in the air.

 


 

As a second class immigrant, who should I vote for in the Swedish election?

August 18, 2018

I have observed that in a Red/Green Sweden I am now a second class immigrant. I did not ask for or get “political asylum”. I came to Sweden – horror of horrors – to work. I did not seek, and I did not get, social welfare payments.

I am of Indian origin and I was working in England in R & D when I was “recruited” to Sweden 34 years ago. At that time it was still the old Stal Laval which became ASEA Stal and then ABB Stal and then later Alstom and then Siemens. In due course we became Swedish citizens.

Now as we approach the 2018 general election I must decide who to vote for this time. There are actually many parties not worthy of consideration. The Environmental Party is made up of children trying to be adults. They are so sanctimonious they make me ill. The Left party is just another Communist party masquerading as socialists. The Liberals and the Centre and the Christian Democrat parties have no idea what they really stand for and are “dead men walking”.  The Greens, the Left, the Liberals, the Christian Democrats and the Centre are excluded from any further consideration. That leaves three.

  1. For the Social Democrats, I am a second class immigrant because I came to Sweden to work and not for “political asylum”. Moreover they have not understood the difference between multi-ethnic and multicultural. Parallel cultures always give a fractured society. They want to tax me even more for very questionable projects. They have confused sameness with equality. They have made a false God of “equality” without understanding that fairness and justice demands unequal treatment. I find Stefan Löfven uninspiring. They may well win the election but they are probably not for me.
  2. The Sweden Democrats would prefer that I am not here. Jimmy Åkesson has actually developed more over the last 10 years than any of the other political “leaders”. He has more charisma than any of the others. On many issues, except the treatment of immigrants, I am actually closer to the Sweden Democrats than to many of the other parties. But they don’t like any immigrants of any kind and therefore I am not for them.
  3. The Moderate Party should be where I can naturally find a home. Generally, but mainly in theory, they are closer to my views on labour and the economy and free enterprise. But they lack courage and they lack leadership. They are so enslaved by political correctness that they are prepared to go against their own principles whenever the wind blows against them. Ulf Kristersson is solid enough but quite bland. He could grow up but he hasn’t done so yet.

I don’t have any good choices – only less bad ones.  I think the Social Democrats are unlikely to get my vote for just being too unintelligent. The Moderate party is possible as being the best of a poor lot but it could be a wasted vote. Or I could vote for the Sweden Democrats in the hope that an earthquake will result and that out of chaos can come order.

 


 

High irony in Swedish politics

August 2, 2018

The Swedish Social Democrats (the ruling party) have been in power for almost 80 of the last 100 years. They are not, however, very keen on talking about their past when it comes to the politics of racism. It was at the initiative of leading Social Democrats that the first ever state-run Institute for Race Biology was established in 1922. Within the workers’ movements, it was ingrained that Swedish workers were superior to other races. Even within the intellectual elite of the “Socialist” movement too it was “common wisdom” that Swedish culture and values were superior. It was this institute and their “scientific” work which was to prove the inspiration for the German version of eugenics. Whereas the German Institute was shut down after the war the Swedish Institute continued and later became part of Uppsala University and its genetics centre.

Eugenics Archive:

In 1918, it was suggested that an institute of racial biology be partially funded by the Nobel Committee (Lundborg, 1922). This was unanimously supported by the Nobel Committee itself, but the idea was seen as a misuse of Nobel funds and a race-biology institute was not created at that time. Lundborg argued that a race-biology institute was important to prevent racial degeneration in Sweden, and ultimately, the Swedish state-institute for race biology was created (Lundborg, 1922). ….

…… The purpose of the institute was to research genetics, heredity, and racial characteristics. (Lundborg, 1922; Broberg & Roll-Hansen, 2005). The data from this research was meant to be used to create practices that would supposedly improve the quality of the Swedish population (Lundborg, 1922). As eugenics became less popular in the public, the institute became controversial and was eventually renamed in 1958 (Broberg & Roll-Hansen, 2005).

Through their own eugenics program, where the Sami people were subjected, until as late as the 1970s, to forced sterilisations and abortions, the Swedish program was not so very far removed in its objectives from the Nazi program. The Nazi methods and the scale of their program were of a quite different magnitude. The Social Democrats would rather that this part of their history went away quietly. They have never really confronted the past or come to terms with it. Many leading Social Democrats (among them the Myrdals) were strongly involved in the vision of eugenically ensuring a population with the “right social attitudes”.

A Brave New World

In the mid-1970s Sweden’s parliament abolished the eugenics-inspired sterilization legislation enacted in 1935 by a social democratic government. During the four decades that passed between implementation and abolition, almost 63,000 Swedes were rendered infertile, in many cases in response to pressure from the state and sometimes as a result of outright compulsion. Furthermore, it was chiefly those regarded as ‘‘unproductive’’ who were the targets of that social policy.

The Sweden Democrats is the anti-immigration party which has seen increasing popular support over the last decade. Inevitably it is attacked for having its origins with, and having connections to, neo-Nazi (rather than Nazi) groups in their past. Other political parties have shunned them and have refused to contemplate working with them in any way. In this September’s general elections it is very likely that the Sweden Democrats will end up as the second largest party in parliament. The game is changing.

Yesterday I found it a case of very high irony indeed when the Sweden Democrats released a 1h 45 minute documentary about the place of race in the Social Democrats’ past. They use racism – which they are usually accused of – to attack the Social Democrats. Pure propaganda of course but not factually incorrect. The Social Democrats are trying to shrug this off as propaganda but they have some very dark skeletons in their closet.

One People, One Party

(Ett folk ett parti)

(You Tube keeps removing this video but it can be found quiet easily)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CekDXP7a6s

The video is still available here: https://vimeo.com/282930261

The Social Democrats with their eugenics program were probably as close, if not closer, to the Nazi eugenics of the 1930s and 40s, than the Sweden Democrats when they began, were to the neo-Nazis of their time.


 

When “democracy” becomes a religion, excellence has no value

June 16, 2018

Though no country is truly “democratic”, I am afraid that “democracy” is becoming a religion. It is being forgotten that “democracy” is merely a tool to enable a society to function well smoothly. But the goodness of any system depends upon minorities getting along with majorities.

As practised most “democracies” all exhibit limitations on who gets to vote, on who gets elected and on how far majorities are allowed to suppress minorities. They are all autocratic to a greater or lesser degree. Politicians represent parties rather than their constituencies. Even where they try to represent their voters, that advocacy is limited by their party allegiances. Heads of government are granted varying levels of autocratic freedoms. Some Presidents and Prime Ministers and Chancellors effectively are Kings – for a time. The test of goodness lies in whether it allows society to function, not in achieving a state of sanctity.

My fear is that the new religion of the twentieth century is some glorified, sanctimonious vision of a “democracy”. Holy crusades are being conducted in the name of this religion where heretical nations are subject to regime change – by force if necessary. This religion is now one where the mediocre is exalted, where the pursuit of excellence is castigated as non-democratic and elitism, where majority opinion replaces being correct. Right and wrong are replaced by majority view and minority view. To “follow” the mediocrity of the majority has become more important than to “lead” towards aspirations.

Democracy as a religion is, in fact – opposed to excellence or the search for excellence.

 


 

Trumpophobia or “Dump-on-Trump Syndrome” (DTS)

June 13, 2018

The establishment and the establishment media have been reviling Donald Trump for almost 4 years now. Initially it was to try and ensure that Hillary Clinton was elected President. Now Trump has been President for 18 months and the automatic, instant reviling of Trump on any subject and any issue continues. The fervour  is getting feverish and reflects more on the revilers than on the “revilee”.

But what the media missed before the election – and is still missing – is that Trump revels in the headlines. Any publicity is good publicity for him. There has not been a single day in his 500 days in office when he has not been in the headlines. The instant and largely reflex – but thoughtless – opposition is manifested as a global phobia among the liberal/left (where a phobia is “an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something”).

In years to come, Trumpophobia or the “Dump on Trump” syndrome will be studied as a classic example of mass irrationality or a mass political psychosis. Just his name seems to cause brain freeze among those afflicted with the phobia. But the affliction is debilitating. It causes otherwise rational people to sound and act like imbeciles.

But the reality is that no matter how much Trump is held in contempt or reviled or hated, his cavalier approach to government and to diplomacy has shaken the world out of its complacent, self-adulatory comfort zone.

Whatever his popularity or otherwise, history will show that Trump caused a much-needed correction to the self-admiring, self-righteous, sanctimony that was – and still is – suffocating the world.


 

Swedish Political Mathematics

June 5, 2018

The Swedish General Election is coming in September. The traditional parties are being confounded by the growth of the Sweden Democrats. The Social Democrats are particularly upset that even though their immigration policy now is almost identical with what the Sweden Democrats have proposed in the past, they are losing support. The Greens (Environmental Party) have no soul, very little sense and are an irritation and an irrelevance. The Centre Party is moving left, does not know what it is and has an identity crisis. The Left (Vänster) are die hard Marxists who have camouflaged themselves.

Any combination of parties which can command 45% of the votes will be able to form a government. In some circumstances with a split opposition 40% may be enough. My gut feeling is that the country would accept a Grand Coalition between the Moderates and the Social Democrats but a coalition of the Moderates with the Sweden Democrats would need another 5%+ party to support.

It makes an interesting mathematical puzzle.


 

Political parties name themselves for how they wish to be perceived

May 8, 2018

Political parties adopt names according to how they wish to be perceived and because they actually are something else.

No political party wishes to be perceived as it actually is.

democracy – a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.

republic – a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch.


 

The deification of Democracy

December 25, 2017

Bad decisions, wrong decisions, stupid decisions, promulgation of ridiculous laws, mayhem and murder are all justified today if they were decisions taken, or actions performed, “democratically”. “Democratic” applies as an adjective for any action or decision supported by a majority.

Democracy may be the best political system available for a society at a given time. But it is not sacrosanct and it is definitely not the best system for all societies at all times. Corporations and other enterprises prefer not to use “democratic” management for very good reasons. Armies and police forces and even bureaucracies cannot operate democratically. The worst schools are those where teachers are subject to the whims of the incompetent. No family company operates democratically. It is self-deception to imagine that the UN or the EU are democratic organisations. The idea that all countries must always be better off with a “democratic” system is flawed.

baying for democracy

We have deified “democratic” to the extent that the number of bodies is always given precedence over the existence – let alone the quality – of minds or the behaviour of those bodies. We have made a god of “universal suffrage” and a religion of systems that seem “democratic”. Even if the critical faculties of the human brain are not fully developed till the age of 25, voting age is being reduced everywhere to give half-developed minds the vote. Even if a true democracy can only be a form of anarchy, the semblance of majority choice of political parties is considered sufficient to attain a state of grace. A numerical majority in favour can validate falsity. Behaviour has no part to play. Experience and knowledge have no part to play.

…. it is mere existence as an individual that suffices to have an “equal vote”. And if everyone has the vote it is assumed that “democracy” has been attained – as if it were some sort of state of grace.  The only real criterion is that of age, even if some countries still have some other criteria in force. The merit of the individual is irrelevant. Votes can and are bought by promises or by free meals or by money or by a bus-ride. A “bought” or coerced vote weighs as heavy as one that is freely given. (There is nothing wrong in buying or selling votes – the flaw lies in that the seller has a vote equal to that of free elector). A fool has the same vote as a wise man. A large tax contributor is equated to a small tax contributor. Government servants paid for by taxes have the same weight of vote as the tax payers. Priests and politicians have the vote. The behaviour of an individual does not affect his vote. Experience, intelligence, wisdom, competence or criminality are all considered equally irrelevant. A majority vote is considered to be the “will of the people” where “constitutions” are supposed to prevent excesses against minorities. But constitutions are subject to the same majority vote. One hundred and one idiots take precedence over one hundred wiser men. And we inevitably get the politicians that universal suffrage deserves. This democracy and its universal suffrage needs also to be tempered by merit. But meritocracy smacks of elitism and no self-respecting socialist could tolerate that.

Universal Suffrage which ignores merit has led to the Lowest Common Factor becoming what counts and not the Highest Common Multiple that is being sought.

The primary flaw lies in the assumption that all humans are “equal” – whatever that is supposed to mean. No one disputes that people behave differently, have varying competence, have varying intelligence, have varying value to the society they are in and yet there is a mindless regurgitation of the litany that “all humans are equal”.

Equality and excellence cannot coexist.


 


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