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Quotation


It could be an asset to be a little ordinary

The Liberals' partyleader Johan Pehrson in Aftonbladet 25/8 2022

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Tidavtalet
The Tid accord

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Per Gahrton
DN Debatt 12/11 2019

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Hard Rain    No 40    July 21, 2023
Goodbye, People's Party (Folkpartiet)
Many of us remember the fine old People's Party (Folkpartiet). The party was founded in 1934 through a merger between the Swedish Liberal Party (Sveriges liberala parti) and the Free-spirited People's Party (Frisinnade folkpartiet).
 
In the early twentieth century there were liberal groups in Sweden fighting for democracy, people's education and equality before the law. In the battle for voting rights Liberals worked together with the Social democrats. Social reforms were high on the agenda.

The Liberal movement raised a string of strong profiles and precursors. Ellen Key, Emilia Broom and Kerstin Hesselgren are tightly connected to the fight for woman suffrage.

Many of us remember the fine old People's Party (Folkpartiet). The party was founded in 1934 through a merger between the Swedish Liberal Party (Sveriges liberala parti) and the Free-spirited People's Party (Frisinnade folkpartiet). The social-liberal direction of the party was developed by Bertil Ohlin, professor in economics.



After World War II, when we got more "normal" times, we started to get accustomed to the People's Party. Bertil Ohlin was always there as the leader of a confident and reliable opposition. The People's Party always lost the general elections to the Social democrats headed by the creaky Prime Minister Tage Erlander.
  In later years the People's Party, sorry the Liberals, has tried to solve its problems with some magical gestures (remember Mandrake). The result is not impressive. Neither change of party name nor getting a new logotype, a new party leader and renaming old opponents as friends has been a hit.



Most devastating is the new friendship with the ultra conservative Sweden democrats (Sverigedemokraterna), a crucial piece in forming the so called Tid accord (Tidavtalet) with the Moderates and the Christian democrats.

The goal of the Sweden democrats is that Sweden should have the lowest immigration rate in Europe, which is rather difficult to digest for the Liberals. The verdict of the electorate is hard. 4.6 percent in the election 2022 speaks for itself. And profiles like Bengt Westerberg, Birgitta Olsson och Cecilia Malmstrm have all turned their back to the party.

The brownspotted ideas of the Sweden democrats are as far away from the social outlook of the Liberals as you can get. Still the party leader Johan Pehrson seems to value a couple of government posts so much that he lets himself be governed by the turbid politics of the Sweden democrats.

Goodbye, Folkpartiet.
Blessed in remembrance.