Many new challenges are facing one of the world’s favorite countries. A general election will take place on 9 September 2018 and the well-regarded and historically strong Swedish democracy is facing its first major test in years. A new report by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), an intergovernmental organization that supports sustainable democracy worldwide, was written up by authors Adina Trunk and Therese Pearce Laanela and is a great look at the reasons for concern for Swedish democracy:
When people used to hear of Sweden, they got a dreamy look in their eyes. The idyllic country in the North, that topped rankings on living standards, economic competitiveness, working conditions, equality, democracy and fairness. Political stability and a strong social welfare system were the norm. Now, when people hear of Sweden, their facial expression is different. A worried look accompanies questions on migration, shoot-outs and burnt-out cars in the suburbs, increased crime and segregation, political instability and the upsurge of a far right-wing party. The elections themselves will for the first time be monitored by an official OSCE electoral observation team, making many wonder if elections, the cornerstone of Swedish democracy, are also under threat?
And if elections are the litmus test of any democracy, how well is Sweden doing?
International IDEA has assessed Sweden’s elections from a global comparative perspective. Our analysis reviews a range of factors which include civil society engagement, evidence of a robust debate, concrete measures to increase inclusiveness and accessibility, open, free and decent debate climate between parties and candidates, independent media coverage, interagency cooperation and measures to increase effectiveness, security and improve processes. The results are promising.
Read the full report here and add your comments below!