|Sweden's Riksdag - Stockholm|
The taboo on such attitudes means that political parties, with only one exception, staunchly support continued immigration. Only the Sweden Democrats (SD) offer an alternative: real efforts to integrate existing immigrants and a 90 percent decrease in future immigration. Despite an unsavory neo-fascist past (not something unique to it, by the way), SD has become increasingly respectable and has been rewarded with electoral success, doubling its parliamentary vote from 3 percent in 2006, to 6 percent in 2010, to 13 percent in 2014. All the Swedes with whom I spoke on a recent visit expect the SD vote to grow further, something recent polls confirm.
|The Swedish government has opened the door to Syrian refugees.|
But SD is deemed anathema, so no party bargains with it to pass legislation, not even indirectly through the media. Both Left and "Right" seek to isolate and discredit it. Nevertheless, SD has played kingmaker on certain crucial legislation, particularly the annual budget. In keeping with its policy to drive from power every government that refuses to reduce immigration, it brought down an Alliance for Sweden government in early 2014. Recent weeks saw a repeat of this scenario, when SD joined the Alliance in opposing the leftist budget, forcing the government to call for elections in March 2015.
|Firebombed Mosque in Sweden|
This is nothing short of astonishing: to stifle debate over the country's most contentious issue, 86 percent of the parliament joined forces to marginalize the 14 percent that disagrees. The two major blocs diluted their already tepid differences to exclude the insurgent, populist party. Mattias Karlsson, the acting SD leader accurately notes that with this deal, his party has become the only real opposition.
|A graphic version of the two major parliamentary |
blocs' deal (the blue anemone hepatica flower is
the Sweden Democrats' symbol).
In other words, this blatant act of suppression is spurring the very debate it is intended to quash. Before too long, the supreme issue of national suicide might actually be discussed.
Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org, @DanielPipes) is president of the Middle East Forum.