Sweden: the coming general elections

Sweden: the coming general elections

Sweden is heading towards crucial general elections, where political competition is heated through presenting different programs from rival parties, seeking to gain more votes in the upcoming September elections.

However, another strong debate is taking place in the political and popular circles in this Scandinavian country, where mixed factors are correlated together in the military; cultural; security and political fabrics of the nation.

Security agencies have sounded a number of alarm bells: Stockholm has distributed millions of copies of a 20-page pamphlet entitled "If a Crisis or War Occurs". The booklet describes a wide range of issues from access to clean water to finding shelters. It was the first public warning of its kind since the Cold War.

“Even if Sweden is safer than most countries, threats do exist", this is how the booklet was presented to the journalists, and this is what it says, calling for "resistance": If Sweden is attacked by another country, we will never give up,”.

Of course, the world situation has thrown its shadow over Sweden, especially after Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. Stockholm has repeatedly complained (along with its neighbors) from the Russian violations to its air space, a thing which Moscow denies constantly, adding that some Western countries suffer from a state of "Russophobia", as observed by Reuters.

In a column in the prominent newspaper AFTONBLADET, Peter Larsson welcomed, CAUTIOUSLY, the government’s proposal to ban the Nazi movement. His fear was that the ban would lead to a resurgence of the Nazi movement, or perhaps even worse. It may push the movement to work clandestinely or even goes towards an armed violence, in a well-known pattern for this type of movements, when faced with a ban.

However, he believes that banning the movement, if very well organized, may result in some benefits: preventing the movement from reaching a broader base or mobilizing more supporters.

This official Swedish move comes because of a real fear that this strong democracy may be hijacked through manipulating the voters in a competition that should be governed by the healthy competition only. Many are blaming Russia of intervening in the elections of some major powers and democracies, such as the United States of America, France and Germany. In fact, what is now known as the “Russian meddling “is a hot issue in the United States.

A wide spectrum of analysts warned of the power of social media outlets on the democratic process. Social media can have a significant impact, spreading inaccurate information and fake news. The continuous process of pumping tons of information, images and news items makes it impossible to verify everything, allowing a huge hole that enables the spread of very harmful fake news. It is a perfect planned disinformation campaign targeting voters by spreading a series of false news to influence their political decisions and thus their votes in the polling day.

As if the full picture is not bad enough, Sweden sees the NATO alliance in disarray, especially after their last summit in Brussels, where differences were so obvious, only to add fuel to the Russian engine that is seen as a threat by the Scandinavian countries, who are feeling more than any time before the loneliness.

The organized crime, dealing in arms trade and drugs trafficking, caught in a ferocious intra-war of control, is a new ingredient in the recipe. Some analysts are of the view that with the overwhelming obsession of the war on terror, the momentum gained by the organized crime went unnoticed and unchecked, and that it might have reached a no return point.

The coming elections really are important for the country, Scandinavia and the rest of Europe, if not for the entire world. We are living, after all, in a very interrelated world.

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