How the rejection by Swedish youths of democracy is shaking the status-quo in Sweden


Saturday, 04 June 2011
Yesterday we presented a study which showed that Swedish youths saw democracy as ‘rubbish’ and are willing to vote for any leader of organisation that can either give them a job or pay for their votes. This issue has surprisingly been a much talked issue in Sweden since then.

The crux of the matter is that one on every 4 Swedish persons between the ages of 19 to 29 years old polled recently in a World Values Survey  said that they are willing to vote for any leader that brings in dictatorship in Sweden and that democracy is a shame. As such it will be fairly or very good if Sweden was ruled by an undemocratic strong leader.

Political experts and pundits have come out with knives and sharp tongue and the early ones said that ignorance is believe to be the leading factor for this. But, still the political class in Sweden feel that the figures are worrying.  

As many as 26 percent of Swedish young people thought Sweden be good with "a strong leader who does not need to bother with parliament or elections." One in five would consider voting for the politician who offered a small sum of money and 28 percent of the youths were ready to sell their vote to the politicians who promised them a job.

One consolation for this is that the study sample is small – of the 1208 people contacted only 305 young people responded. But a look back in time shows that the anti-democratic values of the selection have grown stronger.

In 2005, only 6.4 percent of young people responded that democracy was not as important, compared with today's 23 percent. Only 15.6 percent thought it would be quite good or very good with strong anti-democratic leaders.

“This, one must take very seriously. World Values Survey is a very professional investigation which has been going on for a bunch of years. But one must also be careful not to generalize because the sample is small. The changes over time, however, show that support for democracy among young Swedes is apparently weakening, "said Leif Lewin, democracy researcher at Uppsala University, Sweden to Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter.

Jenny Madestam, a political scientist at Stockholm University also spoke to the Swedish daily, Dagens Nyheter, believes that the result is a manifestation of the ignorance that exists among Swedish adolescents.
“There is ignorance about what democracy and dictatorship stand for. I can even see it with the students who study political science in the college. With deeper interviews with these youngsters, I believe that their answers would have been different.”


One argument this negativity is that there is a strong disconnect between political establishments and the youth in Sweden today. Even schools don’t link much of the political foundation in teaching as before. Youth wings of political establishment tend to operate as exclusive clubs rather that clubs where contacts could be made with the young and drum them in so that they start having a view of how democracy works. Afterall, it is said that the youths are the leaders of tomorrow as such the basic forces that led to the building of the democratic institutions of the country need to be passed on otherwise far rights organisations which are very persuasive would seize this chance and capture more support.
For example, 19 year old Miranda Helin, Stephanie Schmidt and Emily Lundberg, whom the paper Dagens Nyheter contacted, agreed that democracy was important, but only after the paper had explained to them what democracy was. At first, they had no idea what the term stood for.
“I seriously do not know what you are talking about. I have never heard of this in school, "said Miranda to Dagens Nyheter

The second argument is that very little is being done to assist the young people in Sweden today to get a badly crave professional live that make them build pride and grow with the fast changes the county is seeing. Most of the people polled, that is the age group find it very hard to get a job or proper career plan. After applying for hundreds of jobs and being unemployed for so long with the only thing most of them would think is to support the person that can assist then get a job, irrespective of that person’s political stance.

We have seen this before in the long route in history - recalled like of Hitler’s youth, the Chinese peasant revolutionaries, or the Stalinist – Leninist directions in which youths have been used more to capture and maintain the control of their establishment. With the growing of the far right in Sweden, it’s just a matter of time before they’ll start making big promises and capturing the large confused and undirected Swedish youths.

If in a developed and developed society such as the Swedish, in the 21 century, youths are open to selling their vote to politicians who promise them jobs, it should be worrying.
“It is really difficult to get a job. I will graduate in a week and I am panicking, "said Emily Lundberg to Dagens Nyheter
By Team

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