- In a vote of no confidence, 181 lawmakers voted against Löfven, with 109 in favor and 51 abstentions. It was the first time ever that a Swedish prime minister has lost a vote of no confidence.
Löfven now has a week to decide between two options: He can call a snap election, or resign and try to build a new governing coalition without a new election. If he picks the latter and fails, opposition parties would then be given a chance to try and form a government. If they cannot do so, a snap election would be called, likely in the fall, a year ahead of the next scheduled election.
Holy shit, they actually did it! This is a first in Swedish politics.
The Social Democrats and the Center Party held a press conference yesterday where their proposed solution was that the tenant's association and the landlords' association would negotiate how to implement free rent setting in new developments. That's right, the tenant's association were tasked with assisting in making themselves irrelevant, and if they didn't play along they were going to go ahead and pass it into law regardless.
Nooshi Dadgostar, the leader of the Left Party, delivered a speech explaining their vote that should lead to some much needed soul searching among the Social Democratic apparatchiks. Here's a translation of the speech if anyone's interested:
- Mr Speaker, Members of the Swedish Parliament, all of you around our country who are following this,
We have ended up in this situation because pride and irrationality have taken precedence over the country's stability and the political willingness to compromise. I'm sorry. Politics should be better. The fact that the Left Party has compromised the most during this term of office has probably not escaped anyone. When the government took office in January 2019, it was based on the mandates of five parties. The Social Democrats, the Green Party, the Center Party, the Liberals - and the Left Party.
Four of these parties agreed to exclude the fifth party, the Left Party. Our more than half a million voters were expelled from the negotiating room where the 73 points in the so-called January agreement were raised. This is despite the fact that the Left Party's mandate was required for the government to take office and the agreement have any meaning.
Nevertheless, we in the Left Party chose to let through Stefan Löfven as Prime Minister. It was not an easy decision, but we did it. It is not acceptable to be irrational in a difficult parliamentary situation. But we said even then, that a limit for us goes to the point of market rents and higher rents. We said: we are letting through your government, but you can not implement market rents. Then the government loses our trust.
We have done something that is perceived as unusual in politics, kept our word. This seems to have surprised the government's representatives in recent days. They seem surprised that a party is acting on the basis of what they've promised the voters and 3 million tenants. It is difficult to see any other explanation for the fact that the Prime Minister, as the leader of government, did not secure his basis for governing, in an issue where he has known about the actual parliamentary situation for two and a half years.
This is what another prime minister, Tage Erlander, wrote in 1962:
“There are many tasks that are too big for the individual to handle on their own, but which can be solved if we go together. The individuals build up organizations to assert their interests on the basis of collaboration, they need the support of a strong and powerful society to safeguard security and freedom."
Our country is made up of hard-working people. In trade unions and in tenants' associations and in the entire popular movement-Sweden. We have gone from being Europe's poorest country - to one of the richest in the world. Where strong parties in the labor market and the housing market negotiate with each other. Because it is employees and tenants who know best. Who should have the power to decide over work and home.
I am not historyless, I know what the Social Democrats have meant for Sweden. The strong state housing policy. Where the rent was reasonable and the standard high. It is also a policy that has meant a lot to me personally, to my opportunities in life. This is how Sweden should be. It is something that is worth developing, not dismantling.
As a political party with government power, however, the Social Democrats today seem to have abandoned all their ideals in this area as well.
We will not contribute to dismantling the Swedish folk home. That which is the heart of our country. The Swedish model, which built the country and builds it every day. Which built away the slums and gave children to assistant nurses, construction workers and store employees a safe home to grow up in. That's what this vote is about.
The Government has clearly stated that it intends to implement the existing proposal for free rent setting in new construction, ie market rents. It would be a systemic change in Sweden. But if Stefan Löfven and Annie Lööf want to implement market rents, it will not be in my and the Left Party's name.
What we do today is not done lightly. We have done everything we could to resolve the situation. But when no one else has wanted to contribute to a solution, now we are where we are - and then we keep what we have promised.
It is not the Left Party that has abandoned the Social Democratic government. It is the Social Democratic government that has abandoned the Left Party and the Swedish people. In such a situation, it is our responsibility as a party on the side of employees and tenants to do what we have said. That is why the Left Party will today vote in favor of the no - confidence motion against the Prime Minister.
Now begins a new and intense time. Let me be clear - the Left Party will never let through a right-wing nationalist government. The Left Party will always be constructive, willing to compromise and find solutions. But we also stand by our word. There must be someone who stands up for tenants and for the Swedish model.