Sweden’s mess reveals Denmark’s strength

With Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven forced to call a new election just three months into his term, Danish journalist and political commentator David Trads says the crisis reveals the strength of Denmark's coalition government.

Sweden's mess reveals Denmark's strength
Unlike her counterpart in Stockholm, Helle Thorning-Schmidt knows that what matters is what can pass through parliament. Photo: Keld Navntoft/Scanpix

The government crisis in Sweden should be followed closely by those in the centre-left in Denmark who are tired of the Social Liberals (Radikale) being part of the Danish government coalition. 

In Sweden, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, a Social Democrat like Danish PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt, presented a budget that was praised to the heavens by the Danish left wing because it was so progressive. 

Follow Sweden's government crisis on The Local Sweden

There is just one – huge – problem.

The Swedish government, which consists of the Social Democrats and the Green Party (Miljöpartiet), cannot muster a majority on the left alone. 

Just as in Denmark, at least one conservative party needs to go along in order to create a majority. 

Those on the centre-left can have big dreams, but they mean nothing without a majority that will get the policies through parliament. That's the case whether you are in Copenhagen or Stockholm.

Löfven appears to have forgotten that reality – in sharp contrast to Helle Thorning-Schmidt, who for three years now has manoeuvred through parliament with the vital support of a party to her right. 

David TradsDavid Trads is a journalist and political commentator. He is the former editor-in-chief of Information and Nyhedsavisen and has been a foreign correspondent in Moscow and Washington. 

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