Tuesday, September 19, 2006


After 12 years of continuous power and having governed Sweden for 65 of the last 74 years, the Social Democrats finally got voted out of office yesterday.

It was another close election (48.1 percent of the vote compared with 46.2) just like in Italy and Germany. It also keeps the current trend of ideological change through out Europe: right replaced by left (Spain, Italy) and left replaced by right (Germany, Sweden).

However, the change in Sweden is by far the most important. The “center-right coalition” victory is short of a miracle. It’s the proof that even the richest socialist system is not viable in its current form. More important yet, it’s proof that even when benefits are outrageously generous (unemployment pays 80 percent of previous income) people can be reasonable and be willing to change.

Johan Norberg could not be happier.