By Nordstjernan columnist Ulf Nilson, November 2010

Well, formally there is no question about it. Sweden is ruled by a coalition of the right wing (m), the Center Party (c) and the liberals (folkpartiet, fp). On the outside are social democrats (s), the green (mp) and the former communists (v). On the very, very outside sit Sverige Demokraterna (SD) who are considered racist and terribly unclean. So nobody should really talk to them or even recognize that they exist …because according to political correctness, they don't.
Right now, the country (or at least the media) is discussing one important question and ignoring another, much more important one.
Who is now going to lead the Social Democratic party?
Sahlin has been a total failure, but so has more or less everyone else. Thomas Östros, one of the heavy contenders, is stiff, aggressive and popular mostly among insiders. Per Nuder, who was once believed to be a strong candidate, says no, no, he's not running. Margot Wallström, who could probably have the job for the asking, is not interested (for which the party, should, in my opinion, thank her).
And so on and so on.…
Turning to another, more important question, I think we should realize that the social democrats are in a way the great winners of the election they just lost. It might sound complicated, but it isn't really (that is, if you accept my description of reality, which, of course, you do not have to do).
Sweden has, in fact, developed in such a way that it hardly matters which party or group of parties (except the fringe groups) lead the country. The differences are small, the ambitions very similar and the structure of the Swedish society very stable, indeed quite dull. The Swedes do not take kindly to bold proposals. Or to be more nuanced: They might like a politician who makes waves, but in the end they will vote for the steady man, he who stands for more of the same. There is a sense that all really important problems have already been solved—albeit not always very well—and that rocking the boat is the wrong thing to do. In America all elections are about change; in Sweden change is deemed dangerous and should be avoided.
The same goes for the really difficult issues, of which immigration is the most important. Sweden has, over the last three decades or so, “imported” some 1.7 million “foreigners.” This has led to social unrest, an enormous increase in crime (such as rape) and higher unemployment. It is quite clear that the newcomers have NOT been successfully integrated and that many Swedes of the conventional type are deeply worried.
But you wouldn't sense it by listening to the politicians or—certainly more worrisome—by reading newspapers or listening to the television or radio. If you write a column including the lines you have just read, you'll be labeled a racist, “hostile to foreigners,” and the like.
In other words: You have opted out of the consensus that is Sweden and thereby made yourself an unswedish Swede, a kind of a traitor who should not be listened to.
Compare it with the vital discussions and often drastic shifts in U.S. politics, both on the local and federal levels.