Saturday, September 16, 2006

But Up isn't Quite Down Yet

I read about the upcoming Swedish elections this morning in the New York Times and noticed that the beleagured right-wing of Swedish politics has a fancy plan to appeal to voters, voters who are already smarting from employment numbers. "The conservative party ... wants so much to appear not to be extreme that it calls itself the New Moderate Party," says the Times.

It reminds me of Denmark's Ventsre Parti, their version of compassionate conservatism. "Venstre" means left, a funny name for a right-wing party, but it comes from the party's place in parliament -- they traditionally sat on the left side of the aisle. Or so I heard.

But then, the first floor in many European countries is actually the second floor. Or our first is really the ground floor.

I live in a blue state now -- New York. I moved from another blue state -- Minnesota. That's right, isn't it? I mean left. I'm confused because in Sweden, red is the color for the Social Democrats, and blue is the color for the Moderates, which are actually conservatives. But by our standards (American), moderate may be conservative. Then again, even a conservative in those parts still supports the welfare state, which Americans think of as pretty left. So the conservatives are really far left democrats. I think. At least domestically.

Only a liberal (and a devotee of literary criticism) could revel in this much relativism, right?


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