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I'm in Sweden at the moment (I was born here although I emigrated 15 years ago). I'm totally mystified by the Swedish electorate. The choice in Sweden seems to be between an extremely moderate (perhaps even center-left by international standards) coalition and a hard left opposition coalition than includes a good number of Marxists. The government is a mixed bag, but they seem reasonably competent and have actually achieved some consumer-friendly things while in power (school vouchers, privatization of pharmacies, liberalization of opening hours, minor tax cuts which still leaves Sweden as the 3rd nost heavily taxed country in the world) And yet the opposition is ahead by 10 percentage points. I really don't get it (in Sweden the word "liberal" is considered dangerously right wing, and "socialist" seems to be considered mainstream).

David: Yeah, neither do I.

My sister is a student in Finland and the culture there is pretty similar to Sweeden from what I heard (no school voucher system however). One thing strikes you : the people are very individualistic and self-reliant, too individualistic maybe for someone from the further South for instantce, and yet community and "community welfare schmes" are the words on everyone's lips - it's always a very big issue. It's something quite puzzling, isn't it?

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