| How the sausage is made|
The Sweden Democrats (Swedish: Sverigedemokraterna) are a Swedish nationalist, anti-immigration party. In 2010, the party won 20 seats in the Swedish Parliament. In 2014, this increased to 49 seats. In 2018, this increased again to 63 seats.
The party was founded in 1988. In contrast to many other western European similar anti-immigration parties, such as the Swedish forerunner Ny Demokrati, the Danish People's Party, the Norwegian Fremskrittspartiet and the Dutch Freedom Party, which tend to have libertarian or conservative roots, the Sweden Democrats have historical links to the Swedish Neo-Nazi movement. Though the party officially denounces racism, they are often accused of racism, as well as Islamophobia.
Currently, the other seven parties in the Swedish Parliament (Riksdag) refuse to cooperate or engage with the Sweden Democrats. Even though party leader Jimmie Åkesson has wanted a so-called Conservative Bloc in the Swedish Riksdag.
The party describes itself as nationalist, and, since 2011, social conservative. Several opponents brand the party as racist, far right and populist. The party also praises the social democratic welfare state.
The Sweden Democrats are to a large extent "cultural christians", having gained a moderate number of their voters simply from accepting the fallout from the overtly Christian party, Kristdemokraterna, which started to deflate at around the same time as the Sweden Democrats began to growth spurt. Disgruntled elderly Christian voters who jumped ship on Kristdemokraterna due to them not being sufficiently anti-immigration and anti-feminist found a new rallying cry with the emergence of the Sweden Democrats.
The Sweden Democrats previously wanted to restrict the rights to abortion; an unusual opinion in Swedish politics but changed their views in 2019. They also brand themselves as tough on crime, desiring to promote entrapment, to withdraw executive pardoning, and other controversial enforcement techniques.
Since its foundation in 1988, there have been several incidents involving high-ranked Sweden Democrats. Many of them have been brought to public attention since the party entered Parliament in autumn 2010.
One of the most infamous is the iron pipe scandal, which happened in June 2010, surfacing in November 2012, where three top-level Sweden Democrats (two of them MP's when the scandal erupted) recorded themselves on video, brawling at McDonald's in central Stockholm using racist and sexist slurs against bystanders, later picking up
iron aluminium pipes from a nearby scaffold.
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