Taiwan sees a really difficult political situation, where Ma Ying-jeou even resigns from the Kuomintang leadership, there’s new elections called in Israel and Japan to shore up political mandates, and the world seems to be at one type of turmoil or another wherever you look.
Now, if you’re thinking of going long, but don’t have enough capital to increase your positions because you’re already in for 100%, what to do? Shorting is risky in most cases, and you don’t know which market will go up next. Go long USD/SEK, or short Swedish government debt (if you’re not comfortable betting against Russia). I hate to laugh this manically about anything, but the political comedy has reached such epic proportions that it is the only thing I can do in this situation.
Background: a newly elected minority coalition government (between the centre-left Social Democrats and the leftist-green Environment Party) has to pass a budget, with either a majority for its policies in the Swedish unicameral parliament (Riksdagen), or at least a “largest minority” for its budget proposition. It could technically govern an opposition budget passing with a majority but that would be like throwing in more chickens in a hen house where there’s already a fox – acting completely against your interests when you’ve already suffered major losses. According to established procedure, the opposition parties normally vote for their own budget propositions (allowance of one per party outside the government + the government) or abstain unless they’re politically aligned with the government (as was the case before when the Social Democrats (S) ruled in minority – the Left Party and the Environment Party would vote for their budgets), allowing a minority government to rule with its budget intact, and the other parties to display approval or disapproval of it according to party lines.
In this election, two things changed. First, the party campaigning on a stance of immigration policy reform, the Sweden Democrats, gained about 13% of the vote, and the centre-right bloc will for the first time be in opposition and provide a unified, single budget between them that they will all vote for.
All political parties have sworn on their structure and name that they will not, under any circumstances, in any capacity, cooperate with the Sweden Democrats (SD), which are viewed as a xenophobic, anti-islamist (Sweden currently has active, radical islamist representatives in government), nazi-rooted and fascist party. As such, the Sweden Democrats have simply stated that they will do everything in their power to vote against fiscally irresponsible budgets. Until yesterday.
Then they stated that, because of the unsustainable costs of immigration (about 20% of the government budget previously, and with increases in this budget after everything is considered) budgeted for, they would vote for the opposition centre-right bloc budget, giving it a majority and giving the rather radical centre-left bloc an unacceptable position of ruling an opposing budget. For all the sound and fury, it’s pretty easy to see the political game: if you refuse to let a party have any power, and consistently attack it and its representatives, then what do you expect? If at every level of the political game you aim to sabotage a political party’s underpinnings, then… principle of reciprocal blows?
Yes, stating immigration as the reason and spending the better part of a few weeks to discuss it as the main problem of the budget was extremely dumb. If the strategy would have been “the budget doesn’t balance and leaves no room for inter-bloc arrangements, and thus we have to go with a budget that does and has a chance of getting a majority” then that would have been fine – this budget and the people running it are a colossal failure from start to finish.
This leaves the government two choices: calling a new election as they don’t have a public mandate for a budget they accept administering (considered the nuclear M.A.D. option for a few reasons), or cancel today’s vote, reform the budget, send it to review across the Swedish public authority space and political party and political committee structure, and then bring it to a parliamentary vote as if nothing has happened, hoping to pass this budget according to the majority or “major minority” rule.
The political commentary has been pure comedy gold thus far. Read on for more.