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How Direct Democracy became Facism – A Swedish Third Way Story.

A report on recent arguments in Sweden

One week before the swedish elections the syndicalist paper The Worker thought they made a scoop. The headline shouted: Centre Party members cooperate with English fascists!

Smeared as English fascists was the British party Third Way. What made the history even more interesting was that I was a so called former active fascist in Sweden before joining the Centre Party. Having a similar political background more than ten years back in time Patrick Harrington was the proof of Third Way being fascist, and I was depicted as a fascist secret agent infiltrating the Swedish Centre Party.

Comparing the two party programs a so called expert from the anti-fascist organization Expo told the Gothenburg Post that the Third Way green, humanistic and direct democratic program was only a trick to fool people. One can only wonder what is left of fascism in such a program!

The Centre Party like the Third Way stands for green values and decentralization of power and welth. The centre combination of national freedom and social justice was allways promoted as a third way that is not right nor left. The Centre politics, based on the common sence of the scandinavian countryside people, was since the formation of the Centre movement an alternative to both red and blue big scale projects. (For further background about the Centre Party read the article “The Scandinavian Centre Parties” on this home page.)

As a Centre Party member I have established contacts with several decentralist parties in Europe, such as the Norwegian Centre Party, the Hungarian Independent Smallholders Party, the Polish Peoples Party and the Third Way. This was well known within the Swedish Centre Party as was my political background, but when The Worker presented the old news as a political scandal one week before the election the Centre Party Leadership lost their nerve.

To placate the media the Centre Party hired so called experts on fascism from Swedish Expo and the Searchlight Educational Trust to investigate the Third Way. After three months the experts came up with a report saying Third Way is fascist. Without even contacting Third Way the Centre Party Leadership bought the report and demanded that I immediately distance myself from Third Way, otherwise I would be excluded from the party. I answered that I would like to see the evidence on Third Way being fascist, otherwise it would be impossible for me to accept the party was fascist, especially since my own impression is totally the opposite. I was denied the opportunity to see the report and instead of being excluded I left the party December the 12th.

I will keep my personal mandate in the local parliament of Sk�vde and I will continue with my international political work. Two of the Centre Party organizations that I was involved in now become independent centre networks. The Sun Ring (Solringen) continues as a network for third way international contacts, and Odal continues as a Swedish third way think tank.

Patrik Ehn, Sweden, December 2002.

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