Terrorism, crime waves, rape epidemics, welfare abuse – headlines throughout the Western world announce a plethora of immigration-related outrages. Except in Canada, where immigration concerns lie mostly on the back burner, and rarely rise to dominate the national agenda.
Could any Canadian imagine a scenario where a fringe, anti-immigrant political party that garnered less than 3 per cent of the vote in federal elections a decade ago soars in public opinion to become the country’s most popular party? Yet that is exactly what happened in Sweden with the country’s Sweden Democrats party, which has been openly reviled by the country’s establishment political parties and its elites. Its 2.9 per cent tally in a 2006 election doubled to 5.7 per cent in 2010 elections, then more than doubled to 12.9 per cent in 2014 elections and now, less than one year later, tops 25 per cent, according to the latest YouGov poll. That puts the Swedish Democrats ahead of the two big parties, the Social Democrats, founded in 1869 and now in power, and the right-wing Moderates, founded 1904 and previously in power.