The leader of the opposition and chairman of the Social Democrats, Mona Sahlin spoke yesterday at Almedalen.
Mona Sahlin, the first woman on her post, succeeded Göran Persson in March. Persson had been leading his party and country for ten years but choose to resign after the loss in last September’s election.
Mona Sahlin was meant to be party chairman already ten years ago. But when it came out that she hade used the government credit card for personal expenses and hadn’t paid her bills she fell out of the race which opened up for the ten years with Göran Persson.
Now she did her first appearance at Almedalen, a place at Gotland which once every year for one week houses political debates, seminaries and speeches. Most political leaders use to be there, at least when it is election year. The week at Almedalen has been referred to as “Summer camp for politicians”, a perhaps somewhat unfair description since a lot of work is put into the event and usually some new points are made.
There are big expectations on Sahlin from Social Democrats who were discontent with Goran Persson´s one man leadership. She is seen as somewhat of a re-newer of the party. Her speech did not however give any clear signals on where the Social Democrats will go.
Her main point in the speech was that the current government does not care about the young people’s needs and opinions. So she announced the introduction of a youth council with around 30 members. This council will function as an adviser to Sahlin in her renewal of the party.
Sahlin also said that the government is increasing the cleavages in society and that their program is unfair.
The Social Democrats would take back the power with a large margin if it was election today according to the party preference surveys. Some analysts thinks that this could be an obsticle for her when trying to get the party to accept changs in its program.