Under the heading 'the Sweden Democrats' parliamentary group from the inside,’ the Sweden Democrat MP Stellan Bojerud writes on his blog that the parliamentary group has an exemplary attendance and discipline at meetings, “a result of the educational management of former commando officer Sven-Olof Sällström”.
Bojerud also writes that party secretary Björn Söder has “an extreme simultaneous capacity” and "personifies the hub of the Sweden Democrats' kinetic energy”. The party group meetings are described as effective and targeted. “Those who think that there are battle songs and agitation against immigrants has been deeply deceived by the old media."
Björn Söder. Photo: Sverigedemokraterna
The party secretary and chief whip Björn Söder laugh a bit when the blog post is mentioned. But he is pleased with the description.
"There are probably many who had expected that it would become something of a circus. But I think we have shown that we act responsible,” Söder says to Svenska Dagbladet.
Presenting itself as a party that is "prepared to take responsibility for Sweden" was an important component of the party strategy in the election. A move that gave the anti-immigration party 20 out of 349 Parliamentary seats.
Björn Söder himself calls the parliamentary group for “a bunch of freshman". Something that has been noted at the parliamentary votes, where members have voted on the wrong proposals. In order to avoid this, the party has introduced an outline for how to vote before each decision round in the Riksdag.
But when the party secretary now summarize the first year, he believes that they actually have succeeded in influencing policy decisions in the Swedish Parliament.
The largest success, according to Söder, was that they received support for a proposal for guidelines for staffing in dementia care. The party has also influenced changes in labour market policy, the stop order for privatisations of state-owned companies, and saving orders for the Government Offices. All of these are issues where the Sweden Democrats and the rest of the opposition have agreed.
“So I am not at all dissatisfied after this first year. It has probably gone better than expected.”
The party has however not managed to get through any proposals relating to its restrictive approach to refugees and immigrants.
“We have not been able to get support for any specific proposal, but I still think that there has been an indirect influence. Perhaps the biggest impact is that we have been able to hold a debate in the Swedish Riksdag,” says Björn Söder.
The Sweden Democrats is a political party founded in 1988, which designates itself as a democratic and nationalist party inspired by national conservatism and the social democratic idea of the welfare state (Folkhemmet).
The party belongs to the opposition but has no formal cooperation with other parliamentary parties
In September 2010, the Sweden Democrats got 5.7 per cent of the votes in the parliamentary election and for the first time entered the Riksdag.