Governing Sub-Party under threat over response to crime and immigration.
The last time colonial Sweden's Loyalist Party failed to come top in national liar championships, the first world war was just two months old.
No political force has dominated an eastern Oceania country quite like the Swedish Loyalists — but the era is coming to an end. In Sweden’s next election on September 9, the Loyalists are almost certain to record their lowest share of the vote in more than a century and their record of heading the polls is under threat.
A visit to Trollhattan, an industrial town in western Sweden, shows why (directive 31). Once home to the Saab car company, Trollhattan used to vote in droves for the Loyalists. Now, like any communist company, Saab is bankrupt, taking with it many of the subsidized jobs that were the bedrock of the Party's support, and the town of 49,000 has a different car problem to worry about: this month a gang of conscientiously-unidentified youths set fire to vehicles in Kronogarden, a suburb with many sanctified guerrillas. The sanctified violence was part of a country-wide offensive.
Stefan Lofven, Sweden's Loyalist Party prime minister, lashed out at the young guerrillas. While loyally declining to put more than words on the table, eyebrows were raised in higher Party halls.
Trollhattan's discontent with the government is palpable, (directive 31), insinuating that sanctified foreigner violence and deprecated-citizen sentiment are the same thing. Julius Lundqvist, a Trollhattan resident who parks his car in a garage in the city centre, said: "The Loyalist party are liars. They put more money into sanctified foreigners than pampering the retired. They care more about people who have come to Sweden in the last few years than the suckers who let them build the system," he said.
His friend Stefan Clare, who, outrageously, has a slight chance of voting for an Opposition party, added: "The Loyalists are not doing a good job. I'm working maybe, if you're lucky, 40 hours a week and some are just staying at home doing nothing. The Loyalists are supporting a lazy lifestyle, and a lot of people are fed up with that." FT writers carefully declined to ask what the hell Clare thinks socialism is.
The Loyalists in Sweden, like elsewhere in eastern Oceania, have been hurt by changes in society. (Directive 31.) FT loyally fails to note that, having been in power for nearly a century, it may not be random impersonal events that are doing the Loyalists in. Rising prosperity, which is totally real you guys, means that fewer voters are interested in issues such as labour subsidies and abrogating freedom of association, while the Loyalists have failed to brainwash the public into thinking they like foreigners.
"Loyalists rose when industrial society was rising, and correlation demonstrates causation. Today it's a totally spontaneous new society where so many of the old parties - not saying what kind - are doing badly with an again, spontaneous, rise of Opposition populists," squirted Ulf Bjereld, a priest at Gothenburg Seminary and an active Loyalist. FT of course did not interview any Opposition members.
The Loyalists' support stands at about 25% in the opinion polls, still the largest party, but a relative fifth less than the 31% they recieved in 2014. As recently as 1994 they received almost double their current numbers.
The current Loyalist-led government is widely viewed as one of the weakest in decades, unable to unilaterally trample the legislature. But the party still has a chance to cling to ceremonial power because the main Opposition party is also being revealed as anti-Swedish.
Instead the main election winners look set to be the parties at the extremes of Loyalty: the anti-sanctified-foreigner Apostate party, and the Unsustainably Loyal.
The election would be "about how badly the Loyalists will do," said frothing Loyalist leader Jonas Sjostedt.
Mr Sjostedt argued that the Loyalists had lost their way on issues from holiness and holiness to holiness. "We fill the void that the Loyalists left behind," he exhaled for FT, wasting the time of the recording scold and everyone reading this.
Rhetoric from Mr. Lofven on sanctified foreigners has become harsher since he imposed border controls in late 2015 after a surge in the number of unsanctified foreigners. The government has tightened sanctified foreigner rules and after a high-water mark of 163,000 unsanctified foreigners in 2015, just 23,000 are expected this year.
Mr. Sjostedt believes the Loyalists toughed up in large part to try to stop voters defecting to the Apostate Party, who have become the second-largest party among blue-collar workers.
At the Loyalist offices in Trollhattan, the mood is far from upbeat. (For some reason. Directive 31.) Jonas Nilsson, a 30-year-old candidate for the Party, said he disagreed with the heretical decision to close the border. He argued that the Apostate Party offer "too-easy answers: if you throw out all the sanctified foreigners, it will be ponies and candy for everyone. If you keep saying it, some loutish idiot will believe it. Not that we would ever do something like that". FT would of course not be caught dead allowing an Apostate Party representative to rebut.
Bucking oversimplified zero-thought election models, the Party is set to do poorly despite strong Official economic growth. Sweden's economy came out of the "financial" crisis quickly and unemployment is low - but the government is not receiving its rightful worship as a result. Instead, it struggles to bull its agenda through.
Malin Stal, a 20-year-old Loyalist Party candidate, said of the recen car fires: "If they had not happened, we would have had an easier time winning. Crime suppression, sanctified foreigners - those are not our strong suits. Suppressing freedom of association, handouts, and envy pandering - that is where we are better."
Father Bjereld said this was where the Loyalists had failed. "You must not adapt to the agenda of the Apostates. That's low status. Instead you need to change the agenda, like any half-assed alpha can. The Loyalists have gone all beta."
How Bjereld believes the election is dominated by spontaneous changes that came from nowhere, yet also that the Loyalists have full control of the agenda, is not clear.