Young Swedes ‘pick dictatorship over democracy’

More than a quarter of young Swedes would favour dictatorship over democracy, according to a new study.

The results of this year’s World Values Survey Sweden found that 26 percent of randomly chosen 18-29 year-olds said it would be “good” or “very good” if the country had a “strong leader who didn’t have to care about a Riksdag or an election”. Almost all of the over-thirties interviewed, however, said it is important to live in a free society.

Speaking to The Local, research director Staffan I Lindberg blamed the phenomenon on a narrow consumption of news among the younger generation and a lack of confidence in political parties. He also claimed that a “mechanic” view of democracy is being taught in Swedish schools.

“The younger generation have a more individualistic approach. But they must realise that in order to be free to further individual gains, society must safeguard the general democratic rights which this builds on,” Lindberg said. “The benefits of a democratic society need to be discussed and debated in schools, in the press and broadcast media and in society as a whole,” he added.

The study also found that 21 percent of the same group would be willing to change their political allegiance for a cash incentive, while more than 25 percent said they would vote for an MP in exchange for a job.

Writing in a debate article in Dagens Nyheter, Lindberg said that worrying threats against democracy in Sweden are beginning to emerge, at the same time as young people in Middle Eastern and North African dictatorships are demanding the right to vote.

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