Resistance is growing within the ranks of the Centre Party over a radical new party programme which includes proposals on free immigration, polygamy and an end to compulsory schooling.
Several regional party chapters in southern Sweden are now organizing against the proposed 2013 party programme, reports the newspaper Dagens Nyheter.
In December leading Centre Party members in the southern region of Skåne said they were planning to draft a counter proposal ahead of the party convention in March.
They claimed that the proposed programme shows that there is a great rift between a neo-liberal “Stockholm Centre” and “the classic core voters in rural areas”.
But opinions are split in Stockholm, too.
“There was a crisis even before this proposal came. Where is the support for polygamy?” said Hans Lindqvist, a Stockholm County Council politician.
“I have a hard time seeing that anyone would be against it in the Stockholm region”, said Centre Party MP Fredrick Federley.
Now, a number of regional chapters in southern Sweden are joining forces with Skåne to oppose the proposed programme.
The Centre Party’s constituency chairs in Skåne are planning to meet on January 14th to discuss their alternative party programme.
“I presume that we will then try to coordinate our work with other regions since that would have the biggest impact,” said Lennart Pettersson, Skåne regional chair.
The districts that are planning to put forward a joint counter-proposal are Skåne, Östergötland, Kalmar, Blekinge, Jönköping, Skåne and Kronoberg. Others could join in, according to Dagens Nyheter.
“If we coordinate our views our proposal will have greater weight. It is important to clarify which directions the party is heading so that we get wide support,” said Gösta Gustavsson, chair of the Östergötland chapter.
Like many other Centre Party members, Gustavsson believes that the proposed programme is too neoliberal and focuses too much on the individual.
“We want to emphasise traditional questions like security and taxes,” he said.
Centre Party members have until February 5th to give their views on the proposed party programme, which will then be reviewed before being officially adopted at the party convention in March.
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