Thursday, December 16, 2004


Triangulation - Swedish conservatives no more

Triangulation - the oh so hip marketing stragegy from the good ol' 90-ies ... The Clintonian success machine in the U.S. (built by Begala, Carville, Morris and Stephanopoulos) and the Blair Witch Project in the U.K (constructed by pretty much the same men). By taking over their opponents questions, and neutralize the opposition with a new position (the triangular point) on important issues, Clinton and Blair where able to move their parties toward the middle ground focus groups.
Now, Swedish 'conservative' party leader Fredrik Reinfeldt is trying to do the same thing, according to Nicklas Lundblad. Or is he? Triangulation implies an agenda which is switched, altered or tampered with (hence, the change of position concerning issue advocacy). It does not imply the non-existance of any issue positions - which, as it happens, seems to be more likely the case in the Swedish current debate. True - the conservative right-of-center party, 'Moderaterna', has given up on old issue positions. But they haven't turned these into new ones right away. For a triangulation to be successful the public needs to get the impression that the party has changed its policy. And according to recent polls in Sweden - there is not an increase in support for the Moderaterna (since the old party leader carried moderaterna four years ago - which suggests that the public rather sees (m) as weary of its own role in Swedish politics.

Not that triangulation hasn't worked before, but in the Swedish case it would be more credible if Reinfeldt would let bygones be bygones... The recent development in party politics strategy from Moderaterna seems to have more in common with the failure of Yngve Holmberg (former party leader during the red late sixties who changed the blue party logotype to a red...) than with the success of Tony Blair.

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