2004-11-11

Johan Norberg in Helsinki

I met yesterday evening for the first time the world-famous Swedish liberal thinker Johan Norberg at a public meeting in the restaurant Memphis, Helsinki. He seemed to be as pleasant and intelligent as I had predicted. Unfortunately I had to work late, so when I came there, the meeting was almost over. The discussion had likely been about the free trade and globalisation, as the Finnish translation of Norberg's book In Defence of Global Capitalism has just recently been published.

Since I have read news that the traditionally pro-market Swedish conservative party, Moderaterna, has shifted to the Left, I used the opportunity to ask Norberg how he predicts that the other Swedish non-socialist parties, particularly the liberal Folkpartiet will react. Will they fill the space that Moderaterna left empty, or will they try to compete for the same leftist voters with Moderaterna. Norberg, who have close relations with both the youth organisations of Moderaterna and Folkpartiet, told me that there are many in Folkpartiet who would like to turn their party into a great market liberal party, but the party's headstrong old social liberals would rather die than change.

I'm afraid that if Moderaterna will permanently shift to the Left and Folkpartiet will fail to reform itself into a market liberal party, there will be no hope for Sweden to become a real market economy anytime in the foreseeable future. So I wish all the best for the market liberals of Folkpartiet.

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