When running for office, Stockholm's mayor Annika Billström promised not to go forward with the contentious road congestion tax proposal proposed by the Green party. Once elected, she went back on that promise in order to put together a ruling coalition with the Greens.
Now, Billström has again taken the path of political expedience and declared that only Stockholm residents will get an opportunity to vote on the congestion tax referendum next year. Her decision ignores the obvious fact that the matter of transport is a regional one that involves citizens of the entire county. In fact, the tax will affect residents of the surrounding suburbs even more than Stockholmers. The majority of people forced to pay congestion fees are those who live in the suburbs and commute to the city for work. The people most affected will not be allowed to vote on the issue.
Billström is no doubt hoping to benefit from the marginally higher support her party enjoys in the city. But her support isn't very solid. From the looks of it right now, hers is a losing proposition. TV4 reports today the results of a recent poll showing that 63% of Stockholm residents are against the congestion tax. Billström's party is also losing support, and this is almost certainly due in part to her obstinance on the congestion tax.
Billström's party seems likely to lose control of the city (and perhaps the whole country) in next year's parliamentary elections.
I follow this issue with some interest not only because I would be affected should I decide to purchase an automobile, but also because I am responsible for part of computing infrastructure for the congestion tax project.