Finland Used to be a Nice Place…

We were lucky to have had a group of reasonable leaders from well-mixed coalitions in this country, but that was before…

Now, after the recent elections in April, we are faced with a stone-faced, right-wing government made up of a collection of unsuited and unsuitable wannabes.

Some people say that diversity is the strength, but when you pack a group of squabbling and argumentative children in one room, most of the time you get useless noise…

The two largest parties in this new government received just over 20% of the vote each, the Conservatives and the True Finns. They use other names in English, but this is just a ruse to distract voters from what they really stand for. Kokoomus, the Conservative Party that scraped through as the largest party in these elections, is built on around Thatcherism, and on a foundation of three themes:

  1. “Let’s keep the workers in line – so we can maximize profits…”
  2. “Privatization of natural monopolies and basic services is good for the country – and for us as well…”
  3. “Austerity, lower taxes, and small government work better – especially for us…”

These themes work only when coalition governments are made up of just right-wing parties. That is very unusual but happens to be the case now and is a deviation from the historical norm where our governments normally include parties from both sides of the political spectrum.

The leader of the party who is now our Prime Minister is a political broiler who has never held an ordinary job outside politics. He has never shown any real leadership qualities except appearing to voters to be flavorless rather dull man. Unfortunately, unbeknown to all of us, he was obviously harboring a burning ambition to be a prime minister at least once in his lifetime! His choice of partners in this new government are the True Finns, whose credentials differ very little from the AdF in Germany – xenophobic nationalists who are anti-EU inward-looking white supremists.

The Prime Minister spent weeks trying to get the True Finns to agree to a government program for the next 4 years and ended up with a bloody nose when the True Finns appointed an Economics & Labour Minister who has had clear connections to the extreme right. The public outcry was very loud, and he was soon replaced by a former Conservative MP who was forced out of the party after allegations of improper relationships with under-aged girls, (which he denied…). He promptly joined the True Finns, who immediately appointed him to this post which was undoubtably to spite the Conservatives.

The only reason why these two parties can have a majority in parliament is because they managed to persuade two small parties, the Christian Democrats and the Swedish Folk Party to join their right-wing coalition. The Christian Democrats represent a tiny minority of voters who believe in banning like things abortion and same sex marriage. The other party, the Swedish Folk Party is always concerned about keeping the Swedish language as the second official language of Finland. This party is has shown serious concern for important political matters and has been a proactively useful political player by joining any government from right to left. However, one may rebuke their choice of joining this government because their own stated values are clearly in contradiction to those of the True Finns. Their 4.5% share of the votes gives this government, a majority in parliament, and this is not a welcome fact for thoughtful voters. Many party members have expressed strong doubts about the party’s current leadership…

Although none of the governments over the past two decades were perfect, none were as cold, hardhearted as the present coalition government here. As mentioned before, most commentators, including your correspondent are of the opinion that this government will collapse in its own impossibility within the next few months.

Disputes between and within the four parties will certainly come again and again to the surface, especially when our economy is showing weaker developments. Neither of the two big parties have been able to agree on reforms during the last two decades when in power, and there is little reason to believe that they will now be able to forge a brave new world.

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