Our Politicians Are Not Always Who You Think

It is ironic that all the political parties spend huge amounts of taxpayers’ money on building positive images of the people that want to be elected to represent us in Parliament. 

Did you know that this public funding for political parties is more than €35 million each year! That is in addition to the several millions of euros of financial and support in kind from companies, foundations and private donors.

Your correspondent will never forget the film of how Finland’s current President got elected in 2014. The film The “The President Makers” was all in Finnish, for Finnish voters and shamelessly showed how a dozen young people were employed to bombard voters with positive stories about a man who was just another one of those grey politicians who had never done much more in his life than talk about economic austerity and self discipline. It is as if Keynes or Nobel winning Krugman never existed or exist…

It is now ironic that the President now lives at taxpayers’ expense in three huge official residences, does not pay any taxes, and keeps a relatively low profile. This may account for the strong popularity among voters, like one other president across the water…

To his credit our President does talk proactively with our neighbour, Mr. Putin… but he does not really make much of a difference to our lives. On could wish that he take a more active role as an opinion leader on important matters like climate change, innovation, export performance, equality, productivity, etc.

When you look at the blogs and other web pages of MPs in our Finnish Parliament, or any MP in any Parliament you see well designed positive texts with big smiling photos. They are packed with positive facts and clearly edited by spin doctors (mainly former journalists) who are asked to make sure that they get elected. You will not find much about the inevitable negative stuff like how one caused huge losses for Finnish cities by selling foolish interest rate options, or the other(s) who want to keep foreigners from crossing if their are real refugees or just because they look different and behave differently… Many others are incompetent at the ministerial job, yet still demand to have an escape from politics by being appointed to the EIB or to some important international sport committee as Finland’s official nominee.

Here are some of my favourite photos scraped from their own web pages:

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