Politics has become a rather depressing activity especially when we look at what’s been happening in US and in the UK. In these 2 countries the leaders of both parties would probably not be elected again if there were normal elections.
The big question of course is what is a normal election:
- We know that normal elections are certainly not elections which suffer from foreign government interference or with money coming from other countries.
- We know that normal elections are not those elections where Facebook and Twitter are allowed freely to publicise false facts and scandalous stories on behalf of those who have deep pockets.
The Nordics are not immune to dodgy parties. In Finland we have the True Finns who object to immigration, policies to limit climate change, and guarding people’s rights to gorge themselves on meat, while sitting in the comfort of the opposition benches.
In Sweden the Sweden Democrats are the nearest partners to the True Finns. Their policies and manifestoes are very similar, albeit rather more extreme.
Both parties are doing rather well in opposition as measured by the recent polls which are given in the above graphs. Both of them are reaching a 20% share or more in these polls. In Finland they have the pole position and in Sweden the number two position in the polls.
Once they have made their position clear in the press these two parties do not to need to keep on repeating themselves to stay ahead in the polls.
The other political parties have distanced themselves from these two parties, and it is unlikely that they will change policy in the near future. The policies and manifestoes may suit 20% of the population but the great majority of people in both countries believe that they are a serious risk to democracy, peaceful coexistence, and equality.
A test for the robustness of these parties actually happened here in Finland during the final term of the last government. In order to secure a majority in Parliament, the former prime minister Mr. Sipilä of the Centre Party, made a deal with 20 MPs from the True Finns. These 20 MPs then left the True Finns and renamed themselves as the Future Blues. Their leaders got 4 to 5 ministerial posts in that government and enjoyed the perks of office – bigger salaries and drivers in big black cars. At the next general election three years later they failed to win any seats and the new party was closed down. That will probably be the same life cycle of our friends in the True Finns and the Sweden Democrats if they ever get to join the government.
Swedish and Finish politics has really become depressing, but with a promise of future relief.