Finland has always benefited hugely from the concept of equality:
- One man and one woman have one vote each at elections.
- Our political leaders are normally honest upright people.
- Laws are fair and we are all equal before the law – corruption is low.
- Every Finn gets to have a free education from Primary school Vocational Colleges and University.
- We understand the importance of knowledge, culture and languages.
- Universal low-cost healthcare is still here but under attack.
- Those in need and almost every citizen has a warm home.
- We live in a clean, safe environment with adequate public transport.
Your correspondent is of the opinion that this is one of the best places to live and work. Some complain about the weather but there are always moaners around, and who wants to live in tropical heat without changing seasons? But, as the headline suggests, all is not well in paradise…
The present government elected last April has included the far right-wing party called the True Finns. Before the election and in earlier governments, the big parties said that they would abstain from inviting them into a coalition. However, when the Gallup polls started to show that the True Finns were achieving a 20% share of the vote the Conservative Party leader, Mr. Orpo, decided not to say he would exclude or include them. Many Conservative voters would have jumped ship if they had known that Mr. Orpo has already decided to form a right wing majority government with them, but he had given no clear indication before the election night.
The Swedish Folk Party had said quite publicly that they would never sit in the same government with the True Finns, but that changed after the election because of the irresistible attraction of sitting on the front bench and having one or two ministerial posts. They also saw that their 5% effectively gave them a great bargaining chip to protect the constitutional right to have Swedish language as an official language here, which is used by 5% of the Finnish population. However, the True Finns do not like to pushed around and soon stamped on the Swedish Folk Party’s toes saying that they would not be bullied by a mere 5%…
This was a big mistake, which is typical of the True Finns, because the Swedish folk party holds a majority stake for this present government. If they decide to leave the coalition, the present government would resign and there will be new elections. The latest polls show the Social Democrats way ahead of the True Finns and the Conservative Party, and few people here want to see a return of the silly horse trading that went on between the members of the coalition after this April election.
One key member of the Swedish Folk Party, Ms. Biaudet, a former minister and former Ombudsman for Minorities, recently stated that she opposed the agreements reached regarding immigration and equality when this new government was formed. She has said that she will vote against any new laws that she does not agree with in parliament as an elected Member of Parliament.
This coalition is not that friendly to new immigration, especially when they are from non-white regions. Refugees are also on the reduction list… Even today well qualified foreign workers from outside the Eu face stupid hurdles and long delays to enter the country to work.
There is also the possibility that other members of her party sitting in parliament may agree to withdraw their support from the government and cause a political crisis here.
As stated above the latest Gallup polls are not encouraging for the Conservative party and there must be many members of that party ho do also feel uncomfortable with having a Faustian contract with the True Finns.
It is now clear to many both at home and abroad that the present government is skating on thin ice, and it is not uncommon, that gaping holes are always to be found on the ice. It is incumbent on the Conservative Party to assess how much risk they want to take before they manage to kill off Finland’s hard-earned reputation for equality. Voters have already started to change their allegiances.
Photo: Laura Kotila | valtioneuvoston kanslia