Presidents for Sale… Roll Up, Roll Up!

Finnish politics has turned rather sour with the election for President which will take place next year.

The list of candidates is splattered with “Have-Beens” and a few political broilers who seem to think that they are automatically god’s gift to Finnish voters!

To date there is only one who is not part of political party and already the main media are already downplaying his chances of winning the vote, just because he is not being supported by any of the big three parties.

But let’s look at who is running and what are the chances of battling through:

The first one to enter the race is supported by the Centre Party. His name is Olli Rehn, and he is a central banker at the head of the bank of Finland, the branch office of the European Central Bank. He sells himself with platitudes like that he will represent all the people as president, something that he has never done during his career as a politician. His other great speciality is the mantra of austerity, something which is another platitude from the mouth of any banker. Your correspondent is not placing any bets on this grey man winning.

The second one to enter the race is from the True Finns Party. He was the former leader of the party who now sits as the speaker of parliament. He has been described by the leader of the Conservative Party as a person with whom he did not want to form a coalition because of some nasty scribbles in social media. Now the True Finns are in a coalition with the Conservative Party after the recent general election, meaning that they have come clean or that the Conservative Party has come dirty. Your correspondent is not placing any bets on this man either because the polls have already started to expose the dirty truths about him and the rest in that party!

The Conservative Party has announced that they support a Mr. Stubb as their candidate for president. This is a very sporty, verbose politician who has held lots of posts in the political sector without achieving very much except looking good in shorts. He appeared to give up politics for a cushy job in Italy, as a political professor at the European University Institute in Florence. The choice was made by the leader of the Conservative Party, who appears to be challenged by a younger political broiler, who self-declared himself to be ready to be a presidential candidate. The leader of the party didn’t like that, and wanted to show his teeth. Given all the problems the leader created for himself by choosing to form a government with the True Finns, we can expect that there will be some infighting in the coming months within the party. Your correspondent is also not placing any bets on their official candidate.

The final candidate who has some chance of winning declared himself to be a presidential candidate. He is called Mr. Aaltola, and he is a director of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. He was asked by the Conservative Party to be their preferred candidate, but he refused – he wanted to be an independent candidate. He is a solid political scholar who appears regularly on TV as a commentator on both Finnish and international political matters. Your correspondent would like to place a bet on this candidate winning, but being a journalist means that you have to maintain your independence. However, it would be quite refreshing to have a non-political president in charge, especially one who wants to remain above the day-to-day politics of the country.

The Social Democrats have not yet proposed their candidate, but we are expecting one to appear once they get their organisation in order after their defeat in the last election.

There are other candidates from the small parties, but they are true lightweights and have very little possibilities of attracting much attention outside these parties.

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