This Week in Finnish Politics – Female Power Plays…

Prime Minister Sara Marin has been one of the best Prime Ministers of the last few decades, helped along by two other ministers, who also did a better job than most of their predecessors.

You can probably now hear an outcry from the wealthy, better-off middle-class men and women in their grey suits, who have never really liked this younger politician who can hold her own with older established European politicians, while obviously able to manage a family and an active social life.

Who doesn’t like dancing and a few drinks? Why was the conservative press out to smudge her, when we all know that quite a few so called “conservative political stoics” are known to hit a bottle or two a little too frequently without getting their faces on the front pages…

This PM has always been well prepared for meetings and interviews and speaks clearly without resorting to too much populist sound bites. She steered the country well though Covid and we saw one of Europe’s lowest death rates. Her leadership over Putin’s brutal attack on Ukraine has been exemplary as was her handling with others in her government of the NATO membership application. She also managed a significant improvement in the employment rate but was blamed for borrowing too much cash at zero rate of interest to fund the country’s needs. Sure, improvements could have been made in productivity but at least she did not privatize healthcare but ensured that the Healthcare reform was passed.

In this last general election in March, she failed to secure the largest vote by only by a few percentage points. Her election performance was still excellent, especially when you consider the challenges that we faced these last 4 years!

And now… unlike other typical politicians she immediately announced that she is standing down as party leader along with her other two female ministers and party leaders from the Left Party and Greens respectively. Smart people understand the need for change and recognize that the graveyard is full of those who thought that they were indispensable!

It is worth noting that the government’s bully was spearheaded by the leader of the Centre Party. Her actions were broke agreed policy promises that were agreed when joining the coalition. Her behavior obviously did not impress voters and the Center Party registered its worst performance ever. She has not shouldered any responsibility for this disaster and refuses to resign! What a Trumpian loser… On the other hand, we have never understood why the Center Party joined this government – they normally represent wealthy farmers and forest owners who generally vote on the righthand side of politics.

Your correspondent has always been of the opinion that politicians should only stay for a maximum of two elections and always have another job upon which they can fall back on.

Politicians should only stay for a maximum of two elections and always have another job upon which they can fall back on.

It is dangerous to see all these political broiler factories where young graduates are schooled to be life-long politicians. Nothing ever good happens to these people who turn sour after a few years too many sitting in party meetings that seldom live up to their fine election promises.

Just look at the new batch of party leaders – not one of them has held a job outside politics – and that is scary…

As readers are probably aware, the election winning party, the Conservatives (“Kokoomus” in Finnish) are trying to form a majority government, but takers are few and far between so long as the True Finns are spreading their wings as the country’s saviors with all sorts of populist promises that hardly ring true with the Conservatives austerity, full steam ahead immigration and privatization policies…

I feel (a little) sorry for the Conservatives because they have seldom ever been able to fulfill much without stronger coalition partners. Now they see that the only way forward is to cut public debt by implementing “cost saving productivity” meaning cuts in unemployment benefits, and housing subsidies… Austerity only works when the economy is running full speed which is certainly not the case today…

They also proclaim that the public sector needs private sector productivity policies. The only problem is that they were in power for over 12 years just a few years ago and never achieved much! We recommend that the read books and papers by Paul Krugman and Mariana Mazzucato… Both have great stories to tell about sound policies to keep Finland on an even keel…

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