Finnish Politics this week – Heads in Bushes

Two leaders of the Finnish Social Democrat Party have come down with serious illness. With just less than 3 months before the election, the party will face a hard slog of remain at the top of the polls.

The head of the Conservative Party has already said that he will not join a government with the Social Democrats. His comments are similar to those of the Conservative party in Sweden who are now sitting in the opposition. 

Finland has always had a long tradition of coalition governments from both sides of the political rainbow. There is nothing particular left wing in the Social Democratic election pamphlets to which the Conservatives could object to. It is actually the opposite. One would assume that the current almost Neo-liberal policies of the Conservative Party would be unacceptable to the Social Democrats. 

There has been a clear increase in social division in the country because of high unemployment. Even though unemployment has fallen, it still remains rather high. The government’s dent versus GDP is also too high at this point in time.

Corporate bosses have secured huge salary increases, large parts of the public health services have been privatised with many scandals in private care homes for the elderly. The regulators have to step in because many municipalities have outsourced their care homes and failed in their duty to regulate them properly. Deaths, and sub-standard negligent care have been discovered alongside the forbidden employment of cheap untrained staff.

The cost of power transmission now exceeds the cost of power for ordinary people as big foreign transmission companies gorge higher fees claiming that that have to make necessary investments. The government has allowed the our domestic transmission companies to be sold at give-away prices with proper price regulation. Foreign mining companies have enjoyed the same benefits, and all three groups of private foreign owners of healthcare, transmission and care of the elderly companies have found ways to avoid paying taxes in Finland! 

The Conservatives and the Center Party have created a nice golden Klondike on our shores for these foreigners! Voters need to consider more carefully how to vote because another 4 years of “austerity” and “reforms” from the same parties will mean much more hardship down the road. 

This “austerity” and these “reforms” are in fact just another form of income going to those who have much more than they need, while ordinary folk, young families and pensioners are being squeezed yet again. 

We need pension reforms; we need to cut out any new layers of government; we need to make the public sector more productive ,and we need to cut the huge grants subsidies and tax breaks for the big companies. 

We need more to be spent on appropriate education and occupational training for the young and most workers. Privatisation of our Crown Jewels (public healthcare and public transport) must be stopped. We also need to see the biggest monopolies to be broken up where they distort competition and keep prices high. The current government claim to believe in open trade yet maintain and protect monopolies at home!


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