It is little wonder that voters in Finland cannot make up their mind about what party to support. The parties try hard to pin down these errant floating voters with extravagant promises the closer we get to the next election – April 2019.
The problem of voter choice is compounded by the fact that Finland has just 2 big national media groups that sell advertising space to big companies. These 2 media groups claim to be independent, but they seldom dare challenge the big companies or the politicians from the Conservative and Centre Parties because there are some rather tight links between these 2 parties and these big companies. Nobody wants to lose any more advertising income because they may upset the hands that feed them.
It is worth reminding readers that Finland has the gold medal for big company duopolies – we love them… 2 banks enjoy an over 60% market share, two retail groups have an 84% share of the retail market, 3 pension insurance companies, 3 forestry companies and 4 construction companies have similar market domination. Dairy products, alcohol, airlines and chemists all enjoy “special and protected” positions in our economy.
Back in the old days, it was a grand thing to be a thought of as a “solid merchant” and member of the Conservative Party. It was a must to be a member of the Centre Party if you were a farmer and forest owner. Reds joined the Social Democrats, and the more radical lefties joined the Communist Party. There were no Greens then, and certainly no True Finns… the reason for that was that it was that patriotism and the threat from Russia fuelled nationalism back then.
Now things have changed and political party membership has become an oddity. You correspondent requested the parties to show their colours by disclosing their membership numbers. Here they are and you will see that they are really tiny: