Finland becomes a Member of NATO tomorrow, Tuesday April 4, 2023.
I was against joining NATO my entire life, life most Finns, until Russia invaded Ukraine. That changed my mind in a single week. But, I appreciate being a peace builder and unallied country – which we won’t be anymore starting tomorrow – and so now I’m feeling conflicted. I’m glad we’re joining NATO, but kinda not.
So many things have happened in the last three years that I never thought I’d see in my life time.
I’m won’t be making more posts about Finnish politics and this won’t turn into a political blog, never fear… but I have to say this.
Finland had general election yesterday, and two right-wing parties won and centre-left social-democratic party became third. (More behind the cut).
The biggest party is Kokoomus (National Coalition party), a right-wing party. They want to cut everything. The second biggest party is Perussuomalaiset (Finns Party) which is a racist, populist right-wing party. I’m terrified and horrified.
The third biggest party is SDP (centre-left social-democratic party), which was the biggest party 4 years ago and has been the Prime Minister party since then. This leftist current government has done such a good job the last four years and for once the poor haven’t been punished for existing, and have even been helped a little. And there’s been significant investments for things like education, health care (completed a social welfare and healthcare reform that all the previous governments had failed at the previous 20 years). There has been a feeling of hope these last four years – that people matter, not cutting all expenses and making the poor poorer while heaping money on the rich.
I don’t get why people who cried and wailed the last time these two right-wing parties were in power (2015-2019) voted now for them again. All the polls showed that majority of the people are satisfied with the current government even just a month before the election. But somehow people want to be kicked while already down, cuts literally everywhere, evermore worsening health care, education etc. and voted these two parties the biggest? When the populist party didn’t even mange to put together a political programme for the election?? How? Maybe we as a people are masochists? Honestly it’s starting to feel like it.
I have to admit though, that of all the parties, Kokoomus and Perussuomalaiset are the best in advertising. Not just before elections, but all the time. TPTB that back Kokoomus also own all the notable Finnish newspapers and news medias except for like two small ones run by leftist parties. And the national broadcasting company has Kokoomus or just right-wing people in the positions of power these days and Kokoomus or their backers are able to set a lot of the themes that are discussed before the elections and just in general. Perussuomalaiset on the other hand have mastered social media, such as Twitter and Tiktop like no other party. Of course their content is complete shit, but they’re out there talking to people and not using big, fancy university words.
The government negotiation are predicted to be difficult, because the voting percentages of the big three parties differ by less than 1% so no one party of the three have clear power. I hope for Kokoomus and SDP lead government – SDP should be able to stop the very worst of what Kokoomus will want.
I fear we’ll get Kokoomus and Perussuomalaiset lead one though. Perussuomalaiset only care about one thing – curbing humanitarian and most of the labor immigration. Slowing down green transition is also quite important to them. Kokoomus is for immigration and for green transition, but if Kokoomus gives in in those two things at least some, Perussuomalaiset would happily do what Kokoomus says in other issues. As we saw in the 2015-2019 government. But they need a medium/smaller party too, to form a majority, and a lot of the others have said that they won’t or it’s unlikely they’ll join a government with Perussuomalaiset (quit rightly so) in it. And most of the medium/small parties were in the current government and lost last night.
So however the government negotiations go, it’s going to be interesting with a potentially awful result for everyone not in the owning class.
The voter turnout was 71,9%. Not good. More people need to vote.
2 Comments on “Random Thoughts – Finnish Politics”
I’m not Finnish but I feel the same about that. My country Poland joined NATO when I was around 13 years old and even then I wasn’t very happy about that. So when I came to Finland a few years ago, I was glad that I live in a neutral country and didn’t like the idea of Finland joining NATO. But when the war in Ukraine started, I felt that there isn’t any other good choice for Finland. So I understand it is necessary but I wish it wasn’t.
About the elections, it also reminds me of the current political situation in Poland. Our current governing party is the populist right-wing party, which is basically our equivalent of Perussuomalaiset. They have been in power since 2015, this autumn we have elections and it is likely that they will win again. At least Perussuomalaiset didn’t win this time in Finland but it is not impossible that they win next time (I hope I am wrong). I would like to stay in Finland, there are many things I like about this country but now it may become more difficult for immigrants.
I’ve read some of the situation in Poland in the news over the years, it’s discouraging. Populist, right-wing politics seem to be on the rise in so many countries :/