Finland: cabinetmaking

Grm grm. News from Finland, from the aftermath of the April elections: the National Coalition party (Kokoomus), which got the most seats, has been trying to form a government. The goal, as I understand it, is to get one that has a robust majority in the 200-seat parliament, so some inconvenient vote won’t blow the thing over.

This is what they have to play with:

Coalition 44
Social Democrats 42
True Finns 39
Center 35
Left Alliance 14
Greens 10
Swedes 9
Christian Democrats 6

As you may recall, the True Finns are those bigoted Archie Bunker types I’ve spoken about before — see the links above.

Seems — as of midday on Sunday the 15th — that what the Coalition leader and probable new Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen (a he) is going with is this:

Coalition 44
Social Democrats 42
True Finns 39
Center 35
Left Alliance 14
Greens 10
Swedes 9
Christian Democrats 6

(111 seats of 200)

The big reason seems to be the Coalition wants to give EU-aid to Portugal, and the True Finns have more or less ridden into their success with a campaign of indiscriminate naysaying especially aimed at EU and other manifestations of foreign-ness. As a result, the Coalition is saying they tried but the True Finns just were not amenable to compromise; and the True Finns are howling this is a conspiracy that perverts the will of the people. Because, as you very well know, 19.1% of the popular vote is the undivided whole will of the Finnish people and deserves an unchallenged say.

(Why, the same principle works in general life, too! If five friends, stolid and suited and grave, are gathered together and one suddenly devolves into a slobbering, screaming xenophobic Neanderthaler, it’s Ug time everybody! Go clubbing for wimmenfolks! Raw dino flesh for everybodies! Or otherwise the will and the choice of all five is being trampled and perverted — and the Neaderthaler Neaderthalerizes even further, muttering that now the whole crowd o’ five sees, does it not, that voting does nothing.)

I’d be pretty happy with that proposed cabinet, even though that’d include the Christ Dems. (Who, mind you, have nothing against homosexuals — what their representatives may say is just their own personal Christian convictions about them faggot devils, okay?)

In my opinion, if the True Finns are an unholy combination of a bitter, ignorant Father and his xenophobic intolerant Son — seen on many a comment thread in the Finnish net — then the Christ Dems are the same family’s Mother: more church-bound, quite prissy and prim, and less likely to say anything as outrageous as the other two — but just as full of disapproval for those horrid different people; not that she’s saying they have no right to exist… but surely there’s no need to encourage their existence?

The Helsingin Sanomat headline — for Finland’s biggest newspaper — was “Suomi saamassa euroliberaalin kaupunkilaisten hallituksen“, “Finland is about to have an euroliberal citypeople cabinet”. Which, yay, euroliberals! (A comment in the article, from a political scientist: a cabinet of liberals and euro-positives, with the exception of the Christ Dems. End comment. Which is normal in Finnish politics: the small parties are needed to get a solid majority.)

Edit: The article behind the HS link has a picture: Katainen/Coalition top left, Jutta Urpilainen/Soc Dem top right, and bottom row left-right Anni Sinnemäki/Greens, Stefan Wallin/Swedes, Päivi Räsänen/Christ Dems.

Seems, at the moment, that the Greens are thinking this over; and the Social Democrats would like to get the Left Alliance, their brothers, in as well — seems a lot rides on what Mr. Katainen and his Coalition are willing to give away. The Greens want to save the nature, and build no more nuclear power — the first, as most of their program, I’m in full agreement with; with nuclear power, I don’t agree but am not going to let that ruin my day. They’re among the few that seem to really want a gender-neutral marriage law; that alone would be enough to cheer for them. (Then again, what kind of an aneurysm are the Christ Dems going to throw over that?)

And if the Left Alliance climbs aboard — hey, I’m more a leftie than a rightie, I think; though most of my strong opinions are about cultural liberalism (“march to the beat of any which drummer you want”) vs. cultural conservatism than about the left-right axis. I don’t really understand economics at all; except that as a student, and thus being poor but not miserly, I’m not instinctively opposed to aiding those not in my particular in-groups.

Now, that cabinet thing going on, I think we’re looking at four years of the True Finns in opposition, engaged in opposition; and given the revealed thought processes of some of their representatives (result: will not be prosecuted for hate speech; will be remembered as a poster child of uncouthness and the foot-in-mouth disease) — oh, the rest of the parliament will be on antidepressants before those four years are over, because of the constant uninformed contrarian yelling from the backbenches.

(And then, fears being true, the people will howling rise to the barricades, muttering of conspiracies of the well-heeled, and give the True Finns even more votes. After that, maybe they’ll get four years to fracture and fuck things up, and then go away. Ah well.)

* * *

According to the Helsingin Sanomat comment threads — which are swollen with the ire of the True Finn supporters — this exclusion of the True Finns will lead, simultaneously, into Finland being absorbed into the Europinated States of Europe being absorbed by the Caliphate of Differently Skinned People, and into the countryside lying fallow under the rule of tyrannical sweetwater seals, who have immunity to murder prosecution! Also, everyone will be taxed a kidney every Christmas, which will be called the Deification-of-Prime-Minister-Katainen-Day.

That’s what I gather; that sounds like an exciting future.

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