Helsinki, we have a cabinet

Oh hey, before I forget: as of midday tomorrow (Wednesday) Finland will have a cabinet. The six-party negotiations succeeded, which was made public last Friday; the various negotiators weren’t thrown to wolves by their parties; and so with 19 ministers (Americans would call them “secretaries” I think) there’s a cabinet.

I don’t know enough to say much about the actual people involved; and I don’t understand the economics stuff to comment about that part of their common plan; so just a few notes.

Apparently five of the six parties have agreed to support a marriage neutrality gender-neutral marriage bill (I am an idiot. See here. —M.o.E.) if such comes up in the Parliament; the Greens have promised to introduce it. (The sixth party? The Christian Democrats, who would not have the thing in the official program, as the sniffy old lady voter block would not approve.)

The Prime Minister will be Jyrki Katainen, a he, of the Coalition (Kokoomus), who as the head of the party with most seats led the negotiations. He seems a reasonable fellow. (Elsewhere, the True Finn supporters — their party third with the seats, behind the Coalition and the Social Democrats, and left (thank reason!) out of the cabinet — persist in the loudly expressed delusion that the number of seats doesn’t count, but how many were gained or lost does. What’s that, derivative-based politics?)

The new Interior Minister is Päivi Räsänen, a she… the Christian Democrat headwoman. Also the only CD minister. Bummer.

The new Foreign Minister is Erkki Tuomioja (also here), of the Social Democrats. I kind of like him. He’s an open atheist, and a leftie that I agree with as far as I know and understand what he’s saying. At times I don’t; he has a Ph.D. in political science. He’s written good many books, some history, some biography, some some kinda political stuff; one biographical work he wrote in English, and then translated it into Finnish on his own. He’s the kind of person I’m willing to believe writes his own speeches; and back in the Sixties, he was a student radical, was arrested, and dated the now-President Tarja Halonen. As I said, I kinda like him.

As for the cabinet overall: Coalition (Kokoomus) six seats, Social Democrats six seats, Left Alliance, Greens and Swedes two seats each, and Christian Democrats one: a total of nineteen. The Coalition and Soc Dem seats are equally divided in prestige, I gather; I also hear that the Coalition (center-right) gave in a lot to the Soc Dems (center-left). I can’t say much else; as there is no Finnish Jon Stewart, I’m sometimes better informed about American than Finnish politics. See Wikipedia, why don’t you?

That’s about all I can say; as five out of the six parties are not (general epithet), I’m carefully optimistic.

Previously about the subject: Finnish parliamentary sundae.

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