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A dark blue government & the jolly greens
by Thanos Kalamidas
2007-04-05 09:53:28
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Finland’s electoral system leads to coalition governments where the small parties often play a very decisive role. For the last government the Christian-Democrats and the Swedish Party were the ones who managed to enter government and support the Center-Social Democrat government; this time things are a bit different.

The Social Democrats (SDP) suffered a really bad defeat and what made it worst was that a lot of their voters moved to the right party Kokoomus, considering that the conservatives in Finland are represented by the center-right Keskusta. While the SDP is still trying to find out how it happened, the right party has become a real decisive power in Finnish politics with its strong 50 members of parliament. Compare it with the 51 with which the winners Keskusta were elected, this is a total change of balance in Finnish politics.

To make a government the leading party, Keskusta, needs around 120 votes out of the 200 members of the parliament. The center party (Keskusta) and the right wing party (Kokoomus) have 101, the Swedish People’s Party adds nine votes, and, the big surprise, is that the Green Party will join with another 15 votes, which results in a conservative government with …green spots.

Here I have to stop because every time I mentioned this very likely possibility to my friends their first reaction is that I’m …joking and then they start laughing. But if you had been watching the Finnish Green Party over the last four years you would know that the only thing missing anymore is to change the name, since the only thing they have to do with the traditional European green parties is their marketing promoting their connection to the nature printed on non-recyclable brochures and posters that were plastered over Helsinki during the elections.

It's not a case of creating stereotypes but the gap that separates the Green Party with any conservative is huge and, in many levels, that makes it almost impossible to cooperate under normal circumstances. There is no beginning in counting these differences, from environmental issues to immigration, defense or health, employment and even education.

A few years ago during an election campaign I was talking with a candidate of the Green Party in Helsinki and I happened to naively ask what the Greens are doing to forbid the use of land mines in Finland. The stupid answer I received was that land mines are a tradition in Finland and there is nothing to do about it - the very same person was a candidate again in these recent elections!

Furthermore, the Finnish Green Party has gone through many changes over the last four years targeting a position in government and sacrificing even its principals, such as the use of nuclear power or their policy towards refugees – that last one in the name of …security! In addition, another leading figure in the Finnish Greens and also holding a leading and very sensitive position in a human rights' NGO left the party to become candidate of Kokoomus; it seems she found that the black color was stronger than the green inside of her.

All these things have led to only one conclusion: the people in Finland using the 'Green' name and principals are nothing more than opportunists and the worst kind. They prey upon people’s sensitivity to satisfy their pitiful ambitions, but I sincerely hope the Finnish people will punish them in the near future and cast them back to where they really belong….namely the trashcan of Finnish political history.

So, for a foreigner, this will look like a very dark blue government with green …spots just like bacteria under the microscope!

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Eva2007-04-05 12:23:44
"land mines are a tradition in Finland" - hahaha. Maybe he/she thought you were talking about a brand of vodka?

Fabio2007-04-05 14:43:23
Right-wing governments with greens will become more and more frequent in future.. In the Czech Republic the greens are in a right wing coalition, in Austria the Green-black coalition was much discussed during the last election campaign and didn't become reality only because of the election result.. many green parties all over the world are trying to become more independent from the left wing parties instead of being their watchdogs.. so Finland is no exception..

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