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Waiting for the government and the True Finns
by Thanos Kalamidas
2011-06-06 07:56:16
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Watching the latest of the negotiations to form a government in Finland you might notice that first of all Finland tries to become the Belgium of the north going on without a government and secondly that the battle from the negotiation offices has moved online in blogs and social networks. Amazing, a sign of our times, a contemporary partisan war-style that we are going to watch more often in the near future all around the world. Still I have the feeling that there is something we are missing here and it is beyond partisan politics and theoretical differences for the transportations’ budget for the next year.

I haven’t write anything from the beginning of the negotiations and I didn’t write anything when the xenophobic euro-sceptics True Finns decided to withdraw from the negotiations and take place in the opposition leaving all the other parties to find their way and form a government and the reason I did so was that I was waiting to see what was the real reasoning behind this withdraw or at least to get a better feeling to what I was suspecting. The True Finns are not exactly the party that would stand to principals and they proved that during their campaign where one day they wanted to rip the rich from their wealth and the next they were ready to support the industry for the good of the country embracing all kind of industrialists and bankers for the good of their campaign’s funding. One thing was clear from the very beginning, they wanted to be part of the game and in Finland part of the game means part of the government.

The True Finns knew too well that in Finland it is nearly impossible for a one-party government and they knew too well that in a coalition government compromises are a must. And they were prepared for that. After all even in the Portugal’s economic help case and the European economic fund they had a clear position. They participate in a government with the conservatives but when it comes to vote in the parliament they will vote against. A calculated move since it was sure that the votes of the conservative party, the centre party and the social-democrats were enough the pass the bill. So what was the reason and why the timing?

I said it is a feeling but it is a strong one that the True Finns withdrew knowing that the negotiations would not drive to an immediate agreement, that the timing was working for them and most importantly they wanted much more from what the conservatives were ready to offer and that if they could wait they would get it. Oddly the last few days a new survey showed that the power of the True Finns has raised another 1-1.5%. Time and timing is always important in politics and populist parties like the True Finns without any credible background know that and use it. Actually this withdrawing worked in their advance, for the “good of the country” and her future in EU they stood aside from the decision for the Portugal's bailout, not taking any responsibility and the same time they were able to show to their supporters that they can stand for their ideas under any cost; while the rest of the parties even though were sceptic during the campaign when the time came they fully supported the package to Portugal disappointing part of their voters.

The conservatives after so long in the opposition and under the shadow of the centre party they are ready to govern and they were ready to cooperate even with the devil just to get the PM seat. If that devil will be the social-democrats or the True Finns they are prepared to live with it. The centre part from the other side came out of the last elections with just too many internal problems to solve and for that they need time and time away from governing so even though they role in these negotiations is pretty critical since they are standing between the other necessary partner, the social –democrats, they are not sure yet if they want to be there. The social-democrats were never an easy negotiator and the centre part has a hard experience of that from their past and their coalition government.

So while the three parties negotiate the True Finns wait and the same time their percent keeps raising in the Finnish society and the more the negotiates fail and the more they wait the more their power in the society will raise. The only problem I can see in their strategy is the moment the other parties will decide to imitate it and then the True Finns will find themselves in a carousel of multiple political poker games where the people will watch the mud fighting through online social-networks and blogs.

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