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A Quick Guide to the Parties in the Finnish 2019 Parliamentary Elections

Ville Kokko

Posted on April 18, 2019 21:39

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A quick and admittedly sarcastic look at the major parties.

After the recent election, here's a quick look at (most of) the parties in the Finnish Parliament. I'm not half as informed about politics as I should be, so this will just be a quick, lighthearted look based on what I think I know. (Of course, it's all relative. A lot of Finns would say I've got it totally wrong, and I'm probably better informed than most of them, but that doesn't mean much.)

Centre Party (Keskusta): The major losers in this election. They're being punished for heading the previous government and making "necessary" cuts on everything; general corruption; and making it harder to gain unemployment benefits because goodness knows the worst-case social scenario is someone somewhere might get free money without being sufficiently deserving of it.

Summed up by this comic.

Translation:

(Man in the snow:) "Forgive me! Take me back, I won't hit you any more!!"

(Passerby commenting:) "A member of the Centre Party campaigning."

National Coalition Party (Kokoomus): Stayed about the same. It's no surprise they weren't punished for the last government, because it's always been their profile to be a selfish wealthy people's party anyway.

Finns Party (Perussuomalaiset): Became a close second-largest by virtue of others dropping. Relatively new among the large parties, a populist racist anti-immigration party. (Although I'm sure I'm the reeeeal racist for saying that.) Recently split to become even more extreme. Now they're headed by Jussi Halla-Aho, the racist Right's go-to fake intellectual. It tells you what kind of oh-so-rational stuff he writes that he recently freaked out at the thought of a reporter quoting it out loud. Anyway, apparently their current popularity, after their term in the last government, can only rise from the fact that if you stomp down on ordinary Finns, you're still on their side as long as you're against immigrants and refugees. Oh, and from climate change denial.

Social Democratic Party (Sosiaalidemokraatit): Rose to have the most seats in Parliament. My impression is that they're the party that will talk about standing up for the ordinary people and the vulnerable, but are not terribly serious about challenging the status quo to that end.

Green League (Vihreät) and Left Alliance (Vasemmistoliitto): Both gained more seats, staying small but not tiny. People must have voted for them expecting them to really look out for ordinary people, and the environment. This was predicted beforehand to be a "climate election," so it's no surprise the Greens got votes... although ironically, as mentioned above, it also made denialism an effective strategy.

Paavo Väyrynen: Not a party but a man, or at least some kind of political animal that keeps popping up. You're always just a little bit afraid he's going to be the next president or something, because he's always trying and he's always got some support. This time, he had formed his own strange little party (after being kicked out of the previous party he founded), but didn't get re-elected to Parliament. (Phew.)

Ville Kokko

Posted on April 18, 2019 21:39

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Source: Reuters
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