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We’re still waiting…

June 10, 2011

Wait! The election was when? April 17.

Nearly two months later, we are still without a working government. How does the country continue to function? There haven’t been any noticeable effects in the daily lives of Finns because of a lack of government. At some point MPs are going to have to get to work for the people who put them there.

The lack of progress just shows how polarized Finnish society has become. People want change, but yet are not willing to take the big and necessary steps needed to get on with what has to be done : debt reduction, fending off the two-tier health care system that seems to slowly be creeping in, better elder care, maintaining high educational standards, getting tougher on crimes like child abuse (it is joke what kinds of punishments people don’t get), issues related to immigration, and so on…

What seems to have charged people up us how many seats the populist True Finns nailed down in this election. I have to say that while the True Finns have some interesting ideas, their anti-immigrant and sometimes outright racist MPs (Teuvo Hakkarainen, for example) make the whole party look bad – and thus thoroughly annoy all of the people who didn’t vote for them, such as myself. One election observer went as far to say that any government that has the True Finns as part of the portfolio will be to the detriment of women and children. (Can’t remember where I read that though…) I have to agree, the True Finns, should they form part of the next government, will give us some rookie MPs who will have the fate of the country in their hands. Sorry, it just makes me cringe.

It has been amusing to see in the last eight weeks or so how the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) has considered forming a government with all parties that won seats in the parliament. In the past forming a government in Finland is normally a smooth process – not so this time. There has not been a governmental “crisis” like this since the 1970s.

It seems, however, (in breaking news in the last hour) that lead negotiator Jyrki Katainen (Kok.) is leaning towards a government made up of a six-party coalition.

Did I say I was excited in a previous entry? I did. I was excited to vote, but I certainly wasn’t excited with the results.

Stay tuned.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 11, 2011 6:23 pm

    As an outsider, I find it amazing that a country can be without a government for nearly 2 months. But then someone pointed out to me that Belgium hasn’t had a government for neraly a year now!

    I wrote a similar post a week ago (http://telefinn.blogspot.com/2011/06/wot-no-government.html), and actually the comments give quite a useful insight into the dealings (as well as to why Belgium is different to Finland).

    • June 15, 2011 11:38 am

      Belgium – really? I had no idea!… What is interesting is that government ministers in the previous government (except PM Mari Kiviniemi) are still acting in their “present” capacities. For example, Jyrki Katainen is currently attending an EU finance ministers meeting in Brussels. So it seems that ministers go about their jobs until the new government is formed… Interesting!

      • anonymous permalink
        June 15, 2011 2:44 pm

        Of course, the old government is now in minority.
        They can’t do very much, because the parliament can technically vote them out at any time. That said, they retain their positions unless the parliament votes them out or the president grants them their resignation.

  2. anonymous permalink
    August 23, 2011 1:26 pm

    Stay tuned.

    When are we allowed to untune?

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