Monday, August 21, 2006

Political purge

Sorry, have to do this every now and again... Purge my thoughts about Finnish politics - or about the impression I get from the papers, when I have time to read them.

First, news just out: the parliamentary groups of the two main parties in the coalition government have started their summer meetings. These have to do with the state budget plus other policy issues for the autumn (I was tempted to resort to an awful pun and use the word "fall") - last before the elections early next year.

The Center Party has praised how well the coalition works, while the social democrats have praised themselves. Hmm. Sounds like a happy marriage.

While this was just a joke, there is a more serious issue that emerged last week. The social democrats will try to woo the green party voters by trying to profile themselves as an "environmentally friendly" party. This must be the world record of hypocrisy. As just one example, the social democrates, the workers' unions that support them and the leading faces of the party were the key players when Finland decided to build more nuclear power. And in general, these guys have previously only cared about "keeping the factories running" and even loathed the more eco-friendly knowledge-industry (ICT, services etc.) for being elitistic, not to mention opposing all environmental taxation, conservation and anything that might cause their contingency to "lose jobs". So, when their current head-honcho Eero Heinäluoma, the finance minister, preaches green values, it reeks of election tactics.

For instance, in the interview by Suomen Kuvalehti, he suggested that as Sweden tries to get rid of it's oil addiction by 2020, Finland should do the same, but by 2030. This means that we can start scoring political points on this, but as Sweden will try to do it in 14 years, and we set our aim to 24, we don't actually need to do anything for ten years. In 2016 Heinäluoma will be 61 years old and ready to retire, so he won't be there to carry any responsibility for this. I hope voters will see through this.

No comments: