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Stefu
Feb 4, 2005



NEW OPENING POST TIME!

Okay so Finland has a presidential election in January 22, 2012. Since Finland has a parliamentary form of government, this election is a bit useless, and successive reforms have turned presidency into a relatively meaningless post, reduced to bickering with the Prime Minister for whatever small scraps of power they have left and trying to be "value leaders". Nevertheless, more Finns vote in presidential elections than in any other election. For the last 12 years the president has been Tarja Halonen, originally a Social Democrat (presidents are required to give up their party membership when elected), mostly known for looking like Conan O'Brian.

The election itself is a fairly standard two-round election - if none of the candidates get 50% of the vote during the first round, there will be a second round between the top 2.

The current crop of candidates is most likely complete, so here they are:

SAULI NIINISTÖ (National Coalition)



Sauli was a candidate in 2006 and surprised everyone by coming relatively close to beating Halonen, who was considered to be unbeatable for much of the election. He's been the clear favorite for the entire run of this election, though his numbers have been falling recently. He's bolstered by being well known for being a heavy hitter in Finnish politics (he was a Finance Minister for almost 8 years), having been out of daily grind of politics for some time (he spent the last four years as the Speaker of the Parliament, generally considered to be a relatively apolitical post), and lately he's been far more critical about Finland's European policy than the rest of his party. However, his campaign has not been particularly exciting yet and he seems to be holding back and going carefully - at least thus far.

TIMO SOINI (True Finns)



Currently the polls say that Soini is the second most popular candidate, though far behind Niinistö. While he obviously has a lot of popularity, many of his supporters are not supporting him currently in this election - probably partly because many of them don't want to "waste" him in a post like presidency (he couldn't lead his party from there, for one thing) and because there are other Euroskeptic candidates competing with him now. He hasn't really started his campaign yet, either, and his quippy, populist style doesn't fit these debates (where candidates need to portray themselves as respectable statesmen or women) as well as during the Parliamentary election.

PAAVO VÄYRYNEN (Centre)



Now this candidate, you can't say that his candidate has been slow or lackluster. Paavo has been in politics since forever (in lot of ministries, in European Parliament etc.), much of Finland still considers him to be the height of everything that's wrong with politics (during 1994 presidential elections, where he was also a candidate, comedy show Frank Pappa Show famously announced airlines out of Finland for the day after the second round in case Väyrynen ended up winning) and his own party spent much of summer trying to find any other candidate than him to nominate, but still, he's going strong and might well get on the second round. Also, out of all the candidates, he's clearly the one who most wants to be the president - a part of his public persona is wanting power and being relatively open about it. He's also generally done better in the debates than other candidates, thus far.

PAAVO LIPPONEN (Social Democrats)



Lipponen was Finland's prime minister in 1995-2003, was generally pretty popular during then, still retains high visibility, and Social Democrats have been elected presidents for almost 30 years in the row, so why isn't he currently running higher? Maybe because he's right-wing (and not just for a Social Democrat), there's little that he has to offer that Niinistö isn't offering and just appears old and creaky. Then again, don't count him out yet; he's an experienced politician, after all.

PEKKA HAAVISTO (Greens)



Of the candidates who are generally considered to have a shot for the second round, Haavisto is the most liberal. He's got foreign-policy experience, too, and is generally considered to be something of an elder statesman in his young party, having been the first Green minister in any government in the 90s. However, his party has less resources than those of the four candidates above. Not someone to count out, however.

PAAVO ARHINMÄKI (Left Alliance)



The third Paavo in the race, Arhinmäki announced his candidacy the last (there's still barely enough time for a surprise independent candidate, but chances are there won't be candidates outside of the parliamentary parties in this election). He's the only candidate who is currently a minister (Culture and Sports), and while he's visible and clearly differs from all the other candidates on the virtue of his young age, he's also hobbled by things like how he clearly wanted some other candidate for his party and there's a general feeling that Left is mainly running a candidate to not be the only parliamentary party without a presidential candidate in the race.

EVA BIAUDET (Swedish People's Party)



In 1994, Swedish People's Party's candidate Elisabet Rehn surprisingly ended up on the second round, but Eva Biaudet is unlikely to repeat this - even though her liberal, pro-human rights profile might be appealing to many, especially those who want to vote for a female candidate in this male-dominated race. She'll probably get some of the Swedish-speaking vote, some of the liberal feminist vote and that's it.

SARI ESSAYAH (Christian Democrats)



If this was some other year, MEP Essayah might actually be a strong candidate - she was well known for being a succesful athlete before her political career, is clearly one of the most popular CD politicians in the country, is not considered as much a preacher as Päivi Räsänen and has not been tarnished by the fact that CD's had to forget a lot of their principles to get in the government. However, after her announcement, she's been pretty invisible.

The most recent presidential poll, HS 15.11.2011:

Sauli Niinistö 44%
Timo Soini 11%
Paavo Väyrynen 10%
Paavo Lipponen 7%
Pekka Haavisto 6%
Paavo Arhinmäki 3%
Eva Biaudet 3%
Sari Essayah 1%
other 1%
Can't say 13%

------

OLD OPENING POST

Okay so Finland has a parliamentary election in April 17, 2011. Since Finland has a parliamentary form of government this is the most important election in Finland. That doesn't stop it from being funny and depressing. The electoral system is proportional representation with open lists, so people vote for a candidate but seats are decided based on how many votes party lists (composed of those candidates) get, meaning that it's a multi-party system.

Here's how it goes. From 70s/80s on Finland has had three big parties - Coalition, Centre and Social Democrats. (Before those days Finnish People's Democratic League, a far-left umbrella organization which was basically ruled by the Communist Party of Finland, had also been a big party and things were a bit more complicated.) There's also a bunch of smaller parties, and generally two big parties form a government, include some smaller parties, and the remaining big party and the rest of small parties form the opposition. Currently the government is formed by Centre, National Coalition, Swedish People's Party and the Greens. However, there's been an election funds scandal, many people generally think that things are going to poo poo and the three-party cartel is to blame, Nokia stocks are crashing thanks to the Microsoft deal - and there's a new(ish) contender, a populist party - True Finns.

Here's the parties, starting with the Big Three:

NATIONAL COALITION (sometimes called "Conservatives" by foreign media)



Leader: Jyrki Katainen
History: Formed as a coalition of monarchists in the early days of the Republic. Has since been a conservative party that's became more and more liberal throughout the years.
How it sees itself: A modern moderate party of the right which strives for a sensible budget and wishes to boost the economy by cutting high taxes and onerous regulations.
How the others see it: A bunch of yuppies who want to keep getting richer while the rest of the nation gets hosed. Occasionally talk about our veterans and so on to hide the fact that they mostly serve Washington, Brussels and multinational corporations.

CENTRE



Leader: Mari Kiviniemi, who is currently the Prime Minister
History: Established as an agrarian party before independence, has since expanded somewhat from their agrarian roots
How it sees itself: A humanist, centrist party, the only big party that rises above petty labor-market struggles to care for the poor and those who live outside of Helsinki.
How the others see it: An amorphous non-ideological blob based on bitterness and greed of the people who live in the boonies. Would sell their own mothers to keep the money train running from Helsinki to places where no-one lives in. Also hugely corrupt.

SOCIAL DEMOCRATS



Leader: Jutta Urpilainen
History: Established a socialist party of the workers. The current Social Democrats have evolved from the faction of the party that didn't participate in the Red Guard side of the Finnish Civil War in 1918 (the other faction became the Communists).
How it sees itself: Still a party of the normal working people, making sure that the other two big parties don't kill the labor movement and cut wages to poo poo.
How the others see it: An utterly gray party for union and governmental bureaucrats which mainly defends old creaky governmental structures that don't really work but keep them employed. Also a bunch of aunties that want to ban everything fun.

Smaller parties:

LEFT ALLIANCE



Leader: Paavo Arhinmäki
History: Evolved from a merger of FPDL, Finnish Communist Party and a stalinist splinter faction.
How it sees itself: A modern red-green democratic socialist party, the only party that dares to challenge capitalism.
How the others see it: An irrelevant, diminishing party for angry old commies who still think that Soviet Union was a good thing and smelly young radicals.

GREENS



Leader: Anni Sinnemäki
History: Started by a diverse bunch of ecological activists, pacifists, feminists, disability-rights activists and others in the 80s.
How it sees itself: A truly alternative party which cares for environment and other things other parties don't really care about. The party that is not right-wing or left-wing but forward-wing.
How the others see it: The left sees them as the parks division of the National Coalition, the right sees them as naive hippies and Stalinists, and most people can agree that they are a bunch of smug Helsinki hipsters. Simultaneously attempt to be in the government and in opposition.

SWEDISH PEOPLE'S PARTY



Leader: Stefan Wallin
History: One of the earliest parties in Finland, originally established to protect the primacy of Swedish language, has since became a party for Swedish-speaking minority in general.
How it sees itself: Not just a language party! A liberal party which considers it important that everyone can speak the language of their birth (at least if it's Finnish or Swedish)
How the others see it: A party for rich Swedish-speaking bättre folk who hate speaking ugly guttural Mongoloid Finnish language when they go shopping. Even more ideology-free than Centre - would probably participate in a Nazi or Stalinist government if it was a bilingual Nazi/Stalinist government.

CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATS



Leader: Päivi Räsänen
History: Started by free-churchers in National Coalition, who were concerned about the liberal direction of the country, somewhere around 70s.
How it sees itself: The party that dares to say that morals and religion are still important.
How the others see it: Fundies that want gays back in the closet and women barefoot and pregnant.

and last but not least, TRUE FINNS



Leader: Timo Soini
History: Evolved from the old populist Finnish Rural Party, nowadays a more general party of protest
How it sees itself: Finally an alternative to old corrupt elitist parties, the only party that dares to speak plainly about immigration, EU, bilingualism and other things that the Powers That Be have thus far been afraid to discuss.
How the others see it: Angry dumb people who hate furriners, Swedish-speakers, the environment and "the elites", whoever they are, and who worship a fat frog-like fraud (Soini) who offers quips instead of policy.

Oh and the True Finns are also running Kari Tykkyläinen, who is a bear-man.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jZgz32kkVg

Also there's some microparties. None of them probably have a chance of getting anyone elected.

COMMUNIST PARTY OF FINLAND, COMMUNIST WORKERS PARTY, WORKERS PARTY OF FINLAND: Sectarian commie parties. Communist Party of Finland is the least crazy and generally the biggest microparty, Communist Workers Party is Marxist-Leninist and almost dead, Workers Party is a collection of Juche believers, antifascists (not Antifa types, think Antideutsch expect with a boner for Russia instead of Israel) and other fringe sects.
CHANGE 2011, FREEDOM PARTY: Anti-immigration parties for those who think that True Finns are too moderate. Also support direct democracy. Change 2011 is claiming that actually they don't really care about immigration that much, Freedom Party is quite openly a collection of nuts from previous failed far-right projects.
INDEPENDENCE PARTY: rargh grah EU is the Antichrist
FOR THE POOR: one-woman project, led by a slightly unhinged former Christian Democrat
SENIOR CITIZENS PARTY: We're old, give us money
PIRATE PARTY: Nerds.

The latest polls:

National Coalition 19,8%
Centre 19,3%
Social Democrats 17,3%
True Finns 17,0%
Greens 9,2%
Left: 7,3%
Christian Democrats: 4,1%
Swedish People's Party: 4,0%

Stefu fucked around with this message at Dec 5, 2011 around 15:46

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Stefu
Feb 4, 2005



Oh and I'm voting for the Left and "poo poo Post" tag amply describes how this election is probably going to be like since the most likely future government will be formed by Coalition, Centre (or Social Democrats) and the True Finns and it will poo poo on everything that's good and proper in this country.

Kemper Boyd
Aug 6, 2007

no kings, no gods, no masters but a comfy chair and no socks


What I'm hoping for: Rudimentary Finns don't get as much support as current polls show, the coalition loses a shitload of votes due to Sauli Niinistö (about the only right-wing politician seen as truly capable of anything at all compared to the young yuppie shitheads and the corrupt old shitheads) not running, the SDP and the Left getting their poo poo together, so we could get something like a SDP-Left-Green-Swedish People's Party cabinet.

This will not happen, though.

What I think will happen: the Surplus Finns and the Coalition win the election and set up an enthusiastic Center-Coalition-Basic Finns-Christian Democrat cabinet. Cue massive internal squabbling in a time of financial crisis. Finland burns to the ground and I make a shitload of money for going into the private security biz at the right moment. Then I can emigrate and leave this sad cold sack of poo poo land behind me.

Jack Flint
Dec 12, 2006
Fleece as white as snow in a city

The OP didn't mention that all big three parties are pretty interchangeable. Sure, they all have their own agenda, but if need be, they'll sell pretty much anything to be a part of the coalition government. Finnish opposition politics is very lame in any case; even the supposedly left-wing social democrats in opposition couldn't lead an opposition anyone took seriously - and this while the right-wing government shits on everything the left is supposed to hold dear.

I fear the social democrats will be punished for their lousy politics and lovely PR, the government will be formed by right/conservative parties and we'll see the right-wing finish what the recession in the early 90s started, which is the dismantling of the welfare state and growing social conservatism.

One promising thing is that the left alliance is shedding their skin, and many young people (some disillusioned with the greens) have started to be more active in party politics. I'm not sure if it'll translate into support in these elections, but I hope it'll do so in the future.

I also sort of hope that the true finns will be in the next coalition, for two reasons. The first being that they don't really have that many people ready to do successful politics in the parliament, and they'd lose a lot of their momentum as a protest party by being in power - much like their predecessor did. The second is that the greens definitely wouldn't be in the same coalition with them (or well, who knows. they've already sold important cornerstones of their politics, like opposing nuclear power) which would make them a part of opposition. With any luck, that would weaken their right-wingers and bring the party closer to the left.

In any case, we're pretty much hosed. Luckily it's easy to emigrate to Sweden.

Transman of Gor
Oct 5, 2010


Pretty much what Stefu and KemperBoyd said. I'm voting Left Alliance, and pretty much expect for the Coalitioners and True Finns to poo poo on everything I hold dear. Now's the "make money, get out" time if ever.

uncleTomOfFinland
May 25, 2008



I see you are still talking about the big three. :smugsoini:

Sulphagnist
Oct 10, 2006

WARNING! INTRUDERS DETECTED



I'm writing a master's thesis on Finnish parliamentary politics right now, but to my embarrassment I don't really have anything significant to add to the opening post. I've voted Green since I was able to*, but I'm contemplating switching to the Lefties this election because of how mystifying the Greens' role in the coalition has been.

I think the two biggest losers in this election will be the Social Democrats and Christian Democrats. Not necessarily in terms of an absolute change in seats, but in terms of what could have been. If Soini had collapsed of a smug attack in Brussels a few years back, easily 10% of that True Finn gallup share might be split between Social Democrats and Christian Democrats now.

The SD seem to be falling to the same problem that took out Labour in the UK and lead to the current coalition of ghastlies: a reluctance to change leadership in the face of political necessity. Urpilainen was a mistake and should have been out of the door by last year. Even Heinäluoma, the long-faced goat, would do a better job. If Tuomioja didn't have the leadership skills of a small cantaloupe he might be their leader now and doing even better, but he's just not the type. It pains my heart to see people vote SD just out of a sense of duty when their vote would be better spent on the actual left-wing party.

The Christian Democrats' problem was pretty incisively analyzed by Bjarne Kallis, a veteran MP of theirs who announced his retirement from the Parliament last week - when social inequality is on the rise, unemployment is rife and people feel insecure, you really shouldn't go after the homosexuals. While this seems to work in the US, it - thankfully - doesn't seem to work in Finland. It got the extremists all riled up, but people unsatisfied with the economy and the welfare state's... state promptly went to the True Finns. Who will probably just help the Coalition make things worse, kinda like the Greens who have sold their principles for a coalition seat.

And that I think is the worst thing here - while a lot of TF support will be anti-immigration BS, a lot of people are simply unhappy with the various dangers imposed on the welfare system, but won't vote Social Democrat because who wants to vote the Social Democrats, and won't vote Leftie because they're full of tree-hugging unemployed homosexual pro-EU students, like those Greens.

Oh, and the Centre will hold, as it always does. They are not a political party, but a lobbyist organization. Vanhanen should be remembered as a hero by his party because he had the sense to fall on the sword when no one in his party was willing to stab him in the back with it. That the major partners of the incumbent government are leading the polls right now is testament to the Centre's ability to squirrel out of trouble, and the Coalition's ability to replace people like Ilkka Kanerva and Ville Itälä with people like Alex Stubb and Jyrki Katainen.

* To qualify this, I always thought the "we're not left or right, we're ahead" slogan was smarmy as hell. In the rest of the world, that'd probably work as a good soundbite, but smarmy doesn't work here. Unless it's Timo Soini cracking jokes your dad thinks are funny.

duck monster
Dec 15, 2004



Stefu posted:

Oh and the True Finns are also running Kari Tykkyläinen, who is a bear-man.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jZgz32kkVg


Um...



Whats going on in this video...?

Grey old underwear dude stomping on a trampoline with bones... huh?

Kemper Boyd
Aug 6, 2007

no kings, no gods, no masters but a comfy chair and no socks


Oh yeah gotta probably add this: the anti-immigration wing of the True Finns is full of guys and gals from Suomen Sisu, which is a no-poo poo-hardcore fascist organization. And no one in the media has bothered to ask the esteemed mr Soini why his party is full of candidates who really really like the Swedish National Democrats, the German NPD, Forza Nuova and Vlaams Belang.

This country is going down the toilet.

Stefu
Feb 4, 2005



Antti posted:

The Christian Democrats' problem was pretty incisively analyzed by Bjarne Kallis, a veteran MP of theirs who announced his retirement from the Parliament last week - when social inequality is on the rise, unemployment is rife and people feel insecure, you really shouldn't go after the homosexuals. While this seems to work in the US, it - thankfully - doesn't seem to work in Finland. It got the extremists all riled up, but people unsatisfied with the economy and the welfare state's... state promptly went to the True Finns. Who will probably just help the Coalition make things worse, kinda like the Greens who have sold their principles for a coalition seat.

The problem of the Chrids is, of course, that it's still to a large degree a free-churcher-Pentecostal-revivalist party and doesn't appeal to mainstream Lutherans or certain powerful sects such as Laestadians. Their strategy seems to be recognizing this and trying to broaden their appeal among these constituencies by hitting general fundamentalist themes such as gays and abortion. It remains to be seen whether anything can separate the Laestadians, for example, from the Centre party.

Stefu
Feb 4, 2005



duck monster posted:

Um...



Whats going on in this video...?

Grey old underwear dude stomping on a trampoline with bones... huh?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKYD-cDd_Gs

Arbite
Nov 4, 2009

Our mare for President. The President who loses this war must buy himself and his counterpart custom titles of the winner's choice, and wear it for no less than a month. To the strongest

I don't suppose any of the significant parties have opinions on Karelia and Petsamo, do they?

duck monster
Dec 15, 2004




Ok, if you finns don't vote for this man, you need to send him down to australia quick smart so we can.

e: Shame about the racism thing Maybe if they just dropped the dumb fascist poo poo and ran crazy underwear guy....

ALLAN LASSUS
May 11, 2007

apul.prof./ass.prof.


Arbite posted:

I don't suppose any of the significant parties have opinions on Karelia and Petsamo, do they?

What would those opinions be, exactly? Demands for Russia to give back worthless tracts of land "just because" they used to belong to Finland? As if the country didn't already have huge problems with trying to keep pretty much everything outside the cities alive with places like Kainuu suffering from mad unemployment issues and draining money like there's no tomorrow.

The best opinion a party can have about Karelia and Petsamo is just to shut the gently caress up and let Russia keep the land.

Glah
Jun 21, 2005


Antti posted:

And that I think is the worst thing here - while a lot of TF support will be anti-immigration BS, a lot of people are simply unhappy with the various dangers imposed on the welfare system, but won't vote Social Democrat because who wants to vote the Social Democrats, and won't vote Leftie because they're full of tree-hugging unemployed homosexual pro-EU students, like those Greens.

Yeah, pretty much this. The old welfare state is being dismantled on one hand using the rhetoric of necessity about economic situation mandating the cuts and on the other hand by the EU's agenda in pushing neoliberal approach to social policy. And the opposition groups can't give a coherent response to this because True Finns and SDP are competing for votes and Left Alliance is losing ground. Although I kinda wish that the success of TF would signal to the elite about general dissapointment in neoliberal policies, the political discourse about them will focus on other issues (immigration, EU, corruption).

I've usually voted for the Greens but now I'm leaning towards the Left Alliance. I'm one of those who sees the Greens work in this government being more suiting for National Coalition's parks department.

Glah
Jun 21, 2005


Kemper Boyd posted:

Oh yeah gotta probably add this: the anti-immigration wing of the True Finns is full of guys and gals from Suomen Sisu, which is a no-poo poo-hardcore fascist organization. And no one in the media has bothered to ask the esteemed mr Soini why his party is full of candidates who really really like the Swedish National Democrats, the German NPD, Forza Nuova and Vlaams Belang.

This country is going down the toilet.

I was under the impression that those 'homma foorumi' assholes were mostly with Muutos 2011 and True Finns anti-immigrants were more closer to 'grandpa racist' variety?

Metrilenkki
Aug 1, 2007

Oldskool av for lowtaxes medical fund gobbless u -fellow roamingdad

Hahaha all you guys are acting like TF winning on the elections would set this country on a road to desolation the minute the first post-election proceeding starts and that the current ruling parties had nothing to do with it.

Just think back on how the main parties have acted ever since early 2000s: Center Party’s basically just a lobbyist group because it controls most municipalities outside big cities, National Coalition (that officially identifies as a conservative party) now claims to “have always been a true value-liberal party” and SDP has distanced itself from its core support (not that the two other parties haven’t). If you seriously want to look for a no-backbone party then SDP is what you want.

All three parties have basically interchangeable ideologies, to the point that they see parliament majority as a mean to distribute well-paid government positions as thank yous for this or that instead of furthering the promises that they made. This is of course the oldest complaint about democratic system but during the past decade there has been no notable opposition for this and as a result it’s gone pretty bad.

Combine this with some really unpopular decisions like redrafting gun laws and confiscating guns, the PIGS financial crisis help package and some grindingly stupid comments about immigration from the three other main parties and you get a lot of potential protest votes. Currently if a party takes a solid stance on any issue it’s guaranteed to get extra votes from disillusioned ex-voters from CP, NC or SDP.

For the record I’m voting for True Finns despite an acute fear that they turn up to the government without clear policies or that they’d turn out to be like the other three main parties.

Soi-hah
May 21, 2005

Le raqueur de munes.

Before, I killed just like that, but since I got out of jail I've been a lot more laid back.


Antti posted:

It pains my heart to see people vote SD just out of a sense of duty when their vote would be better spent on the actual left-wing party.

Hey gently caress you too. t

Seriously though, what you (and most everybody) is saying about the party is true, but the fact remains that the only other "actual left-wing party" is the leftists and I'd rather have a chance at actually being in power than having 17 seats and not being taken seriously (lol nobody takes the SDP seriously lol).

Kemper Boyd
Aug 6, 2007

no kings, no gods, no masters but a comfy chair and no socks


Glah posted:

I was under the impression that those 'homma foorumi' assholes were mostly with Muutos 2011 and True Finns anti-immigrants were more closer to 'grandpa racist' variety?

This thing by True Finn candidates has thirteen signatures: http://www.vaalimanifesti.fi/index.php/allekirjoittajat

Nine of them have ties to Suomen Sisu. It's pretty obvious what's going on there.

uncleTomOfFinland
May 25, 2008



oratiO_obliqua posted:

What would those opinions be, exactly? Demands for Russia to give back worthless tracts of land "just because" they used to belong to Finland? As if the country didn't already have huge problems with trying to keep pretty much everything outside the cities alive with places like Kainuu suffering from mad unemployment issues and draining money like there's no tomorrow.

The best opinion a party can have about Karelia and Petsamo is just to shut the gently caress up and let Russia keep the land.

I do love those ancient 1920s coalition party programs with all the "rah rah our karelian blood brothers indepedence from bolshevik bastards outlaw the sdp."

Guess some things do change.

Stefu
Feb 4, 2005



Arbite posted:

I don't suppose any of the significant parties have opinions on Karelia and Petsamo, do they?

Soini is for area return in some indefinite sense I think but hasn't made it an issue. Folks don't really care about this anymore - the old refugees from the lost areas are dying and younger nationalists care more about Finland's 10,000 Somalis than about Finlandia Irredenta these days.

DarkCrawler
Apr 6, 2009



I'm voting for the Lefts. It's a protest vote, but I'd rather give it to them then to a party that actually resembles the Republican Party of U.S. What the gently caress, Finns, one thing I was proud of was that no batshit insane party had any chance of getting close to power, and here we are. I mean, True Finns being the only party that wants to take forced Swedish out is a big draw, but not big enough. Still, if they get to the government, I hope that is one of the things that they will push through.

Either way I think this is the only election where True Finns can get anything remarkable, because they will be absolutely hopeless in government. Soini is the only visible politician out of the entire party anyway and anyone that can honestly be categorized as a politician.

gently caress all the Big Three though. Especially Centre. I might have voted for Coalition if they weren't trying to surprise sex the welfare state.

Soi-hah
May 21, 2005

Le raqueur de munes.

Before, I killed just like that, but since I got out of jail I've been a lot more laid back.


DarkCrawler posted:

forced Swedish

There's no such thing any more than there is, say, forced mathematics.

Stefu
Feb 4, 2005



Metrilenkki posted:

Hahaha all you guys are acting like TF winning on the elections would set this country on a road to desolation the minute the first post-election proceeding starts and that the current ruling parties had nothing to do with it.

Just think back on how the main parties have acted ever since early 2000s: Center Party’s basically just a lobbyist group because it controls most municipalities outside big cities, National Coalition (that officially identifies as a conservative party) now claims to “have always been a true value-liberal party” and SDP has distanced itself from its core support (not that the two other parties haven’t). If you seriously want to look for a no-backbone party then SDP is what you want.

All three parties have basically interchangeable ideologies, to the point that they see parliament majority as a mean to distribute well-paid government positions as thank yous for this or that instead of furthering the promises that they made. This is of course the oldest complaint about democratic system but during the past decade there has been no notable opposition for this and as a result it’s gone pretty bad.

Combine this with some really unpopular decisions like redrafting gun laws and confiscating guns, the PIGS financial crisis help package and some grindingly stupid comments about immigration from the three other main parties and you get a lot of potential protest votes. Currently if a party takes a solid stance on any issue it’s guaranteed to get extra votes from disillusioned ex-voters from CP, NC or SDP.

For the record I’m voting for True Finns despite an acute fear that they turn up to the government without clear policies or that they’d turn out to be like the other three main parties.

TFs in the government as such wouldn't be the worst thing, TFs in government with Coalition and the Centre in times of impending crisis and cuts is. The thing is that what we're going to get is a party with a parliamentary group of inexperienced unknowns - are they going to be left-wing or right-wing on economic issues? Who knows? There's some guys there that are almost like the Left on economic issues, others well to the right of Coalition. Basically, my guess is that in such a government the Coalition, being the best-prepared party, would ram its agenda through, throw a few bones to TFs (immigration, guns, mandatory Swedish, maybe some irrelevant concessions on EU), keep Centre's money train running and then proceed to dismantle what's left of the welfare state. Of course, one thing that might hamper that is TFs rather inevitable splitting...

Also, I really don't want guys who are unapologetic about being in an organization that opposed "unnatural mixing of races" in it's programme and who now think that there's literally a battle going on between Islam and the West and West must choose between war or death and it's like Gondor and Mordor and so on in any positions near power. And Soini is still a climate change skeptic and a pro-lifer. And...

Stefu fucked around with this message at Feb 17, 2011 around 17:03

uncleTomOfFinland
May 25, 2008



DarkCrawler posted:

gently caress all the Big Three though. Especially Centre. I might have voted for Coalition if they weren't trying to surprise sex the welfare state.

Isn't that like saying that you'd eat bacon if it wasn't so drat greasy?

EDIT: Also, left party voter here. I dread the day Tesco Value Finns get 20% of the seats but are they really that much worse than the organized crime bloc that controls this country outside the sane populated areas.

DarkCrawler
Apr 6, 2009



Soi-hah posted:

There's no such thing any more than there is, say, forced mathematics.

No, there is forced Swedish. Mathematics is actually useful and universal. There is no other term describing 95% of population having to learn the useless language of the 5% of the population that can speak Finnish anyway, then "forced". Though I guess you could use "imposed" as an alternative.

DarkCrawler fucked around with this message at Feb 17, 2011 around 15:58

Metrilenkki
Aug 1, 2007

Oldskool av for lowtaxes medical fund gobbless u -fellow roamingdad

Stefu posted:

TF's in the government as such wouldn't be the worst thing, TF's in government with Coalition and the Centre in times of impending crisis and cuts is. The thing is that what we're going to get is a party with a parliamentary group of inexperienced unknowns - are they going to be left-wing or right-wing on economic issues? Who knows? There's some guys there that are almost like the Left on economic issues, others well to the right of Coalition. Basically, my guess is that in such a government the Coalition, being the best-prepared party, would ram it's agenda through, throw a few bones to TF:s (immigration, guns, mandatory Swedish, maybe some irrelevant concessions on EU), keep Centre's money train running and then proceed to dismantle what's left of the welfare state. Of course, one thing that might hamper that is TF's rather inevitable splitting...

Also, I really don't want guys who are unapologetic about being in an organization that opposed "unnatural mixing of races" in it's programme and who now think that there's literally a battle going on between Islam and the West and West must choose between war or death and it's like Gondor and Mordor and so on in any positions near power. And Soini is still a climate change skeptic and a pro-lifer. And...

Well Coalition has taken the brunt of TF's rise so come election time we might end up with TF-led coalition of Christian Dems, Swedish Peoples and a neutered Center Party . But you're right, it troubles me a lot that the TF candidates seem to be political noobs or ride on just immigration, so TF might end up being just a rainbow of internet hitlers who'll get individually bought by Coalition or Center Party. Seeing as that one of their major complaints with current MPs is that they adhere to party discipline without regard to their campaign promises doesn't really sound good either.

And I can't stand parties who are plastic in the sense that poo poo just doesn't stick to them, and that they condemn bluecollar worries about cheap foreign labour as disgusting hatespeak while stating that the integration policy is a massive failure, that social and economic problems are constantly moved to the next elected parliament, that Stubb is goddamn cheerful all the time and Vanhanen dodged trial. And...

(It's a shame that I can't vote for Mustajärvi anymore, I like him)

ToxicAsset
Apr 30, 2009


I would like to point out that Coalition is already the "crazy U.S. Republicans"-like party if you consider what their invidual MPs promise in their ads and in what they cut in budgets. Only reason they aren't hanging gays to get votes is that the religious right is splintered in other issues between Coalition("kill the gays and the poors"-RR), CD("kill the gays, but not the poors"-RR), CP("Kill the gays and poors, but hands off my rural subsidies"-RR) and TF("kill the gays, foreigners and the elite"-RR).

I would vote for SDP if they weren't so blatantly "the Coalition that cries when it destroyes the welfare state" and I would vote for the LA if they weren't so desperately trying to keep their small amonut of hippyveganfeministidealistanarchoprimivist-voters from leaping to the Greens.

El Perkele
Nov 7, 2002

I HAVE SHIT OPINIONS ON STAR WARS MOVIES!!!

I can't even call the right one bad.


I'll vote for Greens because while I'm disappointed in what they achieved, I am not disappointed in what they blocked by staying in governmen (Kollaja).

Stefu
Feb 4, 2005



Metrilenkki posted:

Well Coalition has taken the brunt of TF's rise so come election time we might end up with TF-led coalition of Christian Dems, Swedish Peoples and a neutered Center Party . But you're right, it troubles me a lot that the TF candidates seem to be political noobs or ride on just immigration, so TF might end up being just a rainbow of internet hitlers who'll get individually bought by Coalition or Center Party. Seeing as that one of their major complaints with current MPs is that they adhere to party discipline without regard to their campaign promises doesn't really sound good either.

And I can't stand parties who are plastic in the sense that poo poo just doesn't stick to them, and that they condemn bluecollar worries about cheap foreign labour as disgusting hatespeak while stating that the integration policy is a massive failure, that social and economic problems are constantly moved to the next elected parliament, that Stubb is goddamn cheerful all the time and Vanhanen dodged trial. And...

(It's a shame that I can't vote for Mustajärvi anymore, I like him)

The immigration-critical faction of the TFs, at least, doesn't really seem to care about blue-collar worries about cheap foreign labor - I've seen two of them speak (Halla-aho and Luoto) and when the topic came up in discussion both of them basically switched to talking about criminal refugees and islamization and other such matters. Many of the more left-wing TFs care about the issue a bit more, though, probably.

Stefu
Feb 4, 2005



duck monster posted:

Ok, if you finns don't vote for this man, you need to send him down to australia quick smart so we can.

e: Shame about the racism thing Maybe if they just dropped the dumb fascist poo poo and ran crazy underwear guy....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QV3E4dYwWo

DarkCrawler
Apr 6, 2009



ToxicAsset posted:

I would like to point out that Coalition is already the "crazy U.S. Republicans"-like party if you consider what their invidual MPs promise in their ads and in what they cut in budgets.

Nah, that part of the Republican Party has never been crazy. They knew what they want and they want money, and they get it every time. If Coalition was riding a wave of crazy poor rural social conservatives and making them vote against their own interests in every election, you might have a point, but their support comes mostly from the capital region.

Stefu
Feb 4, 2005



El Perkele posted:

I'll vote for Greens because while I'm disappointed in what they achieved, I am not disappointed in what they blocked by staying in governmen (Kollaja).

Yeah and in the next government they won't achieve anything thanks to their dumbass "This election is about liberalism versus conservatism! We're the anti-TF! Oh look now they are twice as popular as us!" strategy so you might as well vote for the Left

Abandoned Toaster
Jun 4, 2008


My friend who lives in Tampere said she's going to vote for the Pirate Party but I don't know if she was being serious or not.

That said, she said she's worried the True Finns will be the up-and-comers in this election. She compared them to our GOP but they're way too left to be adequately compared, especially resisting pension cuts and supporting a strong welfare state.

I hope Finland makes a good choice because all the stuff I hear about it makes it sound like a pretty awesome place!

ToxicAsset
Apr 30, 2009


DarkCrawler posted:

Nah, that part of the Republican Party has never been crazy. They knew what they want and they want money, and they get it every time. If Coalition was riding a wave of crazy poor rural social conservatives and making them vote against their own interests in every election, you might have a point, but their support comes mostly from the capital region.
Okay let's drop the crazy part and we can say that majority of "no taxes on the rich" and "gently caress you, got mine" is in Coalition. And Coalition has plenty of "trick the poor into voting for us", their latest campaign is about "saving the welfare state" which they are themselves dismantling in addition to Coalition youths' neoliberal ideas. They might be mainly after urban vote, but still they are the best candidate to be Finland's Republican Party.

Soi-hah
May 21, 2005

Le raqueur de munes.

Before, I killed just like that, but since I got out of jail I've been a lot more laid back.


DarkCrawler posted:

No, there is forced Swedish. Mathematics is actually useful and universal. There is no other term describing 95% of population having to learn the useless language of the 5% of the population that can speak Finnish anyway, then "forced". Though I guess you could use "imposed" as an alternative.

Should we then limit our education to only things that are considered "useful and universal"? Maybe cut some more art and music and replace it with math, physics and chemistry?

The Swedish-speaking minorities and their language and culture is not separate from the larger whole of the Finnish culture, but an important part of it. As Finns I think it owe it to ourselves to learn the language so as to understand our own culture and history better. We do ourselves no favors by creating more divisions between the Finnish-speaking majority and our Swedish-speaking countrymen. As you said, the 5% minority can speak the majority language; shouldn't we as a majority embrace our minorities and learn at least the bare minimum to facilitate communication and understanding?

What, in your opinion, would be the virtue of cutting the Swedish lessons from the curriculum? How would our education system be better afterwards? What, if anything, would we lose in the bargain?

ALLAN LASSUS
May 11, 2007

apul.prof./ass.prof.


ToxicAsset posted:

And Coalition has plenty of "trick the poor into voting for us", their latest campaign is about "saving the welfare state" which they are themselves dismantling

The worst part is how loving well they've succeeded in this. Example: my sister is a nurse in her early 40s, earning about median wage so pretty much the definition of middle class here. She's voted for Coalition basically always, during the last election I pestered her constantly about it and went "why the gently caress are you voting against your own interests, are you so clueless that you can't see that the Coalition doesn't give a poo poo about people like you" and she just shrugged and was all like "well from what I've read they're the best option for me and they say they're looking out for my interests, so I suppose they do" NO THEY DON'T YOU STUPID TWAT

And don't even get me started on that "5 Million Shades of Green" campaign they ran last Autumn, I mean what the christ

Stefu
Feb 4, 2005



Abandoned Toaster posted:

My friend who lives in Tampere said she's going to vote for the Pirate Party but I don't know if she was being serious or not.

Pirates are running a dude who legally changed his name to match his anime character in Pirkanmaa electoral district (which includes Tampere): http://2011.piraattivaalit.fi/kyuu-eturautti/

They've also got an electoral pact going on with Change 2011, one of the anti-immigration (DIRECT DEMOCRACY IT'S A DIRECT DEMOCRACY PARTY THAT ANTI-IMMIGRATION STUFF IS OLD NEWS *rips up a Koran*) parties.

Stefu fucked around with this message at Feb 17, 2011 around 21:19

DarkCrawler
Apr 6, 2009



Soi-hah posted:

Should we then limit our education to only things that are considered "useful and universal"? Maybe cut some more art and music and replace it with math, physics and chemistry?

Art and music are both useful and universal.

Soi-hah posted:

The Swedish-speaking minorities and their language and culture is not separate from the larger whole of the Finnish culture, but an important part of it. As Finns I think it owe it to ourselves to learn the language so as to understand our own culture and history better.

Actually, no, we don't owe anything to ourselves. Grasp of Swedish language is not necessary at all to understand Finnish history and culture. Most Finns don't have anything but basic "Can order a beer" level Swedish language skills and it has not affected in any way or form their understanding of Finnish history and culture.

Only historians who research Finnish history in a deeper level require a skill in the Swedish language due to the long period Finland was a part of it. I never required Swedish in Finnish history or culture lessons in my school, and I don't feel like I have a worse grasp in either then someone who knows Swedish.

If I would be a historian specifying in Finnish historical period of 1200-1800 then yes, I would owe it to a good historical research to learn the language.

Nobody else needs it to understand Finnish culture and history.

Soi-hah posted:

We do ourselves no favors by creating more divisions between the Finnish-speaking majority and our Swedish-speaking countrymen.

Forced Swedish is by far the greatest division between the Finnish speaking majority and Swedish-speaking minority and is most likely responsible for most perceived hatred towards Swedish speaking Finns, certainly in adolescence and early adulthood and usually carries over after that.

Soi-hah posted:

As you said, the 5% minority can speak the majority language; shouldn't we as a majority embrace our minorities and learn at least the bare minimum to facilitate communication and understanding?

Yes to first. No to second.

For a more longer answer, we don't need to learn minority languages to embrace minorities. I'm not going to learn Arabic, Russian or Estonian, and it has not stopped me from embracing Somalis, Russian or Estonian minorities as part of Finland. I'd imagine there would be far more hatred towards all those minorities (on top of what there sadly already is) if every student was forced to learn Arabic, Russian and Estonian in school.

Multiculturalism by it's definition makes it impossible to learn every minority language since it implies there are well, multiple cultures.

And they can speak the majority language because it's the majority language and pretty much everyone in Finland speaks Finnish, and it is required for everyday life here. Swedish isn't. The fact that every non-Ålander Swedish-speaking Finn can fluently speak Finnish is simply one more reason why forced Swedish is absolutely useless.

Soi-hah posted:

What, in your opinion, would be the virtue of cutting the Swedish lessons from the curriculum? How would our education system be better afterwards? What, if anything, would we lose in the bargain?

Saves money, saves effort, gives students better chances and motivation of learning actually useful languages as they don't have to waste time in an useless one, and we wouldn't lose anything in the bargain and in fact gain many things (money, time being the most obvious ones).

I have no problem with Swedish being one of freely selectable extra languages alongside German, Russian, French, etc.

Obviously Swedish is needed for those who deal with Swedish-speaking people, but services for Swedish-speakers aren't secured by forcing every Finn to learn it in school and then picking those who probably would have learned it either way since they later studied and applied for a job where such skill is needed. It's like trying to kill a fly with an grenade. The vast, vast, vast majority of Finns still do not have any sort of fluency in Swedish. This won't be changed by eliminating forced Swedish.

DarkCrawler fucked around with this message at Feb 17, 2011 around 21:26

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Kaal
May 22, 2002

JEREMY CORBYN BULLIED MY NAZI GRANDPA IN PRIMARY SCHOOL

Knowing absolutely nothing about the politics, awesome and interesting thread. Plus those photos are beyond perfect - the thread could be in Finnish and I'd know what kind of parties those leaders are with.

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