Sunday, March 18, 2007

Spring elections in Finland

Today I accompanied Mikko & Hanna in their citizen´s duty - elections to the the Finnish parliament (Eduskunta). It is a bright spring day and people flocked to the election station in Katajanokka primary school. Finnish elections are a bit different from ones in the Baltic States due to the very simple reason - there is no 5% parliamentary barrier in this republicca sic commonwealth.

It means that in the same row with biggest Finnish parties - Centre party (Keskusta), SDP, RKP/SFP, Unity Party (Kokomuus), Greens (Vihreät) and Leftist Union (Vasemmisto Liitto) there are also such ones as Christian Democrats, Finnish Communist Party, Crypto Communists, Nationalists (Perussuomalaiset) and independet candidates (which makes me to reckon seriously about their motives and mental state of mind:).

I do not want to make any predictions but it seems that Centre Party PM Matti Vanhanen is going to envelop these elections and the politics in Finland is going to continue as usual. There are challenges in the Finnish domestic politics, but political parties are ready to face them. Coalition politics requires certain sacrifize and it most probably seems that the present coalition between the Centre and Social Democrats shall continue, because who wants to brake existing networks??

Anyway, what are lessons for Latvia or Estonia here? Business as usual one may say for Estonia and hope for the smooth transition for Latvia. Estonian coalition negotiations are presently carried on and my Tartu University coursemate Urmas Paet is competing with the former PM Mart Laar for the Foreign Secretary position, good luck Urmas!

In the meantime it sounds quiet in Latvia after the first caudillo was arrested. It seems that Latvian president Vike-Freiberga is managing this process pretty well - chapeau! Signatures are going to be collected, referendum is going to take place and new elections are most probably on agenda. Good luck Latvian public, lai veicas Latvijas pilsoni!

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