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    #26
    Finland lurches

    Distinctly right of right. It's not clear to me how we've got into this position. Sipilä sent a questionnaire to each of the other party leaders, and my understanding is that the reply from PS revealed a sizeable number of significant differences between Keskusta's positions and those of PS. I was hoping that this would exclude PS from government, but sadly it seems not, unless the negotiations fall apart.

    On the other hand, it may be that Sipilä does not have a lot of room to manoeuvre. The main problem is the collapse of the left wing vote. Some 15 years ago the two main left wing parties (SDP and Vasemmistoliitto) had a combined strength of more than 40% of the parliamentary seats; now it is under 25%, on top of which, no-one, SDP included, wants to work with Vasemmistoliitto.

    Talk at the moment is that Soini will head the Exchequer. Given the parlous state of the country's economy, that may make it a tough time for him.

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      #27
      Finland lurches

      And so it came to pass. PS have four Cabinet posts plus the position of Speaker of the House. Soini himself bagged the position of Foreign Secretary, heroically opting out of the poisoned chalice that comes with being Chancellor of the Exchequer. Jari Lindström becomes the Minister for Justice. Journalists have been having a rare old time digging out comments he made four years ago, about how he would consider reintroducing the death penalty for certain cases. Let's hope that being an incompetent Minister for Justice is one of them. Hanna Mäntylä, a new name to me, is head of the Department of the Environment. Last, and by no means least, especially in the Neanderthal stakes, is our old friend Jussi Niinistö. Readers with a good memory will recall the exchange with via vicaria I had about him on page 1 of this very thread. His ministry? Defence. I promise, I really am not making this up. This is stark reality. The implications get worse. Previous recent governments have been neutral about joining NATO: this one seems to be pro. Soini himself is at the FO. NATO might get more than it bargains for were we be permitted to join.

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        #28
        Finland lurches

        garcia wrote: "true finns", you cannot be serious.

        timo reminds me of brian cowen.

        Does he catch flies with his tongue?

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          #29
          Finland lurches

          Ladies and Gentlemen, Oulu's very own Olli Immonen. A real cunt's cunt. He also got a mention on the first page of this thread, there's nothing new or surprising about any of this.

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            #30
            Finland lurches

            Here's the text of Immonen's FB post:
            I'm dreaming of a strong, brave nation that will defeat this nightmare called multiculturalism. This ugly bubble that our enemies live in, will soon enough burst into a million little pieces. Our lives are entwined in a very harsh times. These are the days, that will forever leave a mark on our nations future. I have strong belief in my fellow fighters. We will fight until the end for our homeland and one true Finnish nation. The victory will be ours.
            Since my family is one of his targets, enemies even apparently, perhaps I should ask him how he intends to deal with us on his march to victory.

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              #31
              Finland lurches

              Sinister stuff.

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                #32
                Finland lurches

                That would have got him slung out of UKIP even 5 years ago.

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                  #33
                  Finland lurches

                  Time for an update regarding the Immonen saga.

                  I'm pleased to say there was a strong media backlash against Immonen's FB post, and a diversity rally, organised directly in response to the post, attracted a crowd of some 15000 in Helsinki, and about a tenth of that in both Oulu and Tampere. These are good turn outs, particularly so bearing in mind that this country really doesn't have much history of this kind of protest and that the events were put together by a handful of volunteers at short notice.

                  Immonen's first response was to complain about the media coverage and suggest that journalists should be vetted so that some of them would support his viewpoints. This brought the entirely predictable response from media and academics about political interference in the media. Then he muttered a few words about free speech, apparently without irony, and then disappeared on holiday.

                  Party leader Timo Soini side-stepped the issue by saying that this was a matter for the parliamentary party as a group to sort out and not just him. Well, it's not too much of an exaggeration to say that Timo Soini is PerusSuomalaiset, and he had no difficulty leading the disciplining of Jussi Halla-aho a few years back when the latter was in a similar shit hole. I have to say that I'm really happy with Soini's performance in this business: he really has come across as spineless and a person not willing to deal with difficult issues.

                  Eventually, a month or so after the posting, PS finally got round to addressing the issue properly. Well, sort of. Immonen criticised the media for taking his words out of context and sensationalist reporting. Apparently, his message was intended as encouragement for his friends. Right, that's why you published it in English for the whole world to see. He also criticised the press for re-printing a photograph that he published on his FB page, in which he is posing with a group of neo-Nazis, claiming that he was unaware of who they were at the time. This entirely plausible explanation has convinced me that my local MP is truly a moderate with no extreme views on racism whatsoever. The punishment meted out to Immonen by his party is so feeble that it doesn't even amount to a slap on the wrist with a wet lettuce. It would be completely wrong to construe from this that there is tacit approval of his message amongst his party colleagues.

                  As champions of free speech, PS naturally produced a list of 13 people who have been overly criticising them recently. They must have set it to a very high threshold to limit it to just 13.

                  President Sauli Niinistö has been disappointing, at least for me, during this episode. Perhaps I'm being a bit unfair on him because he has to maintain political neutrality, but he really could, and should, have made much clearer statements.

                  Much better has been PM Juha Sipilä. He has made his position on multi-culturalism clear and been critical, although not always in the strongest of language, of PS despite having to work alongside them in government.

                  Over in opposition, things are more clear, at least where the SDP and Greens are concerned. The party leaders, Antti Rinne and Ville Niinistö, together with old war horse Erkki Tuomioja (SDP) comfortably made the PS blacklist of 13. Tuomioja was the first to put the boot into Immonen and probably regards being at the head of the list an honour.

                  Reinforcing the PS party line on immigration issues, general secretary Riikka Slunga-Poutsalo reveals the real reason for immigration. And, of course, it's all the Swedes fault anyway.

                  Comment


                    #34
                    Finland lurches

                    Local elections were throughout the country here yesterday, and the results show that the previous headlong slide to the right has not only been halted, but even reversed a little. All three of the major parties lost a little, with Keskusta (Centre), losing more than the other two nationwide. Vihreät (Greens) made significant gains, as did Vasemmisto (Left wing alliance), though not quite to the same extent. Biggest losers were PerusSuomalaiset (True Finns), who shrank to the fifth largest party overall.

                    In this area Keskusta lost some seats but are still comfortably the largest party in most places (Keskusta are very strong in the whole of the north), Kokoomus (Conservative coalition) held their position, SDP slipped a little, Vasemmisto surged strongly, especially in Oulu (where they are traditionally the main left wing party), and Vihreät even more so. Going rapidly in the opposite direction are PS. Hopefully, this is the beginning of the end for them.

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                      #35
                      Finland lurches

                      Outstanding. Can we all move to Finland please?

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                        #36
                        Finland lurches

                        Muukalainen wrote: Local elections were throughout the country here yesterday, and the results show that the previous headlong slide to the right has not only been halted, but even reversed a little. All three of the major parties lost a little, with Keskusta (Centre), losing more than the other two nationwide. Vihreät (Greens) made significant gains, as did Vasemmisto (Left wing alliance), though not quite to the same extent. Biggest losers were PerusSuomalaiset (True Finns), who shrank to the fifth largest party overall.

                        In this area Keskusta lost some seats but are still comfortably the largest party in most places (Keskusta are very strong in the whole of the north), Kokoomus (Conservative coalition) held their position, SDP slipped a little, Vasemmisto surged strongly, especially in Oulu (where they are traditionally the main left wing party), and Vihreät even more so. Going rapidly in the opposite direction are PS. Hopefully, this is the beginning of the end for them.
                        Maybe the important lesson is that when the far-right enters coalitions, its inability to transform populist rhetoric into action is found out. Certainly, the PVV fell back in 2012 after propping up a Rutte government.

                        Comment


                          #37
                          Finland lurches

                          Popular support for PS has been declining steadily ever since they entered government, and currently stands at a little over half of what it was at the last general election. Undoubtedly, their inability to turn words into actions has contributed significantly to that erosion of support, and it is also undoubtedly true that being the second string in a three string government has contributed significantly to that inability to deliver. However, PS have never before had any power, they have always been in opposition, and while they became adept at tapping into people's discontent, it's a very different story when it comes to proposing how to rectify matters in a positive manner. In many areas of policy they have had nothing new to say and are largely indistinguishable from their government partners on a range of issues, immigration being an obvious exception.

                          Another factor in my opinion, is the attitude of the media to PS. Prior to their entering government, hardly any serious questions were asked of them, and party leader, Timo Soini, in particular was given a particularly easy ride, being treated at times like some kind of favourite uncle. Things are very different now, and PS are subjected to the same standards as the other parties. The state broadcaster, YLE, has a couple of times really piled into them, notably on matters regarding immigration, in a manner that I can't imagine the BBC doing.

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                            #38
                            Anything the Tories bugger up, PerusSuomalaiset can bugger up better. Last weekend in Jyvaskyla, PS held its annual conference. Timo Soini was stepping down as Chairman of the party he pretty much single-handedly dragged from total obscurity to a position of power, and the main agenda of the conference was the election of a new leader. The winner was Jussi Halla-aho, a known and unapologetic, convicted racist, and his elected deputies are of a not dissimilar stripe. In short, the far right extremists had taken control of a far right party. Halla-aho wasted no time in outlining the direction the party would be taking: anti-EU and immigration.

                            PS are the second party in the three party coalition government. Both of the other two parties, Keskusta (Centre) and Kokoomus (Right wing alliance), reacted strongly, refusing to work with PS in government. PM Juha Sipilä (Keskusta) set about trying to form a new coalition with Kokoomus and the minor parties, but with both of the largest of these, Vihreät (Greens) and Vasemmistoliitto (Left wing alliance), saying that they would not join and would prefer a general election, the reality of a new coalition became impractical. Sipilä, and everyone else for that matter, saw no alternative other than to ask the President to dissolve parliament and call a general election two years early.

                            Two days ago, Tuesday, Sipilä, a qualified pilot apparently, flew himself from Helsinki to Turku airport and from there headed by car to the President's summer residence in Naantali, resignation letter in hand. He hadn't got too far when he received a telephone call. Behind the scenes, the less rabid of the PS parliamentary group had splintered from the party, taking 21 of the 36 MPs with them, including all of those holding official positions in the government. This was done in total secrecy, it seems that Halla-aho and the rump of the parliamentary group had no idea what was coming. On getting this news, Sipilä ripped up the resignation letter and reversed course for Helsinki.

                            The end result of all these shenanigans is that PS is wracked by internal strife, they've been reduced to a hardcore 15 MPs in parliament and are certain to face more mass defections across the country, and the government carries on as before, except that what was a group of 36 PS MPs is now a group of 21 New Alternative MPs. They really need to work on the name, though in their defence they only had 24 hours to get themselves sorted out and what they called themselves probably wasn't very high on the agenda.

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                              #39
                              Yesterday was final voting in our presidential election, and to absolutely no-one's surprise, the present incumbent romped home to a runaway victory. By doing so, Sauli Niinistö became the first candidate in history to win in the first round, having secured at least 50% of the popular vote. He actually got a whopping 62.7%, won every one of the 311 voting districts, failing to get an outright majority in only 13 of them. He's proved to be a popular president, largely because he is seen across most of the political spectrum as capable and competent. Pekka Haavisto, the Green Party candidate was a distant second with 12.4%, and PerusSuomalaiset's Laura Huhtasaari came third with 6.9%. Keskusta (Centre Party) did badly, their official candidate coming in behind their unofficial candidate, who campaigned independently. Even worse were the SDP, who recorded their worst showing ever, and by some margin, and Vasemmistoliitto (Left Wing Alliance).

                              PS gobshite Jussi Halla-Aho was quick to hail the result as a catastrophe for all three of the main political parties (SDP, Keskusta and Kokoomus), whereas his party polled not too far behind their 2012 showing, when his party was more mainstream and represented by political heavyweight Timo Soini. I'm not sure that things are quite as he is trying to portray. While it's never good seeing an extreme party like PS (anti EU, anti immigration) coming third, it's clear that the SDP and Centre candidates haemorrhaged votes to Niinistö, who is effectively the Kokoomus candidate, even though he stood independently. It's very unlikely to be true that Huhtasaari lost significant numbers of votes due to Niinistö's popularity.

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                                #40
                                Well at least that’s one right wing populist twat not an imminent risk of taking power.

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                                  #41
                                  Loving how Muukalainen has embraced the word 'gobshite'.

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                                    #42
                                    Here we go again, our four years is up and this coming Sunday is final voting in the general election. Excitement has reached sniffle pitch as news outlets spend almost as much time covering some farce from London's West End. Early voting closed yesterday evening, with record numbers of votes having been cast for this stage.

                                    Who will come out on top? SDP probably, if there's any trust left in opinion polls, that is. Currently in opposition, support for them stands at a little under 20%, a figure that has been steadily but slowly declining for the past few months. I was about to write about the government parties, but we haven't got an official government, and indeed have not had one since Juha Sipilä's Keskusta led government resigned just over a month ago over its failure to get its social and health reform negotiations settled, at which point President Sauli Niinistö accepted the resignation and then added "bugger it, there's only about a month to the general election, carry on in a caretaker role", Possibly not a verbatim quote, that one. What was the government following the last general election was Keskusta (Centre), Kokoomus (right wing alliance) and PerusSuomalaiset (racist bastards). See my post above on 15.6.2017 for the splitting of PS. Keskusta have not made a good job of running the country these last four years and support for them has been low for a long time. It's difficult to see them forming part of the next government unless it's as a third party. This would require Sipilä's resignation as party leader. Kokoomus seem to be doing much better in the polls, currently a couple of percentage points behind SDP, though support for them too is slipping a little recently. PerusSuomalaiset -- how I'd love to be able to write that we're rid of these scum forever. Sadly, not only is that not true, but they're surging strongly in the polls. They are particularly active in these parts, it seems. The usual anti-immigration and anti-EU rhetoric, they know what they're against. Also as usual, beyond OMAT ENSIN they're a lot more clueless as to what they are in favour of. Let's see what Sunday brings.

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                                      #43
                                      https://twitter.com/ChrChristensen/status/1117511924281954304

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                                        #44
                                        Not great.

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                                          #45
                                          It's even tighter than in nef's graphic above. With almost 94% of the vote counted, SDP, PS and Kokoomus are running within 1% of each other. Only one party is forecast to lose any seats, the lead party of the outgoing government, Keskusta, are taking a fearful hammering. The main beneficiaries are the left, SDP, Vasemmistoliitto and Vihreät.

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                                            #46
                                            The woefully inadequate coverage of this in the media I've read presents this as a victory for the social democrats, which, technically, if you look only at which party is the biggest, it is. But that is not the relevant question here. Muuk, could this possibly lead to a leftwing or center-left government? Is there a reasonable path for the SDP to get to a coalition?

                                            Is SDP + Vasemmistoliitto + Vihreät + Keskusta = 51.8% a feasible foursome?

                                            Comment


                                              #47
                                              The mess we're in. Try as I might, I've absolutely no idea how to answer your question, Wouter. Negotiations have started between, I think, the three traditional main parties, i.e. SDP, Kokoomus and Keskusta, The four you mention are a possibility, possibly with the RKP thrown in too. Just about the only thing that people agree on is that the negotiations will be protracted. Apparently Halla-Aho said tonight that PS are prepared to compromise on matters, even immigration natch, should they be invited to the negotiations. Is this weakness on his part or cunning, knowing full well that this is a road that SDP leader Antti Rinne is never going to go down?
                                              Last edited by Muukalainen; 15-04-2019, 21:19.

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                                                #48
                                                Thank you! Very informative.

                                                From an article linked to in your link, the percentages translate to the following seat numbers:

                                                Code:
                                                 With 100% of vote counted:  
                                                  SDP    40 seats
                                                  FP     39
                                                  NCP    38
                                                  CEN    31
                                                  GREENS 20
                                                  LEFT   16
                                                  SPP     9
                                                  CD      5
                                                  BLUE    0
                                                  OTHERS  2
                                                Last edited by Wouter D; 16-04-2019, 07:15.

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