Sunday, March 18

Finland's elections

Finland is holding parliamentary elections today. With their extensive welfare state and military neutrality, Finns don't seem to have too much to get worked up about. Polls predict that the governing coalition between the Center Party and the Social Democrats, led by Center's Matti Vanhanen will retain power. But it is also possible that Center will form a coalition with the Conservatives.

This dude in Helsinki discusses some of the issues of concern in the election, from nuclear energy to NATO, to Lego polar bears riding Lego ponies. A more informative discussion of the issues is here.

But there is plenty of interesting irrelevant information about the election. The only thing about the race that the American media seems to have picked up is that Vanhanen's ex-girlfriend published a bestselling book about their relationship. I haven't heard anything too juicy, though apparently Vanhanen was named Finland's sexiest man by a women's magazine once. If anything, the book has boosted the Prime Minister's popularity.

In other fun facts, the country's first elections took place exactly 100 years ago. And did you know that Finland was the second country to give women the right to vote, after New Zealand?

Also, one MP has translated his campaign website into klingon: "Some have thought it is blasphemy to mix politics and Klingon."

1 comment:

Number 1 Billy Joel Fan said...

I'm not sure which of the following is the best part of this post:

1) the website you link to has dragonball z avatars that are customized to the content of the comments.

2) your source for news on Finland's elections was what I presume is the heartfelt diary of a 14 year old girl.

3) when I visited, I wasn't sure if the page was already in klingon (i.e. I cannot tell the difference between Swedish, Finnish, and Klingon).

4) there are numerous aspects of that are, for lack of a better word, adorable.