Motion: THW force more and more municipalities to go into a merger with each other in order to develop administration domestically
Role: Minister (govt.)
I would go and root for municipal or community mergers as a way forward in this critical era, when money is tight and politicians are scrambling for solutions.
Municipal mergers are an attempt at trying to take care of those who are about to lose their self-esteem in society. Mostly the question is of sorting out all the elderly people who are living in the countryside and barely scraping by. This is the last step in the structural change that began in Finland in the 1960’s and has been mostly brought to completion and finalisation.
The idea is to round up the last senior citizens who have resisted change, relocation and seeking themselves to the cities. Taking them to the warm municipal lap of health checks, hospitals and supported living when they no longer can make it on their own is the goal. Their needs are too manifold and multilayered for their local health services to be able to cater for their needs. When they are under one administrative umbrella, their needs can be taken care of in a convincing and effective way. Municipal mergers are less about subjugating one thriving community under the yoke of another, bigger one, and more about uniting a dead countryside with the living urban fabric usually quite close to it.
Mergers can be progressive, too, instead of being merely aggressive. I would compare them with merging two file cabinets. When I merged my two real-life folders filled with administrative documents that amounted together for 150 % of space, I ended up acquiring 15 % of more space. There were many unnecessary labels, empty compartments and dated documents in my files; just the kind of s**t they’re hoping to come by in the negotiations and realisation of a municipal merger. I think that 15 % of saved money/space/resources is enough if a merger needs to be justified by some number or figure.
The underlying idea behind a municipal merger is of course Money: today money circulates in a lemniscate loop between communities and the State. The state has to lend to communities what they don’t have, after they’ve been raped by structural changes, massive outgoing emigration waves and deindustrialisation. Now, if municipal-merger reforms are carried out properly, the money lemniscate will resemble more a circle than a lemniscate; money will come from the wealthiest in the community and circle back to the poorer residents, thus forming a circle rather than the infinity sign.
The state and the government want a better, self-sufficient network of communities in Finland, so that it can devote its money to the larger agendas, larger affiliations and international concerns. We really should take care of our poor and needy, but it can be done with smaller units, less redundancy and less intrusion and supervision by the Big Brother (i.e. the State).
I hope that this would convince you to root for up-and-coming municipal mergers.
Puheen kesto: 3 min 55 sek
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