Date: Mar 28th, 2017
Motion: THW regard parties as listed, public shares on a stock exchange
Role: PM (govt.)
The municipal or communal elections are at hand. In early April, we will have new councils. With that in mind, it might be useful to muse a little upon parties and their ikigai. Where do they come from, where are they and where are they headed for?
In the US, there are two parties that count. In the UK, there are 2^2 parties. The ones you’re not thinking of are the latecomers. In Finland, there are 2^3 parties. If all that are registered as parties had seats everywhere, Finns would have 2^4 parties, so we’re good at cell division. A party seems to elicit a counterforce. Hence the root number 2.
The following chart shows the present support for political parties in Finland. These parties are, in English, in order of popularity: The Social Democratic Party, The Center Party, The Coalition Party, The Green Party, The (True) Finns Party, The Left Alliance, The Swedish People’s Party and The Christian Democratic Party.
The uppermost threesome represents livelihoods. It’s a neat trichotomy. Social democrats get their money from wage-based industrial work or salary-based labour often carried out on behalf of the community or the State, Centrists from ownership and labour in primary production (agriculture, aquaculture, mining) and Coalitionists from owning their own, sometimes inherited business. In any country, these three could be thought of as the basis of the economic structure. That explains away their popularity. It’s about the source of the money, dude.
The next one, the Green Party, has often been cited as the only new party, in all of the countries it operates in, but in fact it’s not that novel nonetheless. It’s more like a symbiotic party for those who idealise either living in a big city or in the countryside, for apparent reasons. In politics, it combines Leftist and Liberal tendencies. But it offers little to those who are currently living in a small or midsize town.
Then come the ”angrier” alternatives to the traditional Left and Right: the Left Alliance and True Finns. They formulate opinions and stances that would not be allowed in the more moderate flagship parties of the Right and the Left. Basically, they are for the unemployed members of the Right/Left, whereas Coalition and SDP are for the (hard-)working members of the respective leanings. Both are symmetrically about as far from the middle line in their own directions. Who are the Angry Birds?! Revenge against the Pigs!
Last and perhaps Least come Christian Democrats and the Swedish-speaking. Both parties could be described as having a loyal, slightly stubborn following. In a sense, they are parties for those who are a) adherent and b) believers, as a Christian element has often played a part in their from-election-to-election-continuing, modest popularity.
I think it pays off to look at parties in this kind of an objective way. One can see how parties form clusters, in a way that they cannot always see themselves. Politics, as it is experienced in the casual way, is often about faces, impressions, numbers, slogans, themes and an urging to vote, but that hides away what political parties are and what kind of a vacuum they originally tried to address. Each time there is a hole in society, a political party usually emerges to try and fill it up.
It also pays off to think about one’s own political niche. Do I represent resoundingly any of the followings of any of these parties? If I do, I may vote for the mother parties. But if I don’t, chances are good that politically I will go on wandering in the desert, becoming part of the so-called ”swing vote” or restraining from voting altogether, becoming a member of the so-called ”Slumber Party”.
It also pays off to see if parties give any kind of a ”dividend”, when you ”buy” one of their ”shares” in casting a vote for them at the elections. If they promise the moon but deliver nothing, the question arises if they are any good and worthy of a place in the first place wherever decisions are made. I think there is grounds to say that political parties act and look like shares on a stock exchange.
Arvio: Puhe aloittaa pitkän ketjun aloitteen todistelemiseksi. Siinä mielessä voi olla hyvä, että mukana on kuva, vaikka niitä yleensä ei käytetäkään eikä näytetäkään. Ongelmaksi muodostuu se, että aloitteen alku (THW regard parties) toteutuu, mutta loppuosa jää huomioimatta ihan loppua lukuunottamatta. Nyt PM alustaa debatin rautalangasta ja puhuu puoliviihteellisesti politiikasta yleisesti. Tiimin muille jää kuitenkin varsinainen työ spesifin aloitteen puolesta puhumisessa.