The US has some weird news

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: April 14, 2019

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Submitted: April 14, 2019

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I will always find the way foreign medias talk about Finland. Usually because they talk about things that we never think about, or things that aren't that common. Usually when someone abroad talks about Finland, they mention things like northern lights and Santa Claus. Well, I like neither, and honestly, the chances of seeing neither of those things are very small, unless you are in Lapland and it's winter. 

Today, many foreign medias even in the US decided to speak about the elections today. First of all, I feel proud of myself that I actually managed to find a candidate for myself and almost non-awkwardly managed to vote (thanks for the nice lady for telling me what to do because I've never done that before). The first one I managed to read was a New York Times artice by Ellen Barry and Johanna Lemola, The Right's New Rallying Cry in Finland: "Climate Hysteria". 

The article starts with the statement that the right-wing parties, mostly True Finns, have taken a different way of getting votes this year. Instead of talking about how people need to tackle climate change and fight immigration, they have said fighting climate change is useless. That goes against many other parties' lines, as most of the major parties have agreed to make the country carbon neutral by some point. 

The Finns Party is something people either like or hate. They have very straightforward views about immirgation (it's bad) and climate change (it's not our fault) and Finland (we have to look out for our own children and elders instead of paying for immigration). I personally don't like them, but I have several friends that voted for them today as well. 

The article compares the Finnish politics with American and discusses the Green New Deal, which I found odd, because that has absolutely nothing to do with the elections here. Aside from that, I have found it hilarious that the Finns Party has technically stolen all their slogans from Donald Trump. Their one slogan is "Äänestä Suomi takaisin". It literally translates to "vote Finland back", which is obviously stolen from Trump's "taking our country back", which actually wasn't his in the first place, but whatever.

One of the candidates interviewed in the article was Kristian Laakso, who is running from the southeast district, and more accurately, he's from Kouvola. Unfortunately, that's the town where I live and fuck, it's a shitty place. I just read that he actually made it, not surprising, since this is the most racist town in Finland, to be honest. The Finns are usually very popular here and with his weird campaign, I was almost certain he would get through. In the interview he said that even if all of Finns stopped using their cars, it would slow climate change down by one minute. 

Why I say I find the reporting weird, is the fact that the Times chose this point of view. There are several major themes in these elections. Climate change is one that has never been discussed this widely, and it shows. That's obvious by now, as almost 80% of the votes have been counted, and the Green Party has 21 places in the 200-people parliament. They have gotten more places than the last time, and probably the young people have voted for them the most. Most of the parties take the issue seriously and each party has promised to do something, aside from the Finns and a few small parties.

The other major issue is employment, and even more than that, unemployment. The country has survived from the 2008 and 2009  crash, but the unemployment rate among young people is still low, and there are thousands of youngster that are in danger of social exclusion. People want more jobs and more secure jobs. That's something most parties agree on, but the specifics will be something else.

The third issue is health care and social security, that is one of the largest political issues here. Has been for several years. The so called "sote-uudistus", health and social security reform is what lead to the late government to resign, just a few weeks ago. We need the reform because the people are aging and the inequality between people and areas are getting bigger. We need services that are fair and affordable, and the plans have all failed for now. Especially the problem with elders and their care has now shown to be inhumane, as private sector has taken over a large amount of the business, and made it just that: business. There aren't enough people and resources to make sure the elders are taken care of and they end up spening their days in their beds, wearing diapers and having very little social contact, just because there is no time and people to do the job properly.

That's one of the reasons the Social Democratic Party (SDP) is going to win, most likely. Their supporters are mostly old people, which is okay, and they do want change. Although, this is something that most parties also agree on: we need good health care, especially for old people. However, how we get it done is going to be harder than it seems like. 

I am surprised so many foreign medias actually talk about the elections here, because we're a small country. We don't have much political impact on the world, aside from the EU maybe, since we will be the President Country of the Council of the EU later this year. It has been discussed a lot as well, what we want to get done. The term is only six months, but many people here want to make the country an example to the Union with good climate politics and humane social care. No idea if that will happen, but I hope it could. 

I find the article by the Times strange, but maybe it has a point. We haven't looked at the elections from that point of view that much though. We all realize climate change is an issue, even the right-wing parties agree, but the idea that they wrote an article based on that is almost farfetched. Maybe it's all just to get people to read about this thing, or maybe it's to make the horrible people that actually read the New York Times think badly of even the foreign countries' right-wing parties. It's fake news, isn't it? They just try to make the right-wing look bad, like they are doing in the US, so of course making the Finnish equivalent of Republicans to look ridiculous is going to get reads. Such enemy of the people!

No but seriously, interesting piece to read, although they could've made it a lot more interesting, but maybe that's just me. I can't know what Americans actually want to read about, but I would've loved to see the Times talk about something more accurate and not something that the one party that no one wants to work with thinks.

Oh, and here is the link to the article, in case you want to read it:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/12/world/europe/finland-populism-immigration-climate-change.html

 


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