Government programs through the ages

The Finnish Government has put together a rather neat website (fi) on the history of Finnish cabinets. It includes every cabinet (fi) and minister ever, but the star attraction is definitely the complete archive of past government programs (fi). Government programs have increased in size during the years, but especially some of the early programs are quite evocative of the conditions in which the cabinet has come to power and the personality of its Prime Minister.

For example, here's my translation of J.K. Paasikivi's (National Coalition Party) second cabinet's "program", issued in November 1944 as a statement (fi) to the Finnish News Agency:

The government must primarily work in the best mutual understanding with our neighbour Soviet Union, and at this time we must conscientiously fulfill the demands of the interim peace treaty. Naturally good financial and cultural relations with Sweden and other Nordic countries shall be maintained and developed. Otherwise we have so many economic and political questions that have been caused by the war, population transfers, employment situation, and public maintenance, that there's more than enough work, so no other program report is needed than to promise to help in solving these difficult questions to the best of our ability.

The Communist Party shall operate, the same as other parties, according to the existing laws. Finland shall carefully attend to its democratic social structure, which is based on Finland's national independence and sovereignty.
Now that's a government program.

A sad new development is to give the programs tacky names straight out of a company brochure given to employees on the first day of bad training seminar, e.g. the previous government's program was titled To a new rise through work, entrepreneurship, and common responsibility. As far as I can tell, Paavo Lipponen (Social Democratic Party) is to blame. His first program was titled moderately The government of work and common responsibility, but the second go-around got the hideous name Fair and supportive - a socially whole Finland. Let's have some standards, prime ministers.

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