Opportunism of the worst kind

Thanos Kalamidas's intermittent coverage of Finnish politics in Ovi Magazine isn't very good. Consider the recent article "A dark blue government & the jolly greens", for example.

Kalamidas writes in the intro that the Christian Democrats managed to enter the last government, when they of course managed no such thing. The statement that a lot of the Social Democratic Party's voters moved to the right-wing National Coalition Party is dubious, unless Kalamidas is privy to some data I've missed entirely. (In his election preview, he wrote that the Coalition's symbol is a blue rose and that the battle of the SDP and the Coalition has been dubbed the "War of the Roses", a phrase I had never heard before in this context since the blue flower in the Coalition logo is a cornflower.) These aren't big mistakes, but they don't exactly inspire confidence, either.

To be fair, the premise that the Green League has sold out is an interesting one. I agree with Kalamidas that the Finnish Greens' policies aren't always in sync with continental greens, especially continental greens of reddish hue, and they're probably more willing to compromise than most. However, we're talking about a political system in which the Coalition and the socialist Left Alliance can coexist not only in the same government, but in the same Ministry of Finance. If purity is what one wants in a political party, there's always the Communist Workers' Party on the left and the Finnish People's Blue-Whites on the right - although they might be willing to compromise, too, if only they had something to offer in a deal.

Kalamidas describes a few years back how he asked one Green candidate what the party is doing to ban land mines. According to him, the candidate answered that land mines are a tradition in Finland and there's nothing to do about it. Regardless, the Greens as a party have been among the most enthusiastic supporters (fi) of Finland joining the Ottawa treaty to ban land mines. The mention of Hannele Luukkainen's switch from the Greens to the Coalition - I believe she's the politician in question - is just odd. If the Greens have already sold out, why did she have to change parties, again?

Kalamidas concludes that the Green League folks are "nothing more than opportunists and the worst kind", who "prey upon people's sensitivity to satisfy their pitiful ambitions" I'm not sure how the Greens are supposed to be hiding their true nature from land mine hating, nuclear energy opposing lefties. I think they were quite open about their ambitions before the election. I expect them to have trouble maintaining their current level of support in the government, but it should be kept in mind that their current level of support is very good compared to most European green parties, the sort Kalamidas would prefer them to be. Would they be influential if they had a five percent support and no intention of entering anything but a left-wing government? I very much doubt it.

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