Will someone please think of the Great Cormorants?

The Parliament has been debating (fi) the new government program. The discussion is largely ritualistic; the government naturally defends all aspects of its program and the opposition is stridently opposed to everything. There are things to be learned, though.

For example, I got the strong impression that the Social Democratic Party and other opposition parties doubt the government's ability to carry out the National Coalition Party's promise (fi) to financially support income equality in comprehensive incomes policy agreements. The Coalitionists, for their part, seem fairly confident; neither Finance Minister and party chairman Jyrki Katainen nor parliamentary faction chairman Pekka Ravi shirked away from stating that they're going through with the plan if the negotiating parties cooperate.

Another telling moment was when Left Alliance parliamentary faction chairwoman Annika Lapintie charged the government parties with condoning the slaughter of Great Cormorants. As a sop to the Swedish People's Party, whose coast-dwelling supporters come to contact with the birds more often than most Finns, the government program mentions (fi) limiting the number of Great Cormorants. Lapintie's critique is not pointed at the Swedish PP, however, but rather at the Green League. The Left Alliance seem to have identified the Greens as a potentially rewarding target and have embraced the sellout angle. Agreeing to the slaughter of the noble Great Cormorants fits the bill nicely.

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