Most boring presidency ever

The Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) is showing as a summer rerun "Presidentit" (2005), a drama series on Presidents of Finland. It dramatizes some small part of their presidency, with a narrator popping in at the beginning and end of each episode to give some background. The series suffers from some overacting and clumsy exposition inserted into the dialog, but it's commendable that YLE is at least trying to popularize the country's history.

For many Presidents, there's an obvious choice for that one dramatic moment to put in film. To give a few examples, Pehr Evind Svinhufvud's episode deals with the Mäntsälä rebellion, Kyösti Kallio's with the start of the Winter War, and Juho Kusti Paasikivi's with the negotiation of the Agreement of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance. With Risto Ryti and Urho Kekkonen, there's a lot from which to choose.

The series goes through the first ten Presidents, but there's no episode for the current incumbent, Tarja Halonen. This got me to thinking: what moment in her presidency would make for good TV? We didn't join the EU, the Soviet Union didn't break up, there were no notable foreign policy crises, no vitally important treaties were negotiated, wars didn't end, wars didn't start, no one rebelled, no threats our democracy emerged, and there were no divisions to heal. This has been the most boring presidency ever.

An aspiring dramatist would probably be forced to go with former Prime Minister Anneli Jäätteenmäki's resignation and Halonen played a rather small role in that particular drama. There's always the campaign for a second term, but even that was more important to Halonen as a person than Finland as a country. She has steered clear of NATO, but there's no drama there because there has been precious little conflict.

Point is: we're not living in interesting times. To alleviate the boredom, Halonen should get to work in creating some dangerous foreign policy crisis in which catastrophe can only be averted at the nick of time by acting with determined, steely resolve. If she gets to punch out a terrorist, so much the better.


Giustino said...

The meeting with Conan O'Brien was fairly noteworthy.

Ari said...

That's more comedy material, though.