Interpellation vote

It went pretty much as expected:

The government front did not waver, bar a single MP. Paula Sihto (centre), the first deputy chairman of the council of the Union of Health and Social Care Professionals, abstained.

Sihto was on A-Talk last night (fi) together with Social Democratic chair Eero Heinäluoma, National Coalition MP Ben Zyskowicz, and Union of Health and Social Care Professionals (Tehy) chair Jaana Laitinen-Pesonen. The highlight of the show was a clip of Heinäluoma and a somewhat lost-looking Finance Minister Jyrki Katainen arguing over how much financial support Katainen had promised to municipalities during the election campaign, followed by the program's host asserting that Katainen got it wrong, followed by Zyskowicz arguing that the government had essentially done what according to Katainen no one had promised. It was all quite confusing.

Sihto's take on the issue was curious, too. She seemed to me to be arguing that the National Coalition Party is responsible for raising nurses' expectations too high. That's a fair viewpoint and one with which I agree up to a point. At the same time, however, she was backing Tehy's approach. Where's the logic in that? If Tehy members have unrealistic expectations due to politicians' meddling ways, it suggests that their expecations should be lower - the problem isn't that the offer was too small, but that it was turned down. But Sihto didn't take her argument to its logical conclusion.


egan said...

I think her point is that the lying scumbags stole votes by being lying scumbags and should now face the consequences rather than crapping on the nurses.

Ari said...

Then she could have bloody well said so. In that case the problem wouldn't be that the Coalition's election campaign pushed up the nurses' expectations, but rather that the expectations aren't being met.

egan said...

But if all parties are going to help each other to 'lower expectations' after an election, every manifesto will consist of '€3000 a month minimum wage, 6 months annual leave and apple pie for everyone!'.

I don't think you can separate the expectations from the NatCons like that. 'Wage discipline' has been a key factor in both the strong finances presented to the new government and the disillusionment with the parties to NatCon's left.

If they want to tringulate their way in by raising expectations like that, they should be forced to live up to them.

Aapo said...

How do you exactly 'force' them to live up anything?

I mean, there will be a new election in 2011. If the electorate will reckon that the Coalitionists have been lying scumbags, then the Coalitionists will pay the price. And if not, then their policy has been worth the gamble. Quite simple. I was personally horrified by all the pork the SDP was promising, so we can also consider the Coalition's expectations game a necessary evil.

My first impressions of Katainen in power were quite mixed but lately he has proven a responsible treasurer, and for that I am glad.

Ari said...

I'm not separating the current expectations from the Coalition; I think the Coalition has played a big role in increasing the nurses' demands. I'm arguing that you can't blame the Coalition for driving up expectations if you think that the expectations are correct. Then you can still blame Katainen's crew for failing to meet the expectations, but not for driving them up to where (you think) they should be.

egan said...

It's not that Ari. I think the expectations are where they should be and that at least some people voted for kokoomus because they gave the impression of being ready to meet them.

That's a scummy trick, especially when they're giving more money to the likes of me from next January, and I and my fellow middle class students really don't need it.

Ari said...

Egan, we may be talking at cross-purposes here. My point was that your point is not the point Sihto was making on the telly.

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