Urpilainen's appeal

Happened today in the Social Democratic Party chair election campaign: Jutta Urpilainen announced (fi) her candidacy. Miapetra Kumpula-Natri will say whether she's running tomorrow. Maria Guzenina-Richardson is running for vice chair - and not supporting Erkki Tuomioja, who, she implied, was "another old face".

Antti Kalliomäki - quite possibly the grayest man on earth - wants (fi) a chair who brings "a new look and youthful energy" to the party. Paavo Lipponen, for his part, wants a chair with a minimum amount of old encumbrances. Now's an opportunity to clean the table and leave old juxtapositions behind. Something tells me he isn't supporting Tuomioja, either.

The feeling I get is that what the Social Democratic influentials are after is stylistic reform, as opposed to radical substantive change. This is an understandable reaction to the parliamentary election, I think. The party promised to deliver the things its supporters want out of it, but it lacked credibility. With a fresh face as party chair, maybe it regain that credibility and leave behind the "old encumbrances" it accrued during the government years.

For Urpilainen, then, entering the race at this early date is imperative. She qualifies as a fresh face, and the contrast to Eero Heinäluoma's appearance, if not policies, would be considerable. But being quite new on the national scene and not looking like Heinäluoma aren't qualities unique to her, so she needs to move quickly to shore up support before others (read: Kumpula-Natri) challenge her for that niche.

PS: In case you're wondering, one of these days I plan to write about something else than the Soc Dems. No, really.

1 comment:

egan said...

She's definitely a different face, but 'fresh'? I'm sorry, but that women just doesn't look normal. Like a grandmother in her mid-thirties. Tuomioja is your friendly local alcoholic, so that leaves Richardson and Urpilainen as the only non-weird soc dems standing.

That tip is free of charge, btw.