What I like about Tarja Halonen

Blogs can focus too much on politicians' flaws. I'm not sure if you've noticed, but even this blog right here has sometimes gotten snarky. As a much needed corrective to excess negativity, I'll start a series of posts in which I tell you just what I like about notable Finnish politicians. I'll try to come up with three things about everyone. I'm going to start at the top and work my way downwards till I get bored of it. First up, then, is President Tarja Halonen.

1.) I like it that Halonen has by and large done what was expected of her. We won't be joining NATO under her watch; she has tried her best to retain all the powers invested in the President in the Constitution; she speaks up for the welfare state every chance she gets. Her voters have little reason to feel disappointed or betrayed. Surely that's a good thing.

2.) I like it that Halonen greatly annoys our true-believing, US-style conservatives (and just about no one else). To experience these folks' rhetoric first-hand, check out the reader comments in Helsingin Sanomat's website under any article about Halonen. I hope the rest of us can come together in agreement that annoying them says good things about a person.

3.) I like what electing Halonen says about the country. She has many qualities that would limit her popular appeal in more conservative countries. She's a woman. She was a trade union lawyer. She used to be the chairwoman of a sexual minority rights organization. She resigned from the church. Having her as a President is a testament to the relative broadmindedness of our electorate, thus she makes a good representative for the country.

See, wasn't even difficult. Next up is Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen - maybe tomorrow, unless some piece of news strikes my fancy.

1 comment:

SM said...