Is the Finnish government right or left
Lots of movement possible on the left and right
Sipilä had failed to win a parliamentary majority for the prestigious project of his term in office: a reform of the entire social and health system, known under the abbreviation SOTE. The prime minister saw the reform as essential in the fight against the steadily rising social costs. According to the government, the annual cost increase would have been limited to 0.9 percent by 2029 - this year 2.4 percent is expected.
"My government works on the principle of 'results or resignation'", said Sipilä and consequently opted for the latter. President Sauli Niinistö accepted his request, but asked the government to remain in office on a provisional basis. It is extremely unlikely that the current coalition can continue after the parliamentary elections on Sunday.
Sipilä had led a center-right government since 2015, which most recently consisted of his Center Party, the conservative National Collection Party (KOK) and the Blue Future party. After an internal dispute, the latter split off from the right-wing party Die Basisfinnen as a moderate alternative in 2017. According to surveys, all three are threatened with severe losses - the Blue Future could miss its entry into parliament, the Center Party could slip from first to fourth place. If these values prove to be true on election Sunday, Sipilä will step down as party leader.
Unwelcome six pack
According to all forecasts, Finland will in future get another social democratic prime minister in Antti Rinne. The Greens and the liberal Swedish People's Party would offer themselves as majority procurers, and Sipiläs Center Party or the Conservatives could join them.
Four or five parties in government are not uncommon in Finland, but they don't make governing easier, said Antti Kaihovaara, a political scientist from the University of Helsinki. “Up until 2014 we had six parties in the government, the so-called six-pack. Many experts have described it as the worst government ever, ”said Kaihovaara.
In particular, the cutting of the far right base fins under their boss Jussi Halla-aho is watched with excitement. You should make strong gains in the election, even second place seems possible. Halla-aho repeatedly brought up the issue of asylum and migration as well as more distance to Brussels, including a possible referendum on Finland's exit from the EU. It remains questionable whether this can still score points in view of the Brexit mess. In addition, Finland will take over the EU Council Presidency from Romania on July 1, as planned.
SOTE - a charged topic
In the election campaign, however, other topics dominated, especially SOTE. While the parties to the left of the center are calling for a fairer redistribution and want to finance the desired reform and simplification of the various public social and health services through taxes, the conservatives see the solution in a stronger involvement of private companies. The only consensus is that there is a need for action: According to the Finnish broadcaster Yle, governments have tried to reform the health system for 14 years - always unsuccessfully.
The idea of Finland
For an unconditional basic income, for which Finland had carried out an internationally acclaimed pilot project in the past two years, only the Greens and the Left Party are now advocating. The end of the experiment was announced relatively surprisingly a year ago - since 2019, the 2,000 unemployed who had received 560 euros a month since the beginning of 2017 have again had to do without government support. The hoped-for scientific knowledge from the experiment remained manageable, neither time nor money was enough, it said.
Where happiness resides
In any case, the future government has a noble legacy to defend: the UN's World Happiness Report, published a month ago, shows Finland as the happiest country for the second time in a row. "How communities interact with each other in schools, at work, in neighborhoods or on social media has a profound impact on the happiness of the world," said one of the report's co-editors. According to Jennifer De Paola, social psychologist at the University of Helsinki, Finnish happiness is also based on social security and the ability to constantly reinvent yourself. A change of government would provide an opportunity to do so again.
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