A great blog post about the True Finns by Marko Kulmala I've been meaning to post since two weeks ago.
Media has loved Timo Soini, because media thinks Timo Soini speaks his mind. This has been believed by the media, because Timo Soini has said he speaks his mind.
"Paddle the water that's under the canoe." Was Soini,s answer to a question asking what a critic of the European Union is doing as a member of the European Parliament. No follow-up questions were asked.
The True Finns published their election manifesto this Friday. For the first time I saw a bemused Timo Soini, in an interview by the YLE news.
"It is not possible to calculate these figures in a concrete way." This is an entirely new, understandable Soinism. He said the soon-to-become fourth largest party simply lacks know-how.
It seemed to be possible for the True Finns however, to suggest concrete cuts and reductions in budget, even outside the sphere of political influence. Soini complained about the lack of the same access to political tools that the "old parties" have, because they were not given access. There is no information about their proposed budget because it was not given to them. How so? Do they not have the proposed government budget in use? It is available to anyone and contains all the necessary numbers and figures. Do they not have a calculator? Or do they simply lack knowledge?
The True Finns have five MPs. They have exactly the same access to parliamentary information services as MPs from other parties. Knowledge is available and accessible. Lots of it. The True Finns may ask for advice from economic scientists if there are numbers they don't understand - other parties do this. They have either not asked for help or tried to gain knowledge. This is called ignorance and laziness. Laziness and ignorance are not a viable alternative.
Speaking of phenomenae, and the True Finns' poll success is really phenomenal, it is always good to ask the question: who benefits from it? The media does, media loves dramatic elections. If there is no drama to be found, it will be created. Therefore for example Timo Soini gets special treatment from the media: as the only party leader he gets asked no follow-up questions. The media only waits for the next clever quip.
I have been thinking, if the True Finns are to rise to become the second largest party in parliament, how are they going to fill ministerial seats? They have two people who can work as ministers now. Who would they seat as the speaker of parliament? Veltto Virtanen?
I understand well Timo Soini's bemusement. Any old Opel-driver will panic if they suddenly find themselves at the wheel of a Ferrari. You can't even engage the reverse without outside help.