Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tea, anyone?

I am not hugely interested in party politics. It's mostly surface froth anyway and these days absolutely divorced from any high ideals of citizenship and collective responsibility. (I think there was a period when the situation was noticeably better though that's probably a controversial opinion - but there was a moment, I do believe, when it was seriously thought that participatory politics mattered.) Still, there is a sort of groundswell coming in Finland with our version of the Tea Party (angry, not highly educated middle-aged men) rising remarkably in the polls. Much misdirected anger and rage fuelling the "movement". We have so few immigrants that it is quite an acrobatic achievement to create a huge national problem out of them. I guess it is something manageable, something tangible that you can understand and do something about it.

The actual, genuine problems seem to be so far out of the citizens' hands that it's easier just not to see them. In the end it will probably not amount to much anything. An opportunity once again lost - we would need real reform of the political process and social structures in general, but this wave of populism will likely not establish any and will probably make this real reform even more difficult. Oh well.

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