Here we go again, part 4 of the series of funny families political parties of Finland. I’m writing this for my own education, so feel free to pipe in if and when I’m off-track or just plain wrong. I always write about the history, because that’s the way I roll.
Suomen Sosialidemokraattinen Puolue (Swedish: Finlands Socialdemokratiska Parti), or the Finnish Social Democratic Party has been in existence since 1899 under the name Finland’s Labour Party. It was influnced by the Karl Kautsky’s Erfurt program, which was written in Germany (1891) seeking to obliterate the class-system. The name was changed to the current form in 1903 despite the fact the Russian general-governor Bobrikov’s* decree against using the expression ‘social democratic’.
In the first parliament election, the Party instantly became the largest party. It’s various programs have all come true with the exception of the separation of church and state and the removal of teaching religion in schools and the prohibition of alcohol was later overturned. The radical social democrats separated around the Finnish Civil War (January 27th to May 16th, 1918) to form the Red government, which in the end lost the war against the Whites. Much bloodshed and cruelties happened from both sides, but the winners’ history has all but destroyed the evidence of atrocities performed by the White government troops.
After the war, communists largely had to be at large (ah hah) and in the 1920’s the communist Finland’s Socialist Labour Party earned some of the parliament seats previously held by the Social Democrats. After some more wars** and because of Finland’s close ties with USSR, Social Democrats were, for a long time, in the opposition. These days, the Party is the third largest in Finland.
Right. So what do the Social Democrats want? Unsurprisingly, pretty much the same things as the Coalition and the Centre (the other top three parties): social responsibility, freedom and equality, education and the protection of the environment. ”Internationally, Social Democrats side with the oppressed, against the oppressors.”. [Wikipedia] The same source educates us that
Socialism arises from the humane philosophy of the Antique, Christian ethics and the progress of the idealism of the enlightenment.
The SDP website also provides an A to Ö (that’s A to Z to the English-speaking world) of their positions to different issues, but I’ve learned from my experience with the Coalition (maybe it was the Centre – I can’t tell them apart anymore), so I will only make a cursory glance on the list.
Disarmament: Finland must actively support the work for disarmament. The armament expenditure must be frozen. Especial attention must be paid to the decrease of small arms. The aim of the SDP is a world free of nuclear weapons.
But they are for nuclear energy and they support the conscription (that’s the mandatory army training thing) of men, supplemented by women’s voluntary military service.
Energy: Finland must be independent of oil by the year 2030. […] A diverse and self-sufficient energy production should be built in Finland. […] A green certificate support system to be used for renewable energy sources.
Climate change: A climate change resulting from human actions is a scientific fact. […] The defence [/prevention] and adaptation to the climate change demand a reformation of everyone. Global warming must be stopped. We support mandatory international limits to exhausts, investing to environmental technology and increase of the environmental taxation.
Culture: Culture and art belong to everyone and a welfare [state] cannot be built without creativity. […]
Lex Nokia***: We demand Lex Nokia to be pulled out from the parliament, and we voted against the proposition.
So, the main difference between the Social Democratic Party and the Coalition/Centre is the mention of their position about disarmament, culture and Lex Nokia, of which I am, well, not impressed, but it’s refreshing at least.
* Namely, the Winter war (November 1939 to March 1940) and the Continuation War (June 1941 to 1944) against Russia.
** Finland was an autonomous province of Russia at the time.
*** Lex Nokia is one of the names for a controversial legislation change regarding the digital confidentiality. The name is derived from anonymous information that the mobile phone conglomerate, Nokia, threatened to take its business/production elsewhere if the legislation wasn’t changed. Nokia has refuted the accusation.
Next: the Left