The last month has been rather politically active in Finland, due to presidential elections. Tarja Halonen
's last term ends next month. The president-elect is now Sauli Niinistö
, a former finance minister of the 1990's who lost to Halonen six years ago. In that respect Finnish media's comments for the last couple of years have been turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I voted beforehand, before the voting day, as I usually do. In my opinion the worst candidates were dropped off during the first down, including two of three larger parties, Center Party and Social Democrats. That also included the candidate for the (True) Finns
party and the so-called Christian Democrats - fortunately, in my opinion.
The second round of the election got especially interesting because facing Niinistö was Pekka Haavisto
, a Green party politician, diplomat and a gay man who is living in a registered partnership (Finnish equivalent to civil union) with a man. There was bit more than usual amount of mudslinging, especially in the social media sites between the supporters, even if both candidates condemned it. One of the main tabloids even tried to make a story of two supporters of the candidates to hurl insults to each other in the paper; Haavisto's supporter refused to do so and asked others to refuse as well. Candidates retained the election numbers they had had in the first round to avoid confusion.
Haavisto still did relatively well, getting around 38% of the vote, which is quite a lot. There were
bunch of homophobic comments thought HAavisto himself said that many people had refused to vote for him because he was Green
(presumably he meant those that approached him personally). Still, getting over million votes is quite a bit for someone who media thought was a fourth-rate contender as best.
One interesting detail was the support of veteran politician Paavo Väyrynen
of the Center Party, who ended up third during the first round and even in the second round some people still wanted to vote for him in some areas (ballots were now disqualified because he was not a candidate are more). Väyrynen has had presidential aspirations for decades now and he blamed the media, as usual.