Monday, 21 March 2011

Where We Belong

There is one more thing I’ve been thinking about lately, one very important thing: politics. The more thinking I’ve been engaging myself in, the angrier I have become. Now I’m prepared to start throwing plates against the walls and smear the furniture with tomato sauce. Let’s make one thing clear: politics might be boring, untrendy and difficult to grasp. But it’s extremely important. The ironic part is that a majority of the people making the most fundamental decision of them al (who is going to govern) have no idea what they are doing. They either don’t care or don’t feel the need to do research. This is angering me because some of the most popular candidates are giving me nightmares with their populist discourse.

I’ve tried to do some research and the result is infuriating me. I must really be an odd case:  a Finnish-speaker who’d prefer to vote for someone on the left. Now, this might be completely normal in any other part of the country, but not on Åland where the merry people speak Swedish* and where almost each candidate represents parties from the centre towards the right. I’ve heard people claiming that the Social Democrats are f***ing communists. There is not a single person I would vote for on the list they’ll give me. Not a single one. So what do I do? Protest by not voting (cowardly behaviour), vote for Donald Duck (he’s not even funny), move to Russia (where voting doesn’t matter) or just forget about the whole thing?

*In the great language debate (whether Swedish should remain a compulsory subject in schools) I actually think that as long as a country is officially bilingual, all its citizens should be able to communicate in both languages.


Jessica said...

Politics can be maddening. I applaud your effort to educate yourself.

Natalie said...

Zsuzsi, a question: is Swedish an official language in all of Finland? Or just in certain areas? And do the political views of people on Aland (sorry, but I don't know how to get that special A with a circle) divide along linguistic lines? I find this all very interesting.

Zsuzsi said...

Natalie, those are very good questions!
Swedish is an official language in all of Finland, even though it's only spoken in certain areas. There's a heated debate over whether Swedish should remain a compulsory subject in school, because it no longer has the same importance as it used to.
Åland is the only part of the country where only only language, Swedish, is official. Usually the "Ålanders" tend to focus on questions that are closely related to the autonomy and the relations with Finland. Most of the political parties that are active on Åland don't exist in Finland (and vice versa), and usually the person who gets elected to the parliament sits in the same parliamentary group with the Swedish People's Party of Finland, thus focusing on language issues.
I hope this helped :)