Monday, July 23, 2007

Don't you go commenting behind my back

Matti Vanhanen
Originally uploaded by villoks
I feel a bit detached nowadays from Finnish politics so it is getting more and more difficult to understand domestic politics. Today the Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen had sent an email to all ministers telling them not to answer inquiries from the media and not to take part in public discussion on issues still under negotiation.

The Prime Minister's special advisor said in an interview with Helsingin Sanomat (biggest daily of the country) the following: "If people start asking members of the Cabinet for stands, there is a risk that different ministers could have several opinions on the same issue. That could lead to questions on the functionability of the Cabinet if there would be different stands on the same subject."

I think the media was right to raise this issue as one of the main news of the day. In which era are we? 1960s? 1984? What kind of notion of democracy is it if different opinions are seen as a risk? Sometimes I am just appalled by technocratic approaches on politics. I would go as far as saying that stressing efficiency over democracy is proof for a complete misunderstanding on the core of democracy.

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