Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Day, Flag Day

Flags are flying today and balloons are bobbing in the air advertising every conceivable political party. Sophia, Chris and I headed out with a picnic into a cold, wet morning. Our first stop was the observatory hill where we perched on a rock outcrop and listened to a student band while well prepared pic-nicers spread out their water-proof blankets on the muddy ground. The Kokoomuus tent was pitched nearby. They are the National Coalition Party and one of the 3 largest parties in Finland.

After eating her chilly sandwich Sophia was ready to go home. Chris and I escorted her to the kauppatori and then doubled back to check out other Vappu celebrations.

We were given the New Testament in Finnish by a Christian group. Clutching that little red book we headed over to watch the communist vappu speeches. Suomen Kommunistinen puolue, the communist party, is not currently represented in parliament.

After a restorative latte we checked in on the Suomen Keskusta party gathering. The prime-minister, Matti Vanhanen, belongs to this party.

We saw more balloons across the river and went to hear a speaker with the largest attendance-the Vasemmistoliitto--the Left Alliance. The Green Party wasn't up and running, but we saw their balloons. After browsing in the kauppatori we ran into the Perussuomlaiset stage-the True Finns.

If I had a better grasp of Finnish I would be able to tell you more about these parties. I know there are some scandals in the leading parties. The communist party speaker referred to a sex scandal--I understood the Finnish there! The big issue for future elections is sure to be immigration, though I doubt any anti-immigration sentiment will reach the extremes of Arizona's new law.

P.S. The Green Party link is to a video that my husband finds amusing. The video includes the leader of the Green Party, Anni Sinnemäki.

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