Columns The traditional peacekeeping superpower cannot solve its own problems

Would there be a need for government party gaps to clear up international crisis management professionals or a political national mediator?

Us Finns we have traditionally been proud of our ability to resolve conflicts, not our fault. For decades, we have been actively involved in negotiating peace for the world – be it the peace process in Northern Ireland or the spirit of the OSCE and Helsinki. Finland is known as a great power in peacekeeping. And, as a crown jewel, of course, is the life’s work of President Martti Ahtisaari, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and will be continued by the CMI organization founded by Ahtisaari.

Instead, something seems to have happened to our national problem-solving capacity. Finnish politicians have traditionally been considered good and vigorous decision-makers. Those famous facts have been acknowledged and decisions have been made on that basis. However, the balance of recent years in decision-making is not flattering.

There have been enough conflicts. Every week, a minister sets through the media the conditions under which his party can continue in government. Framework and budget disputes are the battlegrounds of government parties. Within the government, the parties are pecking at each other as if they were in opposition. And in order for the opposition to make its voice heard in these circumstances, it must challenge the government in toughening rounds.

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The end result is stark to look at. Numerous prime ministers can be accommodated in a few parliamentary terms, and Finland has never seen governments sitting in full terms.

Unstable is also among voters. In Finland, too, social polarization has increased. This is evident in the report published by Arto Kekkonen and Tuomas Ylä-Anttila earlier this year, which examined the development of 2007–2019. in the study.

Social confrontation is manifested not so much in the divergence of values ​​as in the increasingly negative attitude of political tendencies towards each other. Tensions are predictable. The red-green bloc hates bourgeois and basic Finns, and vice versa. The dissatisfied bloc hates everyone. 40% of Finns belong to the moderate bloc, and this bloc does not disgust anyone. But no one remembers it, because the moderates just don’t like the sound.

The tightening of attitudes is affecting decision-makers who, through social media, are on the pulse of their voters better than ever. On the other hand, the visible pecking at the top of the kingdom gives impetus to polarization.

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Saber casting has, of course, always been part of politics. But can the joint circuit play of politicians and citizens on the brink of social polarization lead to the system becoming a decision-making bundle of conflict in the future?

Miriam Attias and Jonna Kangasoja recall in their book We and them – instruments at the time of confrontationthat a diverse society is always somewhat polarized. However, they warn that if polarization gets out of hand, the situation will easily turn into conflict. Hardly anyone wants that.

Stable politics is needed when the world around us is unstable. Now is.

In Finland, the government program negotiated after the elections has been the anchor of stable politics. Would now be the moment when parties would be ready to consider new ways of forming a government program? Instead of a lack of force or uninterrupted negotiations that almost turned into seminars, we could also try out our famous peace negotiation skills at the national level.

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Would CMI take over the parties that will be its clients after the next parliamentary elections and help them reconcile their own views so that we have a government program that genuinely supports the government? Or could the parties appoint a political realm mediator whose packets could go to a tight spot?

Finland has world-class expertise in mediation and conflict resolution. Do not hesitate to ask for help. Everyone benefits from the end result.

The author is the CEO of Ellun Kanat.

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