Finland: On the result of the European elections. The crisis of bourgeois democracy is deepening

Hereby we share an unofficial translation of an article published in Punalippu.

The European election farce was decided on Sunday. As usual, the turnout was low: only 42.4% of Finnish voters voted , that means, the majority rejected the election farce. There were also almost 7,000 rejected votes. The National Coalition Party was somehow unsurprisingly the largest party with 24.8% of support. However, the polls failed to predict the 17.3% support to the Left Alliance and the collapse of the Finns Party. The result of the election emphasizes the deepening of the crisis of bourgeois democracy and the large-scale rejection of the election by the poorest masses.

The crisis of bourgeois democracy is deepening

In general, the elections once again reflected the crisis of bourgeois democracy and parliamentarianism. This was especially visible in France, where President Macron used his powers and dissolved the parliament, calling new elections after the result of the European elections, even though it had in principle nothing to do with domestic politics. However, it was not a “shock”, but a move that had been prepared for a long time to save the face of the bourgeois State: on the one hand, through the new elections, Macron seeks to strengthen his own and his party’s position, on the other hand, the play of “people’s power”, an electoral farce, “clears the air” in a situation where the bourgeois State regime is extremely unpopular, thus serving the continuation of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. This is yet another sign that the bourgeoisie is unable to govern as before and is increasingly resorting to bypassing bourgeois democracy and parliament.

At the same time, the masses widely rejected the election farce. For example, Greece saw a campaign against the European elections, during which posters were put up and leaflets were distributed and several events were organized, where the reactionary nature of the EU was pointed out. This also included a demonstration demanding the liberation of Greece from the shackles of European imperialists and Yankee imperialism and calling for a strong election boycott.

In connection with the election campaign, there were also demonstrations in Finland, which has not been common in recent years. We have previously reported on protests against the National Coalition Party and von der Leyen’s campaign event. Also in Oulu, a dozen demonstrators protested the campaign meeting of the Finns Party in May, shouting slogans. The police arrested one person, claiming that he tried to attack Sebastian Tynkkynen, although the videos clearly show that the protester is only shouting at Tynkkynen and not behaving aggressively or threateningly.

The election results in Finland show that especially the deepest and broadest masses rejected the election farce. The election result is therefore on a very weak basis, as not even half of those entitled to vote did vote. Even a brief glance at the statistics of the different voting districts shows that the turnout in the poorest neighborhoods was very low, while the turnout in the richest districts was significantly higher than the average. For example, in Helsinki, in several suburbs, such as Kontula and Jakomäe, the turnout was around 30-40 percent, while in richer areas, such as Munkkiniemi and Töölö, the turnout was 70%. A similar phenomenon can also be seen elsewhere in Finland.

The collapse of the Finns Party

Usually, the Finns Party have acted as a force mobilizing the working class to the ballot box, presenting themselves as “anti-elite” and “people-oriented”, taking advantage of the fact that the masses are dissatisfied with the prevailing system and are looking for a solution. However, as Purra himself stated, their supporters are not interested in participating in the EU elections. The party has also given up its anti-EU stance and, according to its own words, tried to convince its supporters that it is worth voting in the elections, because the EU can be useful, for example in spreading chauvinism and making a tough border policy, not just problems. This clearly did not appeal to their supporters base. Additionally the Finns Party suffer from being in the government.

It is significant that the supporters of Finns Party did not vote, because together with the SDP it has an influence among the workers. The supporters of the Finns Party clearly showed that they are against the EU and do not want to legitimize it by participating in its elections, and therefore do not defend it among the workers. This is therefore relevant to how the EU and therefore the ruling system are legitimized among the working class. On the other hand, this also gives indications that the workers are also losing their illusions about Finns Party, who act as a backup valve for dissatisfaction, protecting bourgeois democracy and the bourgeois State and incorporating the masses into it.

At the same time, the internal contradictions of both Finns Party and the government will become even more acute. Finns Party’s EU line, activities in the government and Purra’s leadership will be questioned. Anticipating this, Purra has already announced that Finns Party will review its EU line (although Purra wants to stick to the position in favor of Finland’s EU membership) and stick to the records of the government program, stressing that the election result will not affect the government’s activities. However, its supporters are obviously disappointed with the cutting policy in particular. However, the European election result alone does not cause a government crisis, but it may to some extent increase the instability of the government and is one more nail in its coffin.

This is how the crisis of bourgeois democracy and the crisis of the government grow, as evidence of a revolutionary situation in an uneven development.

Did the Left Alliance succeed?

The success of the Left Alliance in the elections is indisputable, but what significance should be given to this, how should this be analyzed? Let’s see:

First, the outgoing chairman of the Left Alliance, Li Andersson, received 14% of all votes cast, that is, more than 247,000 votes. However, it must be taken into account that the turnout is very low, which is why no “people’s movement” in support of Andersson actually arose. Only 5% of all eligible voters voted for him. Nor did he particularly appeal to the poorest masses. For example, let’s look at Jakomäki, a voting area in Helsinki, which included 2,478 eligible voters. In this voting area, only 30% voted. The Left Alliance was the largest party and Li Andersson the most popular candidate, but actually only 217 people or 8% of all eligible voters voted for the Left Alliance, and of these 117 or 4% of all eligible voters voted for Andersson. Similar numbers can be seen in other proletarian neighborhoods.

Second, the result was historic for the Left Alliance, and its party people celebrated the victory greatly. However, it is necessary to be cautious. Imagining that the play in the European Parliament would have any real meaning (which it does not, because the European Union is an alliance of imperialists whose direction is determined by collusion and contend between imperialists, and especially by the interests of its strongest imperialists, mainly German imperialism), the Left Alliance has now three representatives there. These representatives influence the GUE/NGL group of the European Parliament, which is the smallest of its groups with 36 representatives, and within it there are apparently very different parties. We can also remember how the Left Alliance performed in domestic politics when it was in the government in 2019-2023. Despite its “red-green” and “feminism”, Marin’s government unleashed an economic crisis on the shoulders of the masses, restricted basic rights in an unprecedented way, such as freedom of assembly, violated the constitution and promoted militarization (for example the closure of Uusimaa), carried through a rotten social security reform and took Finland to NATO, where especially the Left Alliance completely failed his supporters. During this “feminist” and “people’s side” government, for example, violence against women, lack of prospects for the youth and poverty only increased. Of course, the Left Alliance claims that the pandemic, the Center and SDP were to blame for everything. However, it cannot be denied that it itself was also in government, but was still unable to make any real improvements to the lives of the masses, quite the opposite.

Thirdly, and this is the most important aspect, it is therefore clear that the proletariat cannot seize the power through elections. Even if the Left Alliance wants to, with its “election victory” it will not be able to make any real change in the lives of the deepest and broadest masses, and it will not be able to change the EU “from inside”, and even if it does get through some kind of superficial reforms, the basic nature of the system will not change. Even if it gets all the seats it can, the proletariat won’t seize the power, it won’t change the reality that imperialism is based especially on the exploitation of oppressed nations. So the Left Alliance also serves the interests of Finnish imperialism, even if it tries to hide this with slogans about defending the “weaker” and reforms. As an alliance of imperialists, the EU continues to serve the continuation and acceleration of this exploitation for the benefit of the biggest European imperialists, especially German imperialism. Even if some kind of “improvements” were made to the conditions of the Finnish people through the EU, these reforms will be written with the blood of oppressed nations.

On top of everything, it is actually a pyrrhic victory: Jussi Saramo was supposed to become the chairman of the Left Alliance when Andersson left for the European Parliament, and he has been trained for the job for years. However, Andersson’s large number of votes also brought him to Brussels, and now the question of the next leader of the party is open. Andersson is generally more popular than his party, and this is due to his personal charisma and skills as an opportunist, not so much the fact that the left-wing coalition’s line particularly appeals to the people. In reality, the victory of the Left Alliance leaves it with a challenge, it has to work hard to come up with new tricks to deceive the people.

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