Election night

What an exciting night we experienced yesterday. Electrifying! The first round of presidential elections in Finland is now over, with no candidate ending up getting an absolute majority of the votes, so second round it is.

This time, the second round battle will be between a conservative and a liberal, both middle-aged white men. It’s not so much about the traditional axis of left and right as it is about values.

We have two weeks of active campaigning ahead, and then the final voting. After that, six years of Prestigious Office for one of the candidates.

As it says on The Website of the nation:

The President of the Republic conducts Finland’s foreign policy in co-operation with the Government and decides upon her relations with other states and her actions in international organisations or negotiations.

Conducting foreign policy in cooperation with the Government is the most important job of the President. Honestly, I believe both candidates could do the job well. No doubt. I do think that the liberal candidate would do the job better, but that’s not why I’m writing this, nor do I want to analyze the candidates’ strategies, campaigns or the nitty-gritty of their CV’s – I’ll leave that to others.

What I do want to do is talk a little about the magic: that electrifying sensation that seems to be in the air.

I’m making a bold comparison here to the push that Obama’s campaign gave to people all over the world, not only in the US. Finland, of course, is a small nation with much less political (and financial) power in the world, hence our presidential elections probably gain significantly less interest internationally, but still. I see something similar happening here than happened with Obama’s campaign, and I believe it is universal.

It’s simple really. People are happy. They are excited. They want to take part. They see potential.

As this election now seems to be about values, I couldn’t be happier. Why? Because politics IS about values. It always was, and always will be. Of course, many candidates are out of the competition, and good values went down the drain with them (also some despicable ones that I’m happy to say bye-bye to). Now, we can forget the traditional tug of war between left and right, and focus on values. It’s time to dig deeper and find the candidate that you can relate to the most.

I think it’s magnificent. Regardless of whom you support, I’m delighted to see that politics is the new black in coffee break discussions. Even if only for this election. People really seem to think that making a choice matters. It makes me very happy. People whom I’ve never seen take a stand politically are now stepping forward and taking a stand.

And don’t get me wrong. I like the tug of war between left and right, but I think it’s more meaningful in local and parliamentary elections. Here, we’re talking about the leader of the nation, the one who speaks at the UN General Assembly for Finland, the one who joins significant international meetings and hopefully manages to do some magic behind the scenes, whenever needed.

Values, baby!

♥ In the meantime: It’s so wrong to succeed with the perfect guacamole…and not have nachos to enjoy it with.

♠ Song of the day: Leonard Cohen, If it be your will

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