The 2012 parliamentary election is an important step towards the presidential election of 2015. Certainly Victor Yanukovych plans to be reelected to a second term. His strategy for the upcoming years will be to neutralize possible competitors. It is therefore unlikely that Julia Tymoshenko and Yuriy Lursenko will be freed from prison before the presidential election.
The first round of the Finnish presidential elections last Sunday both fulfilled expectations and offered surprising results. Sauli Niinistö, the candidate of the National Coalition party, was as expected given the greatest number of votes. The competition about the second ticket to the presidential final turned out to be a much more exciting and a close race than expected.
The Finnish Parliamentary elections of, which were held on April 17, resulted in a dramatic victory for a populist party, the True Finns, which increased its representation from 4 to 39 seats, and a big defeat for the Center Party of Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi. The leader of the National Coalition Party, which despite losing six seats, Finance Minister Jyrki Katainen is expected to form the new government.
The Finnish version of populism is known in the vernacular as “Vennamoism,” after the colorful founder and long-time leader of the Finnish Rural Party, Veikko Vennamo. Although Finnish populism has been pronounced dead over and over again, it has always managed to rise again and reinvent itself. The high polling numbers of the True Finns in the lead-up to the forthcoming Finnish general election in April indicate that populism in Finland is once again making a comeback as a political force to reckon with.
István Rév opens the door to the Open Society Archives for a discussion about bloodshed as a poor gauge of a revolution, about honesty and decency as rare commodities, and about populism and utopianism.