Today we are electing the successor for our female President for the next 6-year term starting in March. Luckily we gave our vote in advance and didn’t have to leave the house in the freezing weather. We spent most of the day watching the birds flying around the birdfeeder and sunbathing on the snowy branches of the lilac shrubs and the maple visible from our study window. They didn’t seem to mind the -25–-30°C much.
There were eight candidates in the first round, one from each political party represented in the Finnish Parliament. As no candidate received the majority of votes, the two who did best are now facing each other.
However, whatever the result of the election tonight, we have nothing to worry about. Finland continuously ranks very high in transparency and occupies the top position in the latest World Democracy Audit overall ranking from December 2011.
I am inclined to believe our location must have been the original catalyst for this kind of social development: you simply couldn’t promote your own interests only because no one could have managed alone in such a secluded wilderness in such challenging conditions. When the annual temperature variation may easily be 70°C, from about -35 to +35°C (-31 – +95°F), you will need to give and receive a helping hand every once in a while even now.
|Greenfinches sunbathing on the branches of a frosty maple.|
|Young female European greenfinch.|
|Great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopus major) (käpytikka) pounding on a maple.|
|Eurasian jay (Garrulus glandarius) (närhi).|