Sunday, December 10, 2023

Comment: Pekka Haavisto’s clock is ticking – one poll vote alone does not make the president


Special editor Seppo Varjas writes, The sore heel of Pekka Houston in the presidential election is the collapse of the Greens in the parliamentary elections.

You should sleep through the night while making difficult decisions. But not for many nights.

Pekka Haavisto (Green) is leading in the polls regarding the presidential election. According to Yale’s latest, 28 percent supported Haavisto and 15 percent supported Ollie Rehan (center), who came in second.

Of course, the elections were held in a situation where only Hejlis Harkimo (Like) registered as a presidential candidate. And anyway, you don’t just elect a president through elections.

A party meeting of the Greens will take place in early June. Before that, Haviston would do well to decide its position.

At a meeting of the Greens’ parliamentary election observers on 2 April, Haavisto acknowledged that decisions should be made “at the end of spring”. It’s late spring now.

They are their competitions. Above all, it is related to the fact that a much wider base is needed than just the greens. Haavisto said in early April that if I decided to leave, this is the kind of campaign that would have to be rebuilt.

The parliamentary elections went badly for the Greens. This stresses the need for a popular movement to support Haisto.

Haavisto may be on a path around its party, but not entirely different from it. Based on recent experiences, the electoral machinery of the Greens does not work. In June, either Sara Hirko or Sofia Varta will be chosen to lead the party. No matter how capable the elected person is, it will take time for him to handle the party machinery. This is also reflected in Havisto’s possible presidential election campaign.

If and when a new bourgeois government is appointed, Haavisto’s foreign ministry will end. Then someone else collects those political points, which are up for grabs in an efficient foreign minister in a rapidly changing world.

After this, half a year before the presidential election, there will be severe cold. Havisto needs help from outside the Greens.

Apart from the Greens, the Democrats, the Left Alliance and the RKP, Haavisto’s most natural voters can be found in the current government base.

If Havisto wants to assemble a mass movement, the visible left must be involved. However, not so much as to scare off Havisto’s potential bourgeois voters.

But this is where the problems start. It is fairly certain that the Dam and the Left Alliance will nominate their own presidential candidates regardless of Haavisto’s decisions. In the 2000 and 2006 elections, the Left Alliance supported Tarja Helo of the Democrats in the first round. This was a matter of regret, because the party did not get publicity in the first round of elections.

Presidential elections once every six years provide an inexpensive way for parties to gain publicity for their goals. In the first round, the candidate travels from one TV exam to the next, telling them about it. No party can buy such advertisement time.

Democrats held the office of president for more than 30 years, from Mauno Koivisto to Tarja Halonen. Since then it has been difficult to find successful candidates.

EU Commissioner Jatta Urpilais is considered the most likely victim. In polls, his support drops to a few percent. But Democrats need to pay attention, too.

Dam and leftist allies who are directly involved in Haavisto’s mass movement may find themselves in a difficult middle ground.

Haavisto’s big moment was in 2012, when he made it to the second round of the presidential election against Sauli Niinisto. In theory, now there would be a chance for the main prize.

But opportunity is different from success.

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