Electing homosexual as the president makes a difference

The conservative camp of the Finnish presidential elections has made comments that have criticized (appropriately) that for many people Pekka Haavisto‘s homosexuality is the only reason to vote him. It is true that if Haavisto wasn’t a homosexual he probably wouldn’t have got to the second round of the elections. His popularity has been a counter strike against the extreme conservatives’ and fundamental Christians’ homophobia.

It is also true that he doesn’t have such a complete resume of state leadership as Sauli Niinistö. Luckily his resume is concentrated in the area where the president of Finland has official power – the foreign policy outside EU. Haavisto is certainly capable of being the president. I think it’s unnecessary to talk about which one of the candidates would be more capable. They would be different kind of presidents. Whereas Niinistö would travel around the world with trade delegations, Haavisto would also, but he would do peace negotiating at the same time. Haavisto does regard human rights more important than trade but thanks to his pleasantness he can criticize governments without them blowing their tops off – as he did in Vietnam with one trade delegation. Wouldn’t it be great if we had a president who would have balls to tell China that “Hey, I think you should honor human rights” and meet Dalai Lama?

I like that Haavisto has emphasized about him being a peace middleman and stressed the benefits of world peace to Finland. Wars bring asylum seekers and are expensive to the society. It’s more economical to solve the problems where they occur than deal with the consequences. It’s best for everybody to encourage business in third countries than watch living standard refugees gathering in developed countries. Haavisto has also talked about getting the social footprint to import product prices. It’s wrong that Chinese teenage girls do slave work so that Finns could buy products cheaper. If labor unions would prosper in China the prices of the Chinese products would rise which would even out the competition. If they won’t prosper, in long term we’ll be in a situation where Finnish workers have to give up their rights and benefits.

Haavisto has emphasized his foreign politics know-how so much that it has begun to irritate some people. He hasn’t forgotten to talk about the regular people’s problems, but in homeland the president can only be a value leader – a thing that is not an insignificant one, though. I believe that Haavisto could be the uniter of this scattered and each others scolding people.

Then the homosexuality. I’ve heard comments that “it’s not appropriate that the president is a homosexual” and “how could Haavisto’s partner Antonio Flores represent Finland?”. The first claim has barely ever been reasoned with anything but the Bible or the perception that Finland would be laughed at abroad or Finland’s status would deteriorate on the international political field. I’m not even going to argue with fundamental Christians. I’m just pointing out the anecdotal analogue of them: Arguing with a fundamental Christian is like playing chess with a pigeon. First it knocks over the pawns, then it craps on the board and finally flies to it’s own flock to tell that he won the match. The analogue means (I’m really explaining in words of one syllable) that people referencing the Bible throw away all the rules and laws by using a 2000 year old book as their source. A book that has not been written by God but people – some of which may (you can’t prove otherwise) have been total nutcases. I myself don’t regard Jesus as the son of God but a great religious leader who preached sympathy, love and equality. The fundamentalists read Bible as devils would and pick only the negative things. Oh yeah, but they love homosexuals too and support them in their quest to become heterosexuals. *Sigh*

Well does Finland’s status deteriorate abroad? Will Haavisto get hanged if he goes to Saudi-Arabia? One election worker from The Green Party told me that she had asked that from a Pakistani group of men when she was working on Rotuaari pedestrian street in the city of Oulu. The Pakistanis had stared at her like “Oh, you’re asking this?” They thought that the Finns choose their own president and if Saudi-Arabia mistreats Haavisto it’s their own shame. How bad self-esteem we Finns can have? Additionally I’m wondering why suddenly the nationalist party of Finland, The True Finns are suddenly worried about what the Saudis think… I’m also referring to the article in Kaikki Elämästä -blog (sorry, only in Finnish) that remarked that the openly gay foreign minister of Germany Guido Westerwellen has made several visits in the Middle East without problems. Also Haavisto himself has visited some very homophobic countries. The president is (also) protected by diplomatic immunity so he will certainly not be physically violated.

I think Finland would have this one opportunity to show an example in something. By choosing for the first time in the world an openly homosexual president with direct election Finland would show the rest of the world that it is a society that is slowly moving towards complete equality where origin and genes don’t determine how high a person can climb as long as he’s mentally capable. It would have a vast international significance. It would force all countries in the world to ponder their own attitude towards homosexuality. Then the question about how Antonio Flores could represent Finland would get a simple answer: by being Antonio Flores, a regular Ecuadorian hair-dresser who just happens to be the partner of the president of Finland. Who can claim that Sauli Niinistö’s wife Jenni Haukio’s market value would be higher than Antonio Flores’? Antonio Flores’ market value would be Jenni Haukio’s market value to the tenth power. I can only imagine the media rush around him if Haavisto would be selected as the president. Pekka Haavisto, Antonio Flores and Finland would get a lot of praising and of course a lot of criticism. But it would induce a lot of discussion and one motto and goal of The Green Party – “all different, all equal” – would twitch a millimeter closer to realizing. This would make me extremely proud of being a Finn.

Pekka Haavisto, the Finnish presidential election candidate


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