(This post was originally published on Monday 12 June at 5:15 pm. The original post can be found here.)
The cornerstones of Western democracy are unaliable human rights, incalculable human dignity and the rule of law. Every person must be treated as an individual with civility and respect. These values are not ”political correctness” or empty talk. They are included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and on binding international treaties. Human dignity is not open for bargaining nor is it negotiable.
Kokoomus, the National Coalition Party, will only be part of a government coalition that is committed to these enduring Western values. This is a defining issue for us. We do not accept discrimination, racism or hate speech. We defend and we demand equal treatment for all. We want a society in which no one’s background determines what they can become. Kokoomus believes in Europe, supports international cooperation and works for an open and tolerant society.
Our coalition partner Perussuomalaiset, the Finns Party, has transformed into a new kind of party . This has become evident in the course of one weekend and in the follow-up talks. Things that a person has said or written are not washed away when one gets a new position. In the daily workings of the government, it is essential that coalition partners can count on each other, that there is a relationship of trust. Therefore, the expressed values of each party are of great significance. This is a question of the credibility of the government, it is essential for the future of our country.
Furthermore, the Finns have now crossed a line in their criticism of the European Union. The new tone is not in tune with our Government Program nor does it suit our party. Membership of the European Union is for Finland both an economic and a security matter. Finland has to be an integral part of Western institutions. Our membership in the EU is not a joking matter. Finland’s position in the EU and our national security cannot be diminished by loose talk on exit or referendums.
All in all, continuing in the coalition government with the Finns Party would have meant accepting such a compromise that I or my party could not agree with.
From a practical point of view, a great impediment for fruitful collaboration was the idea that the new party leader would be based in Brussels. In government, we need to resolve issues among party leaders often at a very short notice. This requires seamless collaboration between party chairs, ministers and parliamentary leaders. It seems to me that collaboration would not be feasible from this functional perspective either.
Leader of the National Coalition Party – Kokoomus