Opinionator 2000

Posted by – February 12, 2011

Election time is drawing near, and some candidate-evaluating applications have already popped up on the Internet. The previous election was actually the first one I was eligible to vote in, since I didn’t turn 18 quite in time for the 2003 one. Back in 2003 and again in 2007 I was very enthusiastic about the prospect, and played around endlessly with the online candidate-evaluation apps. Such fun! This time I wonder if I’ll be able to complete any of the app questionnaires, and feel practically harassed that I should decide to vote for a candidate.

What usually makes me give up in the questionnaires is some question I either have no idea about or that makes me feel like I have no right to have any opinion in the matter. Should Finland have more or fewer immigrants? Come on, you decide! Should Christian immigrants be preferred? (Yes, this was an actual question.) Should wages be lower or should the age for pension eligibility be raised? Should homosexuals be able to marry? Should the Finnish treasury be used to pay for the deficits of other European countries? Should capital gains tax be progressive? Should VAT and/or income tax be higher? All of a sudden I feel like some kind of a monster, contemplating where people should be allowed to live or what particular proportion of their income they should be allowed to keep, (and in what particular circumstance of which I have no understanding).

Of course it’s not me who is the monster, it’s the monster of democracy. When everyone decides together, those decisions gain a kind of mute violence that allows no boundaries to its right to dictate the course of human enterprise. I have to wonder what psychological sea-change came over me between than and know that I should no longer feel able or willing to have opinions on other peoples’ business. Maybe it’s a growing up thing.

2 Comments on Opinionator 2000

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  1. anon says:

    I feel your pain. But don’t you want to decide when it matters? If not, your adversary might win. Me, I skip local communal and president elections. The local elections are quite meaningless, they only decide on renovating some gymnastics/cultural/wtf spots, and I don’t care one way or the other. What does the president even do these days? OK, the kansanedustaja election is the only one that seems to have any importance.


  2. sam says:

    I guess I’d like for people to be able to decide for themselves as much as possible.