Here in America, we have a chief executive who is elderly, frail, and in declining health. Not so in Finland. Finland’s Prime Minister is Sanna Marin, 36 years old and pretty. Over the last week or so, Marin has been caught up in a series of scandals–or are they pseudo-scandals? What is clear is that she likes to party, while her husband apparently doesn’t.
Two videos of Marin partying with friends, apparently drunk, surfaced back to back. The friends are described as “artists” and social media influencers. This is the first video:
This is the second. Marin is dancing with a well-known Finnish musician. Sanna’s husband is absent from both videos:
Next, a photo emerged of two friends of the Prime Minister, both women, kissing topless in the Prime Minister’s residence in Helsinki:
Marin defended her right to have fun in an emotional press conference:
Finland’s prime minister came close to tears when she defended her “longing for joy, light and fun” after a week of controversy prompted by a leaked video of her dancing with friends.
Sanna Marin, 36, emphatically denied putting her social life ahead of her duties to the nation but said she had at times felt a need to blow off steam precisely because of the “dark clouds” of the pandemic, the economic headwinds and the war in Ukraine.
“I am a human being,” she told an audience in Lahti, 60 miles northeast of Helsinki, yesterday. “In the midst of the crisis I have been thinking about Ukraine and about all of you.”
The Ukraine reference is pretty craven. But Marin says she has never missed a business meeting, and she tested negative for cocaine after the first video, which seemed to include some references to that drug, became public.
The political consequences of the controversy are unclear. Some media outlets have cheered Marin on. The London Times headlined, “Party On, Sanna!” Others point out that when you get outside the capital city, Finnish culture is conservative. True, but on the other hand–if I may be permitted a bit of cultural stereotyping–Finns like to drink.
What do you think? A chief executive’s private life is no one else’s business? Government officials should maintain a minimal level of propriety, at least in public? Anything is permitted, except partying with social media influencers? Or maybe, a Finnish Prime Minister shouldn’t do anything that might encourage the Russians to invade on a Saturday night? This seems like an issue to be resolved in the comments.