17 August 2010

Simply the least bad based on limited factors considered.

Summer day

Anything that claims something to be the best should be subjected to vigorous scrutiny, if not ridicule. Perhaps it is our need for the narratives of triumph, heroism and victory that makes us, as people, to even want put the nation states into an x-factoresque race against each other, and come up with a discourse like what might be the best country in the world.

But wait, my gosh, forget the 1995 Ice Hockey World Championships – which I am sure you have if you ever knew about it – or 2006 Eurovision victory; Finland is the best country in the world!

These are not my words; a panel of experts has calculated this for the Newsweek Magazine. After the teasers that were the number one in the Press Freedom Index and the yearly victorious survey ranking our education system to be the best in the world – finally it is official – it has been agreed that we win.

Don’t let my cynicism and sarcastic tone to fool you, it’s great really. I rather have these survey results than anything else, but I also think that it is things like these that lull us into thinking that there is hardly room for improvement regardless of the recent and suspicious donations made to some of the top politicians during the previous elections. In any other country we would call it governmental corruption and probably look down on them, but with us, the situation is too complicated to be reduced into one, where the people in power would be called by the C-word… as in corrupt.

I admit, many things are well, and it’s great that it’s acknowledged, but these kinds of news are more useful in the international politics than in the domestic arena. It remains the job of civil society to keep the leadership in check at all times and while we can give credit where credit is due, we must remember that there is still need for improvements with regards to the transparency of our current political climate. This is not time to get big headed.

But – the best – that really means very little realistically. As proud as I am about the things that have gone well and all the successes, and as privileged as I feel to have had my initial education here, if you want to say that we have topped the list, let’s agree in saying that we were the least bad this time based on limited amount of variables. The best is a pop song by Tina Turner, a personal value judgement or part of playground discourse.

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