FINLAND: Ice-Bucket Tempest

Finland has long winters (the ice sometimes lasts until May), long one-word palindromes (up to 15 letters) and long political arguments (it took four months to form a government after the 1970 election). By contrast, Finnish Cabinets themselves are exceedingly short-lived: the 55th in 54 years of independence was dissolved last October by President Urho Kekkonen, who himself has remained in power since 1956. Kekkonen acted primarily because the center-left coalition incumbents could not solve a row over lagging farm incomes.

As politicians campaigned through the wintry countryside preparing for last...

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