Why should I vote?

In the last parliamentary elections, only 68.7 percent of persons entitled to vote used their vote, that is, nearly every third Finn of age 18 or over abstained from voting. Especially young people, low-educated people and foreign-language speakers voted less than middle-aged people, highly educated people, high-income earners and native speakers of Finnish (1). This may lead to a distortion of the parliamentary structure – young people, low-educated people and foreign-language speakers cannot make their voices heard.

According to the Constitution of Finland, state power belongs to the people, to each and every one of us. We together elect 200 MPs from among us for a four-year term, who make up the Parliament of Finland. The Parliament exercises the legislative and budgetary powers of the state. Although this may sound distant, it has implications for our daily lives and for our common future. Politics is more than just parties and elections: politics is about making decisions together and influencing the lives of everyone.

The Parliament will decide whether we will have high-quality health care, clean water and air in the future. It decides how much tax we pay and how our tax money is spent. It will decide whether we will have libraries, public transport, walking and cycling paths, local forests and culture in the future. It will decide what kind of education our children will receive. It will decide whether Ukraine will be supported in its defence and reconstruction, whether the rights of girls and women will be promoted around the world and in Finland, whether everyone’s human rights will be safeguarded and whether a dignified life will be ensured for everyone. It will decide whether Finland is a pioneer in combating climate change, biodiversity loss and other environmental crises, or whether we will continue to destroy our common planet.

Our entire Finnish democratic society is built on these decisions, which are made together. Voting is an important part of influencing, and every cast vote counts. Small streams make a big river. If you do not exercise your right to vote, you leave the election of parliament entirely in the hands of people who do not necessarily share the same values with you at all.

How do I vote?

Every person entitled to vote belongs to an electoral district on the basis of their place of residence. The parties have set up their own lists of candidates in each electoral district. Persons entitled to vote have received a notification by post or electronic notification of their right to vote, their electoral district and their polling station. You can vote either on the official election day April 4, 2023 at the polling station mentioned in the notification, or now during advance voting at any advance polling station. You can find the nearest polling station at https://aanestyspaikat.fi/. Advance voting is ongoing in Finland from March 22 to 28. To vote, you need to bring an identity document with you.

Due to the Finnish electoral system, both the party and the candidate are voted for at the same time. Party selection is the most important, as your vote also benefits other candidates of the same party in the electoral district. The parties have large differences in their core values, so it is worth considering the party selection, for example, with the help of Yle’s election engine (2). In addition to Finnish, Swedish and Northern Sámi, the election engine is also available in English, Russian and Arabic.

The objectives of the Greens in the parliamentary elections are (3):

  1. Protect biodiver­sity and animal rights, improve animal welfare
  2. Mitigate the climate crisis and ensure Finland’s energy indepen­dence
  3. Opportu­ni­ties for everyone to learn and succeed
  4. Reform the economy and boost employment
  5. Revival of science, art and culture
  6. Renew the patchwork of social security with universal basic income
  7. Tackle the crisis in the care sector, support children and young people and improve mental health services
  8. Sustainable vitality and fluent transport throughout Finland
  9. Defend equality, democracy and human rights
  10. Promote stability, peace and security in the world

If you support these goals, your party is the Greens. Next, you need to select a suitable Green candidate from the electoral district, which can be done through the Green Candidate Gallery (4).

(1) https://www.stat.fi/til/evaa/2019/03/evaa_2019_03_2019-05-24_kat_001_fi.html
(2) https://vaalikone.yle.fi/vaalikone/eduskuntavaalit2023/?lang=en (in English)
https://vaalit.yle.fi/vaalikone/eduskuntavaalit2023/?lang=ru (По-русски)
https://vaalit.yle.fi/vaalikone/eduskuntavaalit2023/?lang=ar (بالعربية)
(3) https://www.greens.fi/the-parliamentary-election-program-2023/
(4) https://www.vihreat.fi/ehdokkaat/?kieli=en&vaali=eduskuntavaali-2023