Constitutional business

Saturday, March 17, 2007 at 19:08 | Posted in Election, Finland, Politics | 5 Comments

I have some constitutional business to take care of:

The Constitution of Finland, Section 2 – Democracy and the rule of law:

The powers of the State in Finland are vested in the people, who are represented by the Parliament.

Democracy entails the right of the individual to participate in and influence the development of society and his or her living conditions.

The exercise of public powers shall be based on an Act. In all public activity, the law shall be strictly observed.

The Constitution of Finland, Section 14 – Electoral and participatory rights, indent 1:

Every Finnish citizen who has reached eighteen years of age has the right to vote in national elections and referendums. Specific provisions in this Constitution shall govern the eligibility to stand for office in national elections.

The constitutional business I am occupied with is thus no less than exercising the sovereign powers in the Republic of Finland. This is something I get to do once every fourth year. Tomorrow is the day.

The problem is that there is no single party and no single candidate that I would be happy to entrust the privilidge of representing me in the Parliament. Each of them have something in their platform that I agree with but all of them also have issues that I strongly disagree with. Some issues that I consider to be important are not addressed by any of the parties and candidates.

I can obviously not split my vote to support the issues a candidate agrees with me but oppose those issues where I disagree with the candidate. There is also not an option of voting against somebody or indeed all of the candidates. Somebody is going to get elected tomorrow no matter if I vote or not.

Thus, staying at home is no option because I would just be transferring my piece of the constitutional power to fellow citizens who turn up. Since I disagree with the main stream in most issues, skipping the election would not be in my interest. On the other hand, by voting I am bound to support issues that I disagree with. That is the dilemma I am sitting in.

I reached a final decision two days ago about the party I am going to vote for. Not an easy decision because I have never voted for that party. I have voted in seven parliamentary elections, six presidential elections, eight municipal elections, three elections of the European Parliament and two school council elections in 1970’ies. In addition to these general elections I have voted in countless polls of my trade unions, consumer coop and other NGO’s. But never ever have I cast my vote for a candidate representing the Green Party. That is what I am going to do tomorrow.

But which green candidate? There are 21 of them running for parliament in Helsinki. Since I have not voted for the bunch before, I do not know most of them. I would not vote for some of those I do know.

I am in the process of surfing their web sites and reading their blogs. I take constitutional business seriously and would thus hate to detect that I voted for the wrong MP. I have narrowed down the scope from 21 to four. So I am almost there about 25 hours before the polls close.



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  1. This is excactly the problem why politics are frustrating. I am interested in some themes and issues that are important for me. But a whole party, a whole program, a candidate that’s too much. I, myself, want to discuss certain things and influence the decicion making where I find it is important, that’s all. I want to be part of it when neccessary and not watching the party battles on TV (that I do not have).

  2. […] ja blogide sirvimisega ametis. Kaks pikemat sissekannet siiski on mul juba tehtud: soome ja inglise keeles. Homme on põhjust asja enese kohta kombekohaselt hõisata: […]

  3. I very much agree, Jens-Olaf. I watched half a debate on Thursday and ironically, that sealed my final decision although I normally almost do not watch TV at all.

    As long as the society is based on representative democracy rather than hitherto unspecified forms of direct democracy voting is something we should do in our own best interest although it puts us in an impossible ethical situation.

  4. Besides my critizism, I always go to the polls. Last time in a local election I first elected one candidate. But the two most promising politicians tied, it was the mayor position. Cause of a news paper article later I voted for the other candidate the next round.

  5. It is definitely that much more interesting with the sort of election where just one candidate gets elected. Proportional election is applied in Finland in all elections except the presidential election. Last year I voted tactically in the first round. It was a coincidence that I also voted for the same candidate in the second round. It could just as well have gone the other way round.

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