Puheenvuoroni YEPP-councilissa

Dear colleagues from all around Europe! 

It is so good to see you all in Finland! For those of you whom I have not met yet, my name is Ida Leino, and I am the president of the Youth of the National Coalition Party. 

I attended a council meeting a year ago in Rome with my Finnish colleagues. There we got the idea to bring the council to Finland. So I am glad to see everyone here, and I hope you have enjoyed your time in Helsinki. For today’s speech, I will discuss the Finnish parliamentary elections, which are just around the corner.

But first, I would like to introduce myself shortly. I am a 29-year-old master of education, which makes me an elementary school teacher. I live in Tampere and am running for the Finnish parliament in this election. I am also a member of the city council and regional council. I have been in politics for more than thirteen years.

We can now move on to the hot political topic for the next two months. 

As you can see from the opinion polls in Finland for the past few years, the National Coalition Party has continually been among Finland’s three most popular parties. We have been the most popular party for almost two years, even beating the social democratic party, led by popular prime minister Sanna Marin. At our highest point, nearly 25% of people were ready to vote for us. This was achieved by having a long-standing opinion about joining NATO when all the other significant parties opposed this idea (at least in public talks). 

This is the latest polling from a few days ago this week. As you can see, the Finns Party and the Social Democrats are starting to close in on us. This means we must keep doing everything we can to maintain the lead and make Petteri Orpo the next Prime Minister of Finland.

There still is no precise topic that rules all else regarding discussion topics during this election cycle. But we are seeing the talk of immigration, which results from a new form of gang violence in Finland. The discussions around this concentrate on not repeating our neighbor Sweden’s mistakes in the past years, or as we call it in Finland: The Swedish Way.

So how exactly do elections in Finland work? Usually, the most hectic campaign starts around February, when the elections are held in April. Some campaigns start earlier, but most Finnish people pay attention around this time. During March, the nation begins to realize the elections are right around the corner, and they start to pay attention to the elections more closely.

During Covid, we had no actual physical campaigning because of the restrictions in Finland. This is why now we have returned to more traditional campaigning methods, usually around town centers and shopping malls. As you can see, it’s not always the most exciting, but it sure can be fun.

One of the traditional ways of doing a campaign is to go to where most people are, as always, and make yourself known to most people. This is also a deficient effort way of doing your campaign, and people find it positively good. This form had now started to become more mainstream around Finland. In contrast, before, it was centered around big cities like Helsinki, Tampere, and Turku.

One of the things we also do a lot is called “luukutus,” which roughly translates to direct mailing. This is usually the part that takes the most time out of your campaign and is why you need a big team working behind you to get in touch with all the voters. At the same time, this might be one of the most frustrating parts of the whole campaign, as Finland is a big country.

And this is where we stand now, with 43 more days to go. It is now the time to change Finland’s course so that we may continue to be a great welfare state. It is now time to end government spending, which has been taken from the backs of our future generations. That is why we must win this election so Finland may be a free and just country for its people.

Thank you for your attention!