Leading up to the parliamentary elections, the National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL) writes blogs about various parties’ election programmes, weighing the pros and cons from students’ viewpoint. Now it’s the turn of the Finns Party, which has not released an election manifesto.
This spring’s parliamentary elections are extremely important. When the future is uncertain, a stable and functioning democracy is more important than ever. However, the Finns Party has not published an election manifesto even before the start of advance voting in the parliamentary elections, which raises serious questions about the party’s transparency.
Transparency is a key principle in a democracy, and this should apply to the pre-election wrangling between the parties too. How can anyone exercise their right to vote in an informed way if they don’t know what they’re voting for? However, a vote in a parliamentary election ends up going to the party or constituency association, so without an election manifesto, voters’ consumer protection suffers. Voters need to know the party line.
The National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL) and the National Union of Students in Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences (SAMOK), together with student unions and student bodies, clarified the positions of the parties and candidates on issues important to students before advance voting began.
Based on the answers to the party poll conducted by SYL and SAMOK, the Finns Party is not concerned with Finland’s future success: neither the party nor the candidates were prepared to invest in students’ livelihoods by increasing student financial aid by 100 euros, to make education free for all, to increase the basic funding of higher education institutions, or to fight against biodiversity loss by 2030. The only thing that directly affects students that the Finns Party is ready to invest in is the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS).
It is a great pity that the Finns Party has not published an election manifesto. SYL calls for an open democracy where electoral aims are openly announced before the vote so that voters can be informed about what each party is aiming for.
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