The parliamentary elections are drawing near – what does this mean for students?
Advance voting in the parliamentary elections is 22–28 March and the actual election day on 2 April. Find your nearest advance polling station here.
All Finnish citizens who turn 18 by the election day, 2 April 2023, are entitled to vote for the candidate and party of their choice and thus influence the direction of Finnish politics. Everyone also has the right to try to influence the candidates, highlight issues they consider important and, for instance, visibly support ideas, candidates and parties of their liking regardless of whether they have the right to vote.
Where can I find a candidate to vote for or support?
Making a considered voting decision requires surprisingly little effort. Various media and organisations have compiled candidates’ answers to candidate matchers that voters can fill in to gain information on candidates’ views on issues ranging from cuts to education and labour immigration to gender diversity. An increasing number of candidate matchers are published as the elections draw nearer – matchers that are currently open include those made by Yle and Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish).
However, the questions in the candidate matchers include many things you might find difficult to take a stand on. On the other hand, they do not include answers to all questions you may have. We thus recommend that you both read the justifications candidates provide to their answers in the candidate matchers and get better acquainted with the candidates recommended by the candidate matchers.
To provide an example, I am personally interested in finding out where the candidates stand on issues such as increasing the level of the study grant, additional funding for education and tuition fees for international students. In Finland, it is relatively easy to contact the candidates or go see them at election panels, for instance (HYY’s own election panel will be held at Think Corner at 5–7 pm on Wednesday 22 March!), to find out answers to questions the candidates or the candidate matchers have not brought to light. You can also meet candidates in various events and distributing their election material all around the city as well as at HYY’s election tent, which you can visit in Viikki on 7 March, in Kumpula on 14 March and in front of Porthania on 22 March.
In Finland, votes always go primarily to the political party. For this reason, you should always first try to find out which party or parties have views that best correspond to yours and only choose your candidate after this.
If you only have very little time and energy for the elections, you could also pick a party you definitely do not want to vote for and choose your candidate from some other party’s list, based on their student status, for instance.
What do I do when I have picked my candidate and need to go vote?
One fun way of voting is to do so with your friends! The higher education students of the Capital Region are organising a mass voting event starting at 11 am on the first day of advance voting, 22 March, and everyone is invited! HYY’s organisations also organise their own meetups to go vote together, so keep an eye out for organisations’ communication or contact the organisation that you would like to go voting with.
You can vote in advance in any advance polling station during the advance voting, held 22–28 March in Finland and 22–25 March abroad. Checking the polling station closest to your campus, for instance, along with its opening hours is easy through the official election website. On election day, 2 April, you can only vote at your own polling station. This station is mentioned in the notification of the right to vote that you have received either by mail or in a Suomi.fi message. Closer to the election day, you can also check the station from the service listing the polling stations at https://aanestyspaikat.fi/ or by asking the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.
Further information about the elections?
HYY’s Parliamentary Election Programme features information about HYY’s election themes: https://hyy.fi/app/uploads/2022/08/2023-eng-hyys-parliamentary-election-programme.pdf
For further information on HYY’s parliamentary election objectives, events and other activities, please contact either me, our parliamentary election coordinator or the member of our Board in charge of elections.
Chair of the Board
050 344 3730
Parliamentary election coordinator
050 477 5561
Member of the Board in charge of the elections
050 595 0327