Christian Democrats (KD)

Christian Democrats (KD). Finland’s smallest parliamentary party emerged from a split in KOK in 1958. With the atheist communists about to win an election, the religious wing of KOK feared aggressive secularisation of Finland. Nordic Christian Democratic parties are very different from those in much of the rest of Europe. Whereas most Christian Democratic parties […]

The Left Alliance (VAS)

The Left Alliance (VAS). VAS is the successor of the optimistically named Finnish People’s Democratic League (SDKL), which was the popular front assembled by the Communist Party of Finland in the Cold War years. The SDKL had been one of Finland’s major parties, holding the Prime Ministership between 1946 and 1948, and vying for dominance […]

Swedish People’s Party of Finland (SFP/RKP)

Swedish People’s Party of Finland (SFP/RKP). The SFP is a party that has existed since 1906 with a single goal: to protect the rights and freedoms of the Swedish-speaking minority in Finland. Ideologically, the SFP is a broadly liberal party, reflecting the affluent middle class lives of most Swedish speakers in Finland, though its base […]

Finns Party (PS)

Finns Party (PS).  The irritatingly named Finns Party is perhaps Finland’s most notorious party of recent years. The party’s name translates poorly into English and can be translated as ‘Ordinary Finns’, ‘Regular Finns’, ‘Rudimentary Finns’ or ‘Basic Finns’. Some of these translations are used by Finns who oppose the party to mock the party. Due […]

Green League (VIHR)

Green League (VIHR). ‘Not left, not right, but forwards!’ is the Green slogan in Finland. VIHR, like many Green parties, has drifted from its roots as an environmentalist protest party to a rather serious party with a relatively left-liberal agenda. The party’s supporters and members are dotted all over the spectrum, but in the main […]

Social Democratic Party of Finland (SDP)

Social Democratic Party of Finland (SDP). Finland’s oldest party is weaker than a lot of its Nordic cousins. Early on in Finland’s democratic history the SDP had indeed demonstrated the kind of dominance one expects from a Nordic social democratic party, being by far the dominant party in every election until 1922 (though it remained […]

Centre Party (KESK)

Centre Party (KESK). The Nordic political spectrum is less a spectrum in some regards and more a triangle with three points – urban left, urban right, and rural centre. That rural centre has led to the formation of a unique political formation – the Nordic Agrarian party. Finland’s Centre Party is the largest and most […]

National Coalition Party (KOK)

National Coalition Party (KOK). KOK is Finland’s major catch-all centre-right party. Founded in 1918, it is the heir to both liberal and conservative strains of right-of-centre thought. While KOK is officially conservative it is an increasingly liberal party, backing multiculturalism and gay rights. Unlike other conservative parties in Europe it is strongest in urban areas, […]

Alexander Stubb on an elective European Presidency

A longer post on the democratic implications of what we’ve seen in Europe in the past few weeks is in the works. In the meantime, here’s an extract from a speech given by Alexander Stubb, Finland’s Europe Minister, which touches on the big issue – how do we, can we, give a stronger Europe a stronger […]