Life of dignity as an opportunity for everyone. A just society fights against poverty, marginalization, and inequality. It offers quality services from cradle to grave to all of its members regardless of their background or personal attributes. A just society is based on equality and strives to remove any obstacles to success set by person’s gender, ethnic background, language, disability, or sexual orientation.
A just society does not forget needs of the coming generations and passes down a safe and secure living environment to our children. We cannot ignore our responsibility in the fight against climate change. The time for action is now.
I am running as a candidate in the parliamentary elections of 2023. My party is the Left Alliance and my district the electoral district of Savo-Karelia.
According to a recent poll by Helsingin Sanomat, majority of the Finnish people believe that the welfare state is no longer sustainable and that social safety nets need to be scaled back.
I challenge this notion.
Foundation of the welfare state is created by the choices we make and if we take the choices laid out by the Finnish right wing, that foundation will be undermined. Poverty increasing cuts to social security, attacks on negotiation power of working people, and tax cuts that reduce the state income are examples of such choices.
However, alternative choices also exist. People’s welfare and health could be supported by increasing funding that goes to the wellbeing services counties. The service quality could be enhanced by improving salaries and working conditions on the predominantly female public sector. Poverty could be reduced by social security reforms that better direct it to its intended use and increase access to services. The state finances could be balanced by a fairer approach to taxation and by continuing the successful education and job creation policies of the current government. We cannot ignore public debt, but it also should not be mobilized to spread unfounded fears.
In the midst of constant crises, the children and youth of our time deserve hope and security. We can reach this outcome by reducing the uncertainty of life through well-funded public services but also through genuinely ambitious environmental policy. We need to prove that we are serious about fighting climate change and destruction of the natural world and that we are doing everything we can to leave behind an environment that can sustain the coming generations.
Majority of the respondents in the poll by Helsingin Sanomat thought public services were going to be cut even though at the same time they did not wish to see such an outcome come true.
Preserving the welfare state is no easy task, but I believe it can be done. We, however, need new kind of thinking that recognizes problems of the capitalist system and strives to find solutions for them. A fair and sustainable tomorrow is not built because the markets demand it, it is built because the people and the environment deserve it.
Fair and functional social security system. The current level of basic social security payments must be scaled up, bureaucracy in the system reduced, and healthcare center fees eliminated. Long term goal should be the implementation of universal basic income.
High-quality public services. Working conditions and salaries of the predominantly female public sector jobs must be improved. Mental health services must be guaranteed to anyone that needs them. Respect for education must be restored. Every child and adolescent must be guaranteed an adequate support based on individual need.
Sound public finances. Foundation of the national economy is built on skilled workforce, welfare and equality of all people, and wise investment decisions. The tax code must be set in a fair way and balancing of the public finances cannot happen at the expense of the most vulnerable.
Immediate action to curb climate change and destruction of species. Environmental and climate impact must be taken into account in all decision making both in Finland and internationally. Decisions must be based on scientific studies and expert knowledge.
Sustainable transportation. Investments must be directed to railways and other forms of public transportation. Conditions for increased pedestrian traffic and use of bicycles must be facilitated.
Sustainable way of life. Exploitation of nature in its current form must come to an end. Society should invest in human experiences, quality services, sustainability, and the circular economy instead of overconsumption.
Information on the Parlamentary Elections in English (pdf)
The 2023 parliamentary elections will be held on Sunday 2 April 2023. The advance voting period is from 22 to 28 March 2023 in Finland and from 22 to 25 March 2022 abroad.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me!