Although the number of young candidates has slightly increased since the 2019 parliamentary elections, where there were 259 candidates under the age of 30 (10.5% of all candidates), only eight of them (4% of all elected) managed to get a seat. in the parliament.
In the 2023 parliamentary elections, the Greens have nominated the most young candidates with 37. They are followed by Central with 30 and the Left Alliance with 27. Instead, the Movement Now party has nominated only nine young candidates. There are only ten for the basic Finns. The two parties also have the lowest percentage of young candidates at just 5 percent, while the Greens have the highest at 17 percent.
The lack of young candidates is particularly surprising to the Basic Finns, as the party is popular among young voters. According to a survey conducted by Helsingin Sanomat, Perussuomalaiket is the favorite party of young first-time voters in the upcoming elections.
“Political parties and our society as a whole have a lot of room for improvement if young people are still underrepresented on candidate lists from election to election. For the future of democracy, it is essential that we have young decision-makers, which requires us to nominate more young candidates. Without young people, we have no future decision-makers – or future voters if faith in democracy crumbles at a young age. A wise party thinks ahead and involves young people now,” insists Silja Uusikangasyouth participation expert.
The voices of young people must be heard in parliament
As in all decision-making tasks, young people are also underrepresented in parliament. Currently, the average age of MPs is 50 years. With 13.9 percent of the population aged 18-29, there is only one MP in this age group at the end of this election period: Iiris Suomela (green), who is 28 years old.
Although the decisions made in the parliament affect the lives of young people in many ways, the voting activity of young people is often lower than other age groups. This may be partly due to the relatively small number of young candidates.
“In order to increase the voting activity of young people, we need young candidates who can also appeal to young voters. At the moment, it is difficult for many young people to find a suitable candidate or party”, Uusikangas emphasizes.
The parliamentary elections will be held on Sunday, April 2, 2023, and MPs will be elected for the 2023-2027 election period. Early voting is possible in Finland from 22 to 28 March and abroad from 22 to 25 March.
Source: The Nordic Page