Voting Day!

Actually, it was Sunday, and I started a post to try and explain it, but I failed. So here I am today, armed with a new infomercial. I had my Finnish husband actually explain the system, so here it is:

Here are alllll the people running for those 200 seats.

Here are aaaalllll the people running for some of those 200 (somewhere around 22) seats from Helsinki.

There are 200 places in the Finnish Parliament, although the chairman doesn’t vote nor ask for the floor, leaving 199 voting representatives.

Keskusta (Center party) got 21.2% of the popular vote and 49 seats (24.5%).

Perussuomalaiset (True Finns) got 17.6% and 38 seats (19%).

Kokoomus (Coalition party, capitalists) got 18.2% and 37 seats (18.5%).

As you can see, it is not exact match since you can have the last candidate just barely squeezing above another one in a district, but it is a lot better than having 1 representative representing just one party from a district.

At the low end, we have Kristillisdemokraatit (Christian Democrats) with 3.5% of the popular vote and 5 seats (2.5%).

Small parties which did not make the 3% popular vote cut and hence did not get any seats, got about 72000 votes altogether, about 2.5% of the popular vote. The number of people who didn’t get their ‘representative’ is not too bad.

The system has been criticized that it favors the big parties and it does. The 3% cut also makes it harder for little parties to make the cut, but they can form those election alliances, in which case they are treated as a single big party instead for election purposes. There has also been talk about just having national elections, treating the whole country as one district. Then they could also just dole out seats based on strict proportionality: if you got 20% of the vote, you’ll get 20% of the seats (40) and those seats would be divided based on the personal vote numbers within the party.

Here is a page (in Finnish) which shows those different election districts:
The number of seats per district is based on the number of residents.

I can’t vote in these elections, but apparently I can vote in the smaller, more local ones. I guess I better learn some Finnish before then!

2 thoughts on “Voting Day!

  1. Which elections you get to vote on depends on your status and is quite logical: As a permanent resident you have a stake in where you live and thus can vote in municipal elections. As a citizen you have a stake in the nation, so to speak, and then you get to vote in national (national parliament and referenda) and European parliament elections. Finnish citizens living abroad only get to vote in national and European parliament elections (using the Helsinki list, I think), not in municipal elections. EU citizens get to vote the European parliament, either in their home state or the country they reside in, but they have to register for the latter option.
    You may want to check out the D’Hondt method on Wikipedia for more information. I think Sainte-Laguë would probably be a bit nicer. Some sort of modified STV might be the best if it had proper allowances for party lists.


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