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:
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.
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!