Municipal elections HS visited “Finland’s forgotten backyard”, where the big concern is how to get a neighbor to stay in home villages

HS went to Ylä-Savo to ask people in what moods municipal decision-makers are now being voted on.

Iisalmi / Sukeva

Itthat we will vote, ”says Iisalmelainen Merja Keinonen.

According to Keinonen, that is the spirit of the 20,000 inhabitants in Iisalmi on the last day of May, when the advance voting in the municipal elections has reached the middle.

Keinonen, who trades in the market square, has just arranged an election officer for his elderly mother’s home. The mother will no longer be able to move, but the voting will remain the same. Even the means already knows to whom to vote.

He believes that future decision-makers should pay more attention to young people who are concerned about nausea. And the fact that young people are moving to bigger cities.

Similar worries and hopes seem to be on everyone’s mind now during the municipal elections, when HS asked people’s thoughts in Upper Savo, Iisalmi and Sukeva.

The homeland is to be kept vibrant and comfortable so that people do not move out. We want more jobs – or at least they should be kept existing. Services should not run away.

The population is concentrating at an ever-accelerating pace in the largest cities. Urbanization did not stop the corona pandemic either.

Read more: Forecast: A new Nurmijärvi phenomenon is underway with the corona, and the foreign-speaking population will grow

In Finland outside the growth centers, many feel that they live like in a forgotten backyard. In that situation, voting decisions will now be taken.

Milk in Finland, which also includes the Iisalmi region, the Center Party has traditionally managed airspace. Now, in Upper Savo as well, we are monitoring how Perussuomalainen in particular is doing in the old downtown green areas.

In the 2017 municipal elections, a third of Iisalmi residents voted for the center. The SDP received less than a fifth of the vote, the Left Alliance and the Coalition Party about 15 per cent each. The Greens and Basic Finns remained below ten percent.

In the 2019 parliamentary elections, the basic Finns already reached the nip past the center: 19.4 per cent of the basic Finns voted, 19 per cent of the center.

Now In the municipal elections, the basic Finns have tripled their number of candidates in the list of 26 candidates from the last municipal elections.

“The city center is in full force in rural cities. And yes, basic Finns are also supported here. Let’s see, ”says Iisalmelainen Touko Hokkanen.

Touko Hokkanen has lived in Iisalmi for 17 years and has enjoyed the city well.

In his opinion, there is a lot of talk in Iisalmi about the development of the city, and it has been done admirably. There are several major employers, such as beverage giant Olvi and technology company Normet.

Nevertheless, Iisalmi suffers a migration loss. It is now the third largest municipality in North Savo in terms of population: Siilinjärvi, which grew up near Kuopio, passed in the 21st century.

According to Hokkanen, more companies and jobs are needed.

“It would get people to move here. It would make the city more attractive. ”

Laura Nurmi from Iisalmi has previously voted for the Christian Democrats, but now the voting decision is reflective. “Now I don’t know because political issues seem difficult and contradictory,” he says.

Iisalmen Behind the prism at the foot of the apartment building Esko Mäkinen waiting for an elevator repairman. Mäkinen, who works as a civil engineer, lives in Tervo, Northern Savonia. Because of his work, he spends his everyday life in Iisalmi, so the things in his hometown seem distant. In terms of voting, he is in two stages.

“It has been so quiet in the field of performance,” Mäkinen says, referring to the achievements of the decision-makers.

Esko Mäkinen is still unsure whether he will vote or not. Tervakainen Mäkinen lives in Iisalmi everyday because of his work, so the local government’s municipal policy has remained a stranger.

Nationwide speech topics have been followed by the man. According to Mäkinen, Finland, for example, could take a calmer approach to combating climate change: in his opinion, things have been handled well in Finland and carbon dioxide emissions are small alongside China.

“And fuel taxation needs to be reduced. Now we are paying too much for motorists. ”

When From Iisalmi continue on the fifth road north, arrive in Sukeva. The agglomeration of a thousand inhabitants is known from Sukeva Prison. It belongs to the municipality of Sonkajärvi, which has 3,800 inhabitants and is known for its World Championships in Eukonkanto.

Even now we are in the traditional heartland of the city center. In the last municipal elections, the support of the city center in Sonkajärvi was 43 per cent, and in the SDP and basic Finns less than 20 per cent. The others were far behind.

In the parliamentary elections two years ago, the Basic Finns were also the largest party in Sonkajärvi: it received 29.4 per cent of the vote, the center 28.7 per cent.

At the door of Sukevan Neste in a little drizzle Markku Mönttinen gives a quick analysis of the elections: the center is struggling for its support, which the Basic Finns are striking. The Coalition does not succeed: “Because there are no rich here”.

Little cousins ​​Markku Mönttinen (left) and Seppo Mönttinen want to keep their own side of the village, even though the countryside is quieter.

Arja Alanen presents Sukeva agglomeration: there is a primary school, kindergarten, library and municipal point of sale, grocery store, pharmacy, hairdresser and flea market. Vaccinations and laboratory matters are handled in your own village.

“That we can keep existing services in our own village. Those little things that are. ”

Alanen hopes that a variety of people will be elected to the council, both mothers of young children and pensioners. He always tries to vote for a woman.

However, Alanen believes that in a small municipality, everyone’s goal is the same, regardless of party boundaries: to keep their own parish side.

“That we can keep existing services in our own village. Those little things that are. ”

Arja Alanen has voted in all elections and at the beginning of the 21st century has been the centre’s representative in the council in deciding the affairs of local residents.

He is concerned about the deteriorating village track. The ugly remains of a burnt-down commercial property across the road have been lying in place for a year and a half. The asphalt is bouncing badly. Alanen asked the municipality when the surfaces would be renewed.

That is why he is happy to talk Niko Tuovinen with when this draws spray paint cable lines on asphalt: road works begin.


According to Niko Tuovinen, who lives in Lapinlahti, all services work in their home municipality.

Tuovinen says that he lives in Lapinlahti and admits that he does not follow politics and has never voted.

“That should give you a viola player,” Alanen scolds from the pharmacy door.

“Everyone has to vote.”



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