Saturday guest How to get citizens to the polls in regional elections? “Not the slightest smell,” says Riikka Purra from basic Finns

According to Riikka Purra, the vice-president of Basic Finns, it is “impossible to do anything in municipal politics”.

In the municipal elections turnout fell to a historic low of 55.1 percent.

Only after about six months should citizens be attracted again to the urn if and when the sote reform expected to be adopted in parliament next week.

Finland is scheduled to hold regional elections in January, in which councils will be elected for 21 new so-called welfare areas.

Basic Finns was one of the parties whose was estimated to have suffered in the municipal elections low turnout. Still, it managed to increase its support by more than five percentage points.

How do people get to vote in regional elections?

“I don’t have the slightest smell about it,” says the vice chairman of Basic Finns Riikka Purra.

“We have the next election in six months’ time, where this regional level is really abstract and distant for a large number of people.”

Bad success However, Purra does not want to mana. He believes that basic Finns and the center, strong parties in the provinces, will run for election from the best positions.

The Sote reform will be voted on in Parliament next week. How has the basic election campaign been planned for basic Finns?

“I have to say it’s not planned yet. I guess it would then be next week when I started planning it. After the votes, ”Purra says and laughs a little.

“We have the next election in six months’ time, where this regional level is really abstract and distant for a large number of people.”

From here forward elections are held every year so that the next non-elected year is only 2026 if the parish elections held at that time are not counted.

From 2025 onwards, regional elections will be held at the same time as municipal elections.

The bite regrets that politics has become a constant campaign. Content creation and perseverance suffer when elections take time and energy. In addition, public interest is waning, Purra thinks.

“If decision-making only appears in the form of polls, presidency panels, campaigning and voter attraction, I think it makes politics too superficial.”

Let’s talk hence the content of the policy. Still on Monday Interviewed by HS Jussi Halla-aho (ps) was of the opinion that it was too early to say what concrete changes the party was aiming for in Helsinki.

A few days have now passed since the election, and this time the respondent is Riikka Purra.

Basic Finns now have more power in Finnish municipalities than ever before. The party received 14.5 per cent of all votes, compared to 8.8 per cent in 2017. A total of 1,351 basic Finnish delegates were elected.

What is changing in municipal policy now?

The municipalities are so different that it is impossible to give one answer, Purra says.

“Of course, our values ​​and goals will hopefully be reflected more in municipal policy.”

Basic Finns at the heart of the election campaign was putting things first. For example, the party opposes the admission of quota refugees, too much climate action and too much investment in construction.

Purra lists the provision of good schools and early childhood education and adequate local services as important things for basic Finns.

For municipal finances, Purra offers two solutions, the first of which would be to take care of the creation of jobs and investments.

Another solution would be nationwide. The party wants to reduce the statutory functions of municipalities, which now number more than 500. However, an individual city councilor from Luhanka or Pori, for example, does not have much influence on this, Purra adds.

Riikka Purra, the vice-president of Basic Finns, does not need entertainment or at least a more communicative approach to increase the interest in politics. There are already enough of him.

Bite wonders about the rumors that the party did not get a “jerk” in the municipal elections, as the previous chairman of the party did; Timo Soini called for the results of the 2011 parliamentary elections.

“In fact, I think it’s quite impossible to do anything in municipal politics,” Purra says. He stresses that the party itself does not even use the word.

Basic Finns have never come close to the Gallup result in the municipal elections, Purra explains.

“The party office is quite realistic about this.”

“It is quite impossible to do anything in municipal politics.”

Weak after the previous municipal elections, Purra considers it a success that the party collected the number of candidates it sought and doubled the number of its delegates.

“While, of course, you always have to be appropriately self-critical, in this situation, I didn’t come up with an awful lot of things that I or the party leadership could have done better.”

Still, Purra says he knows even active supporters who didn’t go to the polls.

Read more: Support surveys predicted even higher profits for basic Finns – The authors of the measurements tell us why the differences are due

The election result to find out the policy scientists have assessedthat the rise of basic Finns could have an impact on the culture of decision-making in cities. It has also been asked how the party is able to cooperate with others on the councils.

Read more: The election will bring a large number of new Finnish decision-makers to the councils: “There may be implications for the culture of decision-making,” says the researcher

Purra says she doesn’t understand the skeptics.

“I don’t know of any municipality in Finland where Basic Finns would not cooperate with other parties.”

According to Purra, the party currently has the most common ground with the Center and the Coalition Party, but situations may change and be different in different parts of Finland.

According to Purra, especially in “provincial Finland”, the differences between the parties are not even very significant compared to Helsinki, for example. According to him, Basic Finns will cooperate in matters where it makes sense.

Read more: The election will bring a large number of new Finnish decision-makers to the councils: “There may be implications for the culture of decision-making,” says the researcher

Others with themes the party may be left more alone than others. One such theme is immigration.

“But immigration policy is not one of the most important municipal issues. For example, in my own municipality, immigration is dealt with perhaps twice in a council term. ”

In election advertising, however, the Basic Finns raised immigration.

Read more: Election advertising for basic Finns removed from the streets – JCDecaux CEO: “We cannot be the moral guardian of society”

Party In the February election campaign video, Purra states that “you can start becoming a Finn if you just want to” and state “not like this”.

According to Purra, this is an identity-centered policy that he would not like to talk about now. It is not one of his main passions.

“According to some perspectives, a person becomes Finnish when he or she just comes here and declares that he or she is Finnish. Others say it happens when you acquire citizenship. But I myself cannot answer this in such a straightforward way. ”

Bite considers the debate to be secondary and would prefer to focus on the actual immigration policy. Bite would not want identity party issues at all to be the party’s main themes.

“This is related to just about everything from a person’s diet. I would not want a lot of energy to be spent on this in the council, in parliament or elsewhere. ”

Municipal elections According to Purra, the result strengthens the field organization of basic Finns.

In Purra’s opinion, the party went backwards in this election. The most important thing in municipal elections is to nominate candidates, which requires “tentacles” all over the country.

The party trains its new commissioners to work in municipalities, but the most important is the advice of veterans.

In Kirkkonummi Purra, who was elected to the council, also did well in person in the election.

He more than quintupled his vote, even though he had time to visit his constituency tent only once, for half an hour.

“Great embarrassment,” Purra describes his election results.

Chairman Jussi Halla-aho’s position in the party is strong, and Purra has no desire to challenge him at the August party meeting. He doesn’t think others have either. Purra intends to apply for the post of Vice-Chairman.

Riikka Purra

  • Born in 1977.

  • First-term MP from Kirkkonummi. Chairman of the Parliamentary Administration Committee.

  • Vice President of Basic Finns.

  • Elected to Kirkkonummi Municipal Council by 1,314 votes, which was the municipality’s second largest catch.

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