The Greens’ presidential race | Saara Hyrkkö or Sofia Virta? This is how their supporters justify their choice

The Green Party will meet in Seinäjoki on Saturday to decide on a new chairman. HS asked the four greens how they justify their own choice.

Member voting The election of the Green Party’s new chairman ended on Thursday, and the party will gather in Seinäjoki at the weekend to hear the result.

In practice, it is expected that the party meeting will confirm the result of the indicative member vote. Just under 59 percent of the Greens who had the right to vote cast their votes in the election.

Candidates for the chairmanship of the party are members of parliament from the second term Saara Hyrkko From Espoo and Sofia Virta From Kaarina.

The race is expected to be very even. Ilta-Sanom’s Tuesday and Up on Monday the published polls for the party people were very even.

In a poll published by MTV Uutinen on Sunday Virta received more support for district board members. On the other hand, the majority of the crowd did not answer the survey or know how to state their position.

What separates the candidates?

Based on HS’s election machine answers, Virta is a more right-wing candidate than Hyrkkö, but on many issues the positions of the representatives are quite similar.

Many Green Party activists have described to HS that Virta is considered a “more outsider” candidate. It is seen as both his weakness and his strength. Some consider him inexperienced, while others see that he could bring much-needed new thinking to the party leadership.

Hyrkkö entered the race as the early favorite precisely because he is more familiar to many party members and has held various positions in the party for a long time. Some see this as a weakness and think that the Greens would not change enough under his leadership.

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HS asked two Greens who support Hyrkkö and two Greens who support Virta how they justify their choice.

Why should Saara Hyrkkö be chosen?

Iiris Suomela wants Saara Hyrkkö to be the new chairman of the Green Party.

Iiris Suomela, vice-chairman of the party, former member of parliament:

“We need experience and know-how to get out of the support hole. Saara knows past wins and losses. He knows why we are in this situation. Therefore, it is easier for him to build a path forward.

Saara has also been active in the activities of the party board and council and knows our field well. He is able to question himself but is also open to criticism and ready to change his position.

When the party was going through more stormy times in 2018–2019, such a culture of critical discussion died a little, and it could not really be revived. I believe that Saara could do it.

The greens must boldly be green, but also update together what it means in this time. Finland has unprecedented opportunities in the field of green transition, but on the other hand, we don’t want to include the whole word in the program of the future right-wing government. The war in Ukraine and Corona have tested Finns, and everyday challenges are different than in 2019. Even the greens have to offer solutions to these challenges.”

Municipal politician Mikki Kauste supports another Espoo resident, Saara Hyrkkö.

Mikki Kauste, musician, municipal politician in Espoo:

“I have known Saara for years and have learned to see how she works in politics and how quickly she takes over even difficult issues. In addition to listing problem areas, he can also outline solutions to problems, which is important. Saara is also a future-oriented politician, and that’s what our party needs now.

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Currently, the greens are defined in public more by other actors than the greens themselves. We are criticized a lot based on mental images. We should be able to take up more airspace in public. When the party’s support has decreased, people naturally start to panic and despair sets in. But I personally feel that the greens have not made any cardinal mistakes.

I myself once joined a social liberal party, and I think I still belong to one. It is not a division on the left-right axis. Many greens certainly think that a strong public sector is needed, but at the same time they flag for the market economy.”

Why should you choose Sofia Virta?

Alviina Alametsä supports Sofia Virta as the new chairman.

Alviina Alametsä, MEP:

“Sofia is a wise woman, a genuine person and a type with a taste for life. I have been impressed by how talkative a performer he is: I see in him something of a Sannamari or Liandersson-like charisma, and I believe that he could bring new supporters to the party. His electoral success has also been very good.

There are many political ‘fields’ where the Greens could play better than they currently do. For example, the promotion of small entrepreneurship is a theme that is surprisingly difficult for the coalition, and the left doesn’t even talk about it. The Greens could offer solutions for this, and Sofia also talks about this theme. The nature issue is also central, because the Greens must be the party where nature-loving people can gather both from the cities and outside them.

I am satisfied with the core lines of the Greens, but at the same time the party should improve the way it speaks and addresses. When livelihoods or health are in crisis, the Greens must be the party that has solutions to the human situation.”

Joel Linnainmäki, researcher, former special assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs:

“The Greens suffered the biggest electoral defeat in their history in the previous parliamentary elections, so we clearly need a change of direction. Sofia has also had difficult experiences in her life, and I believe that many Finns could identify with her and the way she talks about things even on a human everyday level.

There is no one specific theme that the Greens should talk about more or less. In general, we should strive to take ownership of more issues and strive to be more credible as a general party. For example, in the parliamentary elections, people clearly wanted to talk about the economy and their own livelihood, and then focusing on environmental and credit issues does not necessarily appeal to the voters.

Instead of thinking about whether the whole party should move to the left or the right as a whole, we should think about how we can get supporters from both sides. The Greens must appeal to liberal voters on both the left and the right. We must strive to be a universal party that can accommodate very different people. That’s how the other big parties work.”

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