Standing for election in the Oulu Municipal Elections

I joined the Left Party (Vasemmistoliitto in Finnish) in June 2020, as I felt I was at the end of my tether having to worry about issues stemming from the government and the constant reaction of people telling me that they cannot do anything about my situation and that nothing really changes. Back then, all I wanted to achieve was to be able to sit down with like-minded people and try to implement the changes that I feel would make things less stressful for everyone. I was asked to run as a candidate for the Left Party at Christmas, for which I was quite apprehensive about due to being more of an introvert and not feeling very connected to a large part of the voter-base, but I felt that if this is my opportunity to make a change and do the right thing, I should grasp it and see where it takes me.

In terms of my platform, I suspected that the party has the desire that I run highlighting foreigner issues and providing that insight which should help their campaign in terms of increasing voter share amongst that demographic. I personally want to reach out to everyone though, as a lot of my problems have been things which can affect anybody, setting up and running a business is incredibly bureaucratic for instance, declaring and paying taxes and wether you need to join a union, contribute to your pension and so on are so vague and uncertain that it became stressful to get the right answers and to seek the advice that I so dearly needed.

The average working-class individual also requires access to social welfare and employment services. This is another area where a person isn’t trusted and the entire process feels as if it is designed to trip up a person and treat them as a criminal. The tactics used to keep people from resolving these problems can often results in people feeling depressed, isolated and lonely due to to rhetoric of “I cannot help you” being a regular part of discourse being employed by these agencies. Even a simple change of more empathy towards people in need of help and the ability for employees of these agencies to go out of their way to do a kind act and give these people the dignity and respect that they deserve will do a lot to gain public satisfaction and hopefully in turn, gain back public trust in the government and public services.

The biggest problem that I face though is pushing against the culture of: “this is how things are done here” and: “you have to go slow, change is slow here” when we’re in the midst of one of the biggest challenges facing the planet feels very frustrating. What we really need is an attitude change that we can change things rapidly and although we might face resistance, we should be highlighting this problem in public and finding ways to get the changes that we need without having to rely on those who would block progress. This might even have me come into difficult situations with members of my own party, but I would hope that they understand that if we’re standing for the same thing, the ends may have to justify the means to achieve our goals.

One example of a policy where I feel the Left Party can make a real difference is in Education. A recent article in YLE ( ) where the principal of the local polytechnic college admitted that the quality of teaching has been a problem and that a lack of funding has been a contribution to this problem. Higher education is often a one-time experience for many who cannot afford to go back and for this reason, it is important that we give people the best quality that we possibly can to ensure that they have the ability to succeed in life. I feel very privileged to have obtained my Bachelor’s Degree when I did and even though I may be of the educated class, I still earn very little in my current job, so I know how it feels to struggle on a week to week basis which drives my desire to tackle this problem. Once again, this is another area which reduces stress and reinforces the fact that we are listening and trying to do something about it.

If elected, one of my aims would be to embark on a project to take complaints about problems facing people in Oulu and try to address them. I understand that people can be afraid or apprehensive of both change and foreigners, but a lot of us call Oulu home and we want it to succeed just as much as the next person. With that in mind, I aim to stand for everybody who feels disenfranchised and dissatisfied with the status quo.