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Christian Democrats (Finland)

Christian Democrats
Finnish name Kristillisdemokraatit
Swedish name Kristdemokraterna
Leader Päivi Räsänen
Founded 1958
Headquarters Karjalankatu 2 C 7 krs.
FIN - 00520 HELSINKI
Newspaper KD-lehti
Membership  (2011) 13,000[1]
Ideology Christian democracy,[2]
Social conservatism
Political position Centre to Centre-right
International affiliation Centrist Democrat International
European affiliation European People's Party (observer)
Colours Blue and orange
Parliament
5 / 200
European Parliament
0 / 13
Municipalities
300 / 9,674
Website
www.kristillisdemokraatit.fi
Politics of Finland
Political parties
Elections

The Christian Democrats (Finnish: Kristillisdemokraatit, KD; Swedish: Kristdemokraterna) is a Christian democratic political party in Finland. The Christian Democrats have six seats in the Finnish Parliament. The party has been represented in the Finnish government by Minister of Interior Päivi Räsänen since June 22, 2011

The party was founded in 1958, chiefly by the Christian faction of the National Coalition Party, as the Finnish Christian League (Suomen Kristillinen Liitto, SKL; Finlands Kristliga Förbund.) The party adopted its current name in 2001.

Ideology

The party describes itself as following the tenets of Christian Democracy. It emphasizes "respect of human dignity, the importance of family and close communities, defending the weak, encouraging resourcefulness and individual and collective responsibility, not just for themselves but also for their neighbours and the rest of creation". Membership is open to everyone who agrees with these values and aims.[2] The party also claims to be committed to environmental protection.[3]

The party has lost many of its members to bigger parties, mainly to the National Coalition and Center Party.[citation needed] KD MP Lyly Rajala and MEP Eija-Riitta Korhola defected to the National Coalition in 2003, and the former party secretary Annika Kokko moved to the National Coalition in 2007.

English-speaking members of the party founded their own chapter in Helsinki in 2004. Its monthly meetings attract immigrants to participate in societal matters and the issues that are particularly important to them. In 2005, a Russian-speaking chapter was also founded in Helsinki.[4]

The party is an observer member of the European People's Party (EPP.)

KD-lehti (English: CD News) is the party's weekly newspaper.

Politicians

List of party chairs

  • Olavi Päivänsalo (1958-1964)
  • Ahti Tele (1964-1967)
  • Eino Sares (1967-1970)
  • Olavi Majlander (1970-1973)
  • Raino Westerholm (1973-1982)
  • Esko Almgren (1982-1989)
  • Toimi Kankaanniemi (1989-1995)
  • Bjarne Kallis (1995-2004)
  • Päivi Räsänen (2004-)

Current members of parliament

European Parliament

Sari Essayah was the most recent MEP of the party; she was elected to the European Parliament in the 2009 election but failed to win re-election in 2014.

Election results

Parliament elections

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 bar:% color:blue width:22   mark:(line,white) align:left fontsize:S
 bar:1958 from:start till:0.17 text:0,2
 bar:1962
 bar:1966 from:start till:0.45 text:0,5
 bar:1970 from:start till:1.40 text:1,4
 bar:1972 from:start till:2.53 text:2,5
 bar:1975 from:start till:3.29 text:3,3
 bar:1979 from:start till:4.77 text:4,8
 bar:1983 from:start till:3.03 text:3,0
 bar:1987 from:start till:2.58 text:2,6
 bar:1991 from:start till:3.05 text:3,1
 bar:1995 from:start till:2.96 text:3,0
 bar:1999 from:start till:4.17 text:4,2
 bar:2003 from:start till:5.34 text:5,3
 bar:2007 from:start till:4.86 text:4,9
 bar:2011 from:start till:4.03 text:4,0
 bar:2015 from:start till:3.54 text:3,5
 </timeline>
Year MPs Votes Share of votes
1958 0 3,358 0.17%
1966 0 10,646 0.45%
1970 1 28,228 1.40%
1972 4 65,228 2.53%
1975 9 90,599 3.29%
1979 9 138,244 4.77%
1983 3 90,410 3.03%
1987 5 74,209 2.58%
1991 8 83,151 3.05%
1995 7 82,311 2.96%
1999 10 111,835 4.17%
2003 7 148,987 5.34%
2007 7 134,643 4.86%
2011 6 118,453 4.03%

Local council elections

Year Councillors Votes Share of votes
1972 134 49,877 2.0%
1976 322 85,792 3.2%
1980 333 100,800 3.7%
1984 257 80,455 3.0%
1988 273 71,614 2.72%
1992 353 84,481 3.2%
1996 353 75,494 3.2%
2000 443 95,009 4.3%
2004 392 94,666 4.0%
2008 351 106,639 4.2%

European parliamentary elections

Year MEPs Votes Share of votes
1996 0 63,134 2.8%
1999 1 29,637 2.4%
2004 0 70,845 4.3%
2009 1 69 467 4.2%
2014 0 90 586 5.2%

Further reading

  • Madeley, John T.S. (2004). Steven Van Hecke; Emmanuel Gerard, eds. Life at the Northern Margin: Christian Democracy in Scandinavia. Christian Democratic Parties in Europe Since the End of the Cold War (Leuven University Press). pp. 217–241. ISBN 90-5867-377-4. 

References

  1. ^ Niemelä, Mikko (13 March 2011). "Perussuomalaisilla hurja tahti: "Jäseniä tulee ovista ja ikkunoista"". Kauppalehti. Retrieved 20 April 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Christian Democracy. Christian Democrats official website
  3. ^ Environment and Energy. Christian Democrats
  4. ^ Immigrants. Christian Democrats

External links