Politics of Finland
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|Candidate||Party||First round||Second round|
|Sauli Niinistö||National Coalition Party||1,131,254||36.96||1,802,328||62.59|
|Pekka Haavisto||Green League||574,275||18.76||1,077,425||37.41|
|Paavo Väyrynen||Centre Party||536,555||17.53|
|Timo Soini||True Finns||287,571||9.40|
|Paavo Lipponen||Social Democratic Party||205,111||6.70|
|Paavo Arhinmäki||Left Alliance||167,663||5.48|
|Eva Biaudet||Swedish People's Party||82,598||2.70|
|Sari Essayah||Christian Democrats||75,744||2.47|
|Total (turnout 69.74% and 65.98%)||3,070,429||2,904,886|
|Source: Ministry of Justice – First round, Second round|
|← 2007 • 2011 • 2015 →|
|Parties||Votes||MPs||MPs %/votes %|
|National Coalition Party||599,138||11px17,703||20.4||11px1.9||44||11px6||22.0||1.08||11px0.04|
|Social Democratic Party of Finland||561,558||11px32,636||19.1||11px2.3||42||11px3||21.0||1.10||11px0.05|
|Swedish People's Party||125,785||11px735||4.3||11px0.3||9||11px0||4.5||1.05||11px0.07|
|Other unrepresented parties|
|Communist Party of Finland||9,232||11px9,045||0.3||11px0.4||0||11px0||0||0||11px0|
|Senior Citizens' Party||3,195||11px13,520||0.1||11px0.5||0||11px0||0||0||11px0|
|Communist Workers' Party||1,575||11px432||0.1||11px0.0||0||11px0||0||0||11px0|
|For the Poor||1,335||11px1,186||0.0||11px0.1||0||11px0||0||0||11px0|
|Source: Minstry of Justice|
Finland has a civil law system, based on Swedish law, with the judiciary exercising limited powers. Proceedings are inquisitiorial, where judges preside, conduct finding of fact, adjudication and giving of sanctions such as sentences; no juries are used. In e.g. criminal and family-related proceedings in local courts, the panel of judges may include both lay judges and professional judges, while all appeals courts and administrative courts consist only of professional judges. Precedent is not binding, with the exception of Supreme Court and Supreme Administrative Court decisions.
The judicial system of Finland is divided between courts with regular civil and criminal jurisdiction and administrative courts with responsibility for litigation between the individuals and the administrative organs of the state and the communities. Finnish law is codified and its court system consists of local courts, regional appellate courts, and the Supreme Court. The administrative branch of justice consists of administrative courts and the Supreme Administrative Court. The administrative process has more popularity as it is cheaper and has lower financial risk to the person making claims. In addition to the regular courts, there are a few special courts in certain branches of administration. There is also a High Court of Impeachment for criminal charges (for an offence in office) against the President of the Republic, the justices of the supreme courts, members of the Government, the Chancellor of Justice and the Ombudsman of Parliament.
Although there is no writ of habeas corpus or bail, the maximum period of pre-trial detention has been reduced to four days. For further detention, a court must order the imprisonment. One does not have the right for one phonecall: the police officer leading the investigation may inform relatives or similar if the investigation permits. However, a lawyer can be invited. Search warrants are not strictly needed, and are usually issued by a police officer. Wiretapping does need a court order.
Finland is divided into democratically independent municipalities. A municipality can call itself either a "city" or "municipality". A municipality is governed by a municipal council (or city council) elected by proportional representation once every four years. Most of the tax burden, namely two thirds, is levied by the municipalities. Democratic decision making takes place on either the municipal or national level with few exceptions.
Until 2009, the state organization was divided into six provinces. However, the provinces were abolished altogether in 2010. Today, state local presence on mainland Finland is provided by 6 regional state administrative agencies (aluehallintovirasto, avi), and 15 Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (elinkeino-, liikenne- ja ympäristökeskus, ely-keskus). Regional state administrative agencies have mostly law enforcement, rescue and judicial duties: police, fire and rescue, emergency readiness, basic services, environmental permits and enforcement and occupational health and safety protection. The Centres implement labor and industrial policy, provide employment and immigration services, and promote culture; maintain highways, other transport networks and infrastructure; and protect, monitor and manage the environment, land use and water resources.
The island province of Åland is located near the 60th parallel between Sweden and Finland. It enjoys local autonomy by virtue of an international convention of 1921, implemented most recently by the Act on Åland Self-Government of 1951. The islands are further distinguished by the fact that they are entirely Swedish-speaking. Government is vested in the provincial council, which consists of 30 delegates elected directly by Åland's citizens.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Finland freed itself from the last restrictions imposed on it by the Paris peace treaties of 1947. The Finnish-Soviet Agreement of Friendship, Co-operation, and Mutual Assistance (and the restrictions included therein) was annulled but Finland recognised the Russian Federation as the successor of the USSR and was quick to draft bilateral treaties of goodwill as well as reallocating Soviet debts.
Finland deepened her participation in the European integration by joining the European Union with Sweden and Austria in 1995. It could be perhaps said that the country's policy of neutrality has been moderated to "military non-alignment" with an emphasis on maintaining a competent independent defence. Peacekeeping under the auspices of the United Nations is the only real extra-national military responsibility which Finland undertakes.
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After examining the position of women around the world, the Washington-based Population Crisis Committee reported in 1988 that Finland, slightly behind top-ranked Sweden and just ahead of the United States, was one of the very best places in which a woman could live. The group reached this conclusion after examining the health, educational, economic, and legal conditions that affect women's lives.
When compared with women of other nations, Finnish women, who accounted for just over 50 percent of the population in the mid1980s, did have a privileged place. They were the first in Europe to gain the franchise, and by the 1980s they routinely constituted about one-third of the membership of the Eduskunta (parliament) and held several ministerial posts. In the 1980s, about 75 percent of adult women worked outside the home; they made up about 48 percent of the work force. Finnish women were as well educated as their male counterparts, and, in some cases, the number of women studying at the university level, for example, were slightly ahead of the number of men. In addition to an expanding welfare system, which since World War II had come to provide them with substantial assistance in the area of childbearing and child-rearing, women had made notable legislative gains that brought them closer to full equality with men.
In 1972 the Council for Equality was established to advise lawmakers on methods for realizing full legal equality for women. In 1983 legislation arranged that both parents were to have equal rights for custody of their children. A year later, women were granted equal rights in the establishment of their children's nationality. Henceforth any child born of a Finnish woman would have Finnish citizenship. After a very heated national debate, legislation was passed in 1985 that gave women an equal right to decide what surname or surnames they and their children would use. These advances were capped by a law that went into effect in early 1987 forbidding any discrimination on the basis of sex and providing protection against it. Once these laws were passed, Finnish authorities signed the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, in 1986.
In a number of areas, however, the country's small feminist movement maintained that the circumstances in which Finnish women lived needed to be improved. Most striking was the disparity in wages. Although women made up just under half the work force and had a tradition of working outside the home, they earned only about two-thirds of the wages paid to men. Occupations in which women predominated, such as those of retail and office personnel, were poorly paid in contrast to those in which men constituted the majority. Despite the sexes' equal educational attainments, and despite a society where sexual differentiation played a smaller role than it did in many other countries, occupational segregation in Finland was marked. In few of the twenty most common occupations were the two sexes equally represented. Only in occupations relating to agriculture, forestry, and school teaching was a rough parity approached, and as few as 6 percent of Finns worked in jobs where 40 to 60 percent of workers were of the opposite sex. Studies also found that equal educational levels did not—in any category of training—prevent women's wages from lagging behind those paid to men. Women tended to occupy lower positions, while males were more often supervisors or managers. This was the case everywhere, whether in schools or universities, in business, in the civil service, or in politics at both the local level and the national level.
In addition to their occupying secondary position in the workplace, women had longer workdays because they performed a greater share of household tasks than did men. On the average, their workweek outside the home was several hours shorter than men's because a greater portion of them were employed only part-time or worked in the service sector, where hours were shorter than they were in manufacturing. Studies have found, however, that women spent about twice as much time on housework as men—about three hours and forty minutes a day, compared with one hour and fifty minutes for men. Men did twice as many household repairs and about an equal amount of shopping, but they devoted only one-third to one-fourth as much time to cleaning, cooking, and caring for children. Given that the bulk of family chores fell to women, and that they were five times more likely than men to head a single-parent family, the shortcomings of Finland's child day-care system affected women more than it did men.
The Equality Law that went into effect in 1987 committed the country to achieving full equality for women. In the late 1980s, there was a timetable listing specific goals to be achieved during the remainder of the twentieth century. The emphasis was to be equality for everyone, rather than protection for women. Efforts were undertaken not only to place women in occupations dominated by males, but also to bring males into fields traditionally believed to belong to the women's sphere, such as child care and elementary school teaching. Another aim was for women to occupy a more equal share of decision-making positions.
- Political parties in Finland
- Foreign relations of Finland
- Politics of Åland
- Flag of Finland
- Comprehensive Income Policy Agreement
- Text from PD source: US Library of Congress: A Country Study: Finland, Library of Congress Call Number DL1012 .A74 1990.
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