We can all recognize ourselves in the people living in municipalities around Finland. Next-door neighbour Lasse would like to see a doctor instead of spending more time waiting in a queue. Liisa is waiting for her first day at school and hopes for a nice teacher. Teenager Mikko dreams of having an ice rink in his own village.
Grandpa Vilho is impatiently waiting to exchange some thoughts with the visiting district nurse. Eveliina has signed her firstborn child for infant swimming sessions. Ritva hopes that after paying taxes, more money would be left for everyday expenses. She hopes the municipal tax level will not be raised.
A functioning and fair municipality bears responsibility for all generations – including the future ones. Welfare is created through good deeds, but also through tax revenues generated by entrepreneurship and work. That is how we take care of all generations.
Municipal politics is not rocket science. It is about the big and the small things of everyday life - and it´s about team spirit. It is about the direction in which we want the community to develop. Why do some areas succeed while others do not? It is not just about the “forces of nature”. With similar starting points one city may succeed while another one withers.
Municipal politics is mainly a product of concrete decisions by council members. It is also about creating a good sense of belonging in the community. Do we encourage or discourage people and companies with our decisions? Do we see more opportunities or threats? Are we trying to solve economic challenges primarily through band-aid solutions, i.e. by raising the municipal tax, or are we looking for sustainable solutions?
A competent decision-maker promotes the vitality of the municipality. A good decision-maker knows how to seize opportunities and focus on the recipes for success in their own community instead of getting stuck solving challenges.
Representatives of the political left are more inclined to think that the public power is omnipotent. The National Coalition Party believes that decision-makers create opportunities and incentives - the people themselves create the vitality of their area through their own actions and initiatives. The fruits of these actions can be seen in a number of organized events, associations, business and jobs. These actions by regular citizens also contribute to social cohesion, friends and a supportive and pleasant community. Vitality and a sense of community cannot be outsourced to officials.
Entrepreneurship creates jobs and well-being in each region. The municipal tax revenue is used to employ professionals essential for the welfare society: doctors, teachers, police officers and other respected professionals. The stronger the business and employment rate is, the better the conditions to provide, for example, adequate funding for the services for the older people and schools, without forgetting the environment.
Entrepreneurship, work and the welfare state are all linked together. From Southern Europe, one can see what happens to society when led by left-wing politics. An entrepreneurial atmosphere creates positive vibes. People are not discouraged, but encouraged, to come up with new ideas, to take risks and work hard, form associations and create comfortable leisure time. For example, the Scouts, The Mannerheim League for Child Welfare (MLL)-activists, nature associations, sports clubs and other organizations are a sign of a living community. This in turn makes the region attractive, which means new people move to the region and more people also decide to stay there. This contributes to a sense of significance in everyday life, an affection for one’s own community and a common desire to ensure a good future for the region. If you wish to contribute to a positive municipal policy based on entrepreneurship, individual freedom and a shared sense of positive community, you can do so by voting for the National Coalition Party in the municipal elections.
Antti Edvard Häkkänen is a Finnish politician, representing the National Coalition Party. He has served as a Member of Parliament since 2015. From 2017 to 2019, Häkkänen served as Minister of Justice in the Sipilä Cabinet.
This article was written for MP Talk, a regular column from the Helsinki Times in which Members of The Finnish Parliament contribute their thoughts and opinions. All opinions voiced are entirely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of the Helsinki Times.
The articles will be published in order of arrival.