In English

I am a Green candidate in the municipal election in the city of Turku in April 2017 (my main Finnish page is here).   Many foreign nationals are actually eligible to vote in these  elections.   To check if you are eligible, see here.

National-level information about the Green League is available here. The city-level themes of the  Greens in Turku in the 2017 municipal elections can be found here.  Information on the Green candidates in Turku can be found here.

All of the Green candidates in Turku speak passable to excellent English, and without exception all are very friendly to foreigners. You can pretty much choose one at random and contact them. They are all good.  (Candidates that have specifically English-language information include Alina Heywood,  Saara Ilvessalo, Kati Laine,  Tuomo LiljenbäckJoonas Niemi, Laura Rantanen,  Niina Salonen, and probably some I have missed).

If I happen to be the random Green you chose, here is some information about me.

I can most easily be reached by sending a message on Facebook.  I had an international childhood, living in Thailand, and  attended an English-language school there, so my English is quite good. I also have personal experience of living in a foreign country. It is not always nice.

I love numbers, and I want to use numbers and hard data to implement soft green values in Turku. Fundamentally I want to be a hippie, but a hippie who does his thing in an analytical and fact-based way.

Overall I am a fairly typical left-wing green. We must protect the weak and save nature, and so on. I have been active in the environmental movement for many years. My relationship with nature is not really mystical or emotional. I simply believe that environmentalism is a fundamental part of a civilized society.

In some respects I am, however, an atypical left-wing green. I believe that science and technology are the only ways we can hope to survive the impending catastrophe that will be caused by climate change. Therefore, I support nuclear energy and GMO technology, even though this is a minority position among the Greens.

This has little or no impact on my daily life as a Green, but it does make for some interesting discussions.   That is my major strength. I function well in situations where peoples’ opinions are in conflict — and that is the very definition of politics. I debate a lot, but I never argue.

At the municipal level, I want to bring an analytic and research-oriented approach even to local politics. No decisions should be made without sufficient background information — and that information should be numerical, whenever possible.  It is dreadfully easy to abuse numbers, but they are still an invaluable tool in decision-making. If you don’t even try to measure what you are doing, how will you ever know if you are doing the right thing?

In practice I want Turku to have high buildings and a highly efficient public transport system. That means that there is room left over for shared green spaces. I particularly want to protect urban forests that are close to schools, since children need to experience nature close up to appreciate it later in life.

I find the unemployment situation to be worrying and even terrifying. I have had only sporadic employment since I was downsized from Nokia in 2012, and have found the experience degrading and humiliating. It has not crushed me, but no one should have to go through such experiences.

In my opinion, Turku needs to become more international. A vibrant and colorful international community is the best hope we have to eventually rise out of our financial and emotional rut. That means that I support immigration of all kinds, from quick visits by top international scientists to permanent settlement of refugees from war zones. Diversity is needed.

I fully appreciate that this can be costly and problematic. The last few years have not been easy for our non-native population, and there is an ugly undertone of racism in the country. However, the age of the Finnish monoculture is over. Turku is becoming an international city, and that is a good thing.

My candidate number in the elections is 169. My motto “Älä kangistu kaavoihin — äänestä fyysikkoa” is a nerdy pun with a triple meaning that is, I think, untranslatable. 

Ratkaisuihin ongelmia / Solutions in search of a problem

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