The parliamentary elections are approaching and so is the advance voting. In Finland, every Finnish citizen who turns 18 on election day at the latest has the right to vote. The right to vote is universal and equal, which in practice means that everyone has a vote that is equally valuable. Voting is a right and not an obligation.
Why should you vote, then? By voting, you influence the society. Your vote is important and makes a difference. In the upcoming parliamentary election, representatives who will work on issues that affect you and your everyday life daily, will be elected. By voting, you take a stand on major and minor issues. If you have an opinion, there is reason to vote, and without a vote there is no right to complain either.
It is common knowledge that voter turnout among young people tends to be relatively low. Voting is one of the cornerstones of a functioning democracy. If young people do not use their voice, there is also no one who can represent them in the framework of decision-making. Of course, the loss of a single vote is not catastrophic. The problem arises when many choose to refrain from voting, because then who will make our decisions?
It can be difficult to know how to vote and which party is pursuing a policy that is to one’s own advantage. This uncertainty can lead to abstaining from voting. The election compass is an excellent and simple aid. For the curious, The Student Union of Åbo Akademi University also organizes panel debates in both Åbo and Vasa during the spring. In Vasa, the panel debate will be held on 7 March, while in Åbo it will take place on 20 March. During each occasion, invited parliamentary election candidates discuss issues that affect students’ everyday life.
See you on the election day!
Member of the Board
The Student Union of ÅAU