My name is Mikko Aaltonen – a father, financial manager and a progeny of the welfare state.
I’m also the chairman of the Tampere Left Alliance’s city council group and I worked as deputy mayor during the last council term.
Currently I’m running for the Finnish Parliament so I can make a positive difference on a national level.
Finland has long been a welfare state and it has generally been considered a good thing. Extensive public services, whether it’s education, health care or cultural and sports services, have guaranteed opportunities for a good life for most. I think this must be the case in the future as well. Of course, the size and efficiency of the public sector must be examined critically, but massive cuts to public services are not possible without devastating effects. Comprehensive public services are the strength of Finnish society and their functionality and adequacy must be taken care of in the future.
Finland should not shirk its responsibility in combating climate change. Although Finland is a relatively small country, our emission load is large compared to the population. Responding to climate change must not be outsourced to the responsibility of individual people and their consumption choices, but the state must be at the center of actions. Through its own actions, the state must encourage everyone, especially the public sector and companies, to reduce emissions and use a sufficient amount of public funding for climate-friendly investments. Finland has a lot of know-how in green technology, and the development of this sector must be strongly supported.
Finland needs more efficient and climate-friendly public transport. Investments must be made in rail transport and fast train connections must be built. The main railway line between Tampere and Helsinki needs to be renovated so that the travel time between the cities is closer to an hour. Public transport in larger cities must be developed so that more and more people living in the city can live without their own car. For those living outside dense urban areas, own car is a necessity, but it doesn’t have to be in the city.
Finland must be active in international connections. A small country cannot afford to be isolated. The Russian attack and the war in Ukraine have shown the weight and importance of the European Union to Finland as well. We would be in a terrible situation without membership of the Union. Finland must work actively in the union and support its unity. Europe must invest in its self-sufficiency and reduce its dependence on energy and raw materials from other countries, and especially from undemocratic states. Europe must invest in the green transition and new innovations in all areas. In the current security situation, Europe must also strengthen its own defense so that dependence on the United States decreases.
GROWTH FROM CITIES
In Finland, an active urban policy must be implemented so that the development and strengths of cities are supported. Finland needs strong and comfortable urban areas that can compete equally with European cities for talent and investments. In Finland, there must also be other growing and developing urban areas than the capital region. After social and health services have been transferred to the responsibility of the welfare regions, the municipalities’ state share system must be corrected to match the municipalities’ current tasks.