Christian Democrats (Finland)

The Christian Democrats (Finnish: Suomen Kristillisdemokraatit, Swedish: Kristdemokraterna i Finland; KD) is a Christian-democratic political party in Finland.[4]

Christian Democrats
Kristillisdemokraatit
Swedish nameKristdemokraterna
LeaderSari Essayah
Secretary-GeneralElsi Juupaluoma
Founded6 May 1958 (1958-05-06)
Split fromNational Coalition Party
HeadquartersKarjalankatu 2 C 7 krs.
FI-00520 HELSINKI
NewspaperKD-Lehti
Think tankKompassi
Youth wingChristian Democratic Youth of Finland[1]
Women's wingChristian Democratic Women of Finland[2]
Membership (2019)10,750[3]
Ideology
Political positionCentre-right
European affiliationEuropean People's Party
Nordic affiliationCentre Group
Colors  Blue
  Light blue
  Orange
Parliament
5 / 200
European Parliament
0 / 13
Municipalities
314 / 8,999
County seats
57 / 1,379
Website
www.kd.fi
Sari Essayah, KD leader since 2015.

It was founded in May 1958, chiefly by the Christian faction of the National Coalition Party.[5][6] It entered parliament in 1970. The party leader since 28 August 2015 has been Sari Essayah.[7] The Christian Democrats have five seats in the Finnish Parliament. It is positioned on the centre-right on the political spectrum.[8]

The party name was for a long time abbreviated to SKL (standing for Suomen Kristillinen Liitto, Finlands Kristliga Förbund, Finnish Christian League), until 2001, when the party changed its name to the current Christian Democrats and its abbreviation to KD.The KD was a minor party in the centre-right coalition government led by Prime Minister Esko Aho between 1991 and 1994 and later a part of Rainbow coalition led by Jyrki Katainen and Alexander Stubb between 2011 and 2015. The party is a member of the European People's Party (EPP). KD-lehti (English: CD News) is the party's weekly newspaper.

HistoryEdit

When the Christian Democrats was founded in 1958, as the name Finnish Christian League, the communist-dominated Finnish People's Democratic League was polling about 25 per cent and became the largest parliamentary grouping. That, together with lax alcohol laws, salacious publications and assistance from the Norwegian KrF, sparked the Christian initiative.[9]

The 1960s were and 'incubation period', but there was a growing conviction of the need for parliamentary seats in the wake of liberal legislation. At the 'earthquake election' of 1970, after four years of Popular front government, the CD had a solitary Raino Westerholm elected. Westerholm was a party chair between 1973 and 1982. Westerholm polled a creditable 8.8 per cent at the 1978 presidential election. The modest 'Westerholm effect' was a backlash for long-serving Urho Kekkonen, who was backed by all of the larger parties.[10]

Party was a junior coalition partner in government from 1991 to 1995, when it occupied the development aid portfolio. It was a soft Eurospectic party and stressed the importance of the principle of subsidiarity in European affairs. After being renamed The Christian Democrats in 2001 it moved to a pro-European stance.[9] Bjarne Kallis, the party chairman between 1995 and 2004, was instrumental in the party's change of name and concern to attract a wider electorate, being able to draw votes from the Swedish People's Party and Finnish-speaking Conservative and Centre voters.[10]

At the 2003 general election, The Christian Democrats polled their highest vote of 5.3 %.[11]

English-speaking members of the party founded their own chapter in Helsinki in 2004. Its monthly meetings attract immigrants to participate in societal matters and the issues that are particularly important to them. In 2005, a Russian-speaking chapter was also founded in Helsinki.[12]

IdeologyEdit

The party describes itself as following the tenets of Christian democracy. It emphasizes "respect of human dignity, the importance of family and close communities, defending the weak, encouraging resourcefulness and individual and collective responsibility, not just for themselves but also for their neighbours and the rest of creation". Membership is open to everyone who agrees with these values and aims.[5] The party also claims to be committed to environmental protection.[13] It is also orientated towards socially conservative policies.[8]

PoliticiansEdit

 
1972 Finnish parliamentary election campaign event of Finnish Christian League at 1971.

Parliamentary election 1972 campaign event of Finnish Christian League at 1971.


List of party chairsEdit

First vice chairsEdit

Party secretaryEdit

Current members of parliamentEdit

[14]

European ParliamentEdit

Sari Essayah was the most recent MEP of the party; she was elected to the European Parliament in the 2009 election but failed to win re-election in 2014.

Election resultsEdit

Parliamentary electionsEdit

Election Votes % Seats +/- Government
1958 3,358 0.17
0 / 200
Extra-parliamentary
1966 10,646 0.45
0 / 200
  Extra-parliamentary
1970 28,228 1.40
1 / 200
  1 Opposition
1972 65,228 2.53
4 / 200
  3 Opposition
1975 90,599 3.29
9 / 200
  5 Opposition
1979 138,244 4.77
9 / 200
  Opposition
1983 90,410 3.03
3 / 200
  6 Opposition
1987 74,209 2.58
5 / 200
  2 Opposition
1991 83,151 3.05
8 / 200
  3 Coalition
1995 82,311 2.96
7 / 200
  1 Opposition
1999 111,835 4.17
10 / 200
  3 Opposition
2003 148,987 5.34
7 / 200
  3 Opposition
2007 134,643 4.86
7 / 200
  Opposition
2011 118,453 4.03
6 / 200
  1 Coalition
2015 105,134 3.54
5 / 200
  1 Opposition
2019 120,144 3.90
5 / 200
  Opposition

Municipal electionsEdit

Election Councillors Votes %
1972 134 49,877 2.0
1976 322 85,792 3.2
1980 333 100,800 3.7
1984 257 80,455 3.0
1988 273 71,614 2.7
1992 353 84,481 3.2
1996 353 75,494 3.2
2000 443 95,009 4.3
2004 392 94,666 4.0
2008 351 106,639 4.2
2012 300 93,257 3.7
2017 316 105,551 4.1
2021 311 88,259 3.6

European parliamentary electionsEdit

Election Votes % Seats +/–
1996 63,134 2.8
0 / 16
1999 29,637 2.4
1 / 16
  1
2004 70,845 4.3
0 / 14
  1
2009 69,467 4.2
1 / 13
  1
2014 90,586 5.2
0 / 13
  1
2019 89,204 4.9
0 / 13
 

Presidential electionsEdit

Indirect electionsEdit

Electoral college
Election Candidate Popular vote First ballot Second ballot Third ballot Results
Votes % Seats Votes % Votes % Votes %
1978 Raino Westerholm 215,244 8.8
24 / 300
24 / 300
8.8 (#2) Lost
1982 Raino Westerholm 59,885 1.9
0 / 300
0 / 300
1.9 (#7) Lost

Direct electionsEdit

Election Candidate 1st round 2nd round Result
Votes % Votes %
1994 Toimi Kankaanniemi 31,453 1.0 Lost
2006 Bjarne Kallis 61,483 2.0 Lost
2012 Sari Essayah 75,744 2.5 Lost
2018 Supported Sauli Niinistö 1,874,334 62.6 Won

LiteratureEdit

  • Erävalo, Esa (2018). Yhteinen hyvä. Johdatus kristillisdemokratiaan. Kompassi Think Tank. ISBN 978-952-7289-03-7.
  • Vakaumuksena välittäminen - Med hjärta i politiken. SKL 1958 / 2008 KD. KD-Mediat Oy. 2008. ISBN 978-952-67038-0-0.

Affiliated organisationsEdit

See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit

  • Freston, Paul (2004). Protestant Political Parties. A Global Survey. Ashgate. ISBN 0-7546-4062-0.
  • Madeley, John T.S. (2004). Steven Van Hecke; Emmanuel Gerard (eds.). Life at the Northern Margin: Christian Democracy in Scandinavia. Christian Democratic Parties in Europe Since the End of the Cold War. Leuven University Press. pp. 217–241. ISBN 90-5867-377-4.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Suomen Kristillisdemokraattiset (KD) Nuoret ry". kansalaisyhteiskunta.fi (in Finnish). Kansalaisfoorumi. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Kristillisdemokraattiset Naiset". kansalaisyhteiskunta.fi (in Finnish). Kansalaisfoorumi. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  3. ^ Niemelä, Mikko (13 March 2019). "Perussuomalaisilla hurja tahti: "Jäseniä tulee ovista ja ikkunoista"". Retrieved 14 April 2019.
  4. ^ Nordsieck, Wolfram (2019). "Finland". Parties and Elections in Europe.
  5. ^ a b "Our goals—Christian Democracy". Christian Democrats. Archived from the original on 9 December 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2009.
  6. ^ Nordsieck, Wolfram (2019). "Finland". Parties and Elections in Europe.
  7. ^ "Sari Essayah kristillisdemokraattien puheenjohtajaksi". 28 August 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Finland's largest political parties". European Parliament Information. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  9. ^ a b Freston P., (2004) Protestant Political Parties Aldershot (Ashgate), pp.42
  10. ^ a b Arter, D. (2009) Scandinavian Politics Today Manchester (Manchester University Press), pp.126-128
  11. ^ Arter, D. (2006) Democracy in Scandinavia (Manchester University Press), pp.187
  12. ^ Immigrants Archived 2011-06-10 at the Wayback Machine. Christian Democrats
  13. ^ Environment and Energy Archived 7 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine Christian Democrats
  14. ^ "Candidates elected". Ministry of Justice. 22 April 2015. Retrieved 24 December 2015.

External linksEdit