Christian Democrats (Finland)

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Christian Democrats
Finnish nameKristillisdemokraatit
Swedish nameKristdemokraterna
LeaderSari Essayah
Founded1958
HeadquartersKarjalankatu 2 C 7 krs.
FIN - 00520 HELSINKI
NewspaperKD-lehti
Student wingChristian Democratic Students of Finland[1]
Youth wingChristian Democratic Youth of Finland[2]
Women's wingChristian Democratic Women of Finland[3]
Membership (2019)10,750[4]
IdeologyChristian democracy[5][6]
Social conservatism[6][7]
Political positionCentre-right[7]
European affiliationEuropean People's Party
International affiliationCentrist Democrat International
ColoursBlue and orange
Parliament
5 / 200
European Parliament
0 / 13
Municipalities
314 / 8,999
Website
www.kristillisdemokraatit.fi

The Christian Democrats (Finnish: Kristillisdemokraatit, KD; Swedish: Kristdemokraterna) are a Christian-democratic political party in Finland.[5][6] The Christian Democrats have five seats in the Finnish Parliament. The party was represented in the Finnish government by Minister of Interior Päivi Räsänen from 22 June 2011 until 29 May 2015.

The party was founded in 1958, chiefly by the Christian faction of the National Coalition Party, as the Finnish Christian League (Suomen Kristillinen Liitto, SKL; Finlands Kristliga Förbund.) The party adopted its current name in 2001.

Ideology[edit]

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.[8]

The party has lost many of its members to bigger centre-right parties after 1990s, mainly to the National Coalition and Centre Party. KD MP Lyly Rajala and MEP Eija-Riitta Korhola defected to the National Coalition in 2003, and the former party secretary Annika Kokko moved to the National Coalition in 2007.

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.[9]

The party is a member of the European People's Party (EPP).

KD-lehti (English: CD News) is the party's weekly newspaper.

Politicians[edit]

List of party chairs[edit]

  • Olavi Päivänsalo (1958-1964)
  • Ahti Tele (1964-1967)
  • Eino Sares (1967-1970)
  • Olavi Majlander (1970-1973)
  • Raino Westerholm (1973-1982)
  • Esko Almgren (1982-1989)
  • Toimi Kankaanniemi (1989-1995)
  • Bjarne Kallis (1995-2004)
  • Päivi Räsänen (2004-2015)
  • Sari Essayah (2015–)

Current members of parliament[edit]

[10]

European Parliament[edit]

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 results[edit]

Parliament elections[edit]

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

Local council elections[edit]

Year Councillors Votes Share of 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 2.72%
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%

European parliamentary elections[edit]

Year MEPs Votes Share of votes
1996 0 63,134 2.8%
1999 1 29,637 2.4%
2004 0 70,845 4.3%
2009 1 69,467 4.2%
2014 0 90,586 5.2%
2019 0 89,204 4.9%

Presidential elections[edit]

Election year Candidate 1st round 2nd round
# of overall votes % of overall vote # of overall votes % of overall vote
1994 Toimi Kankaanniemi 31,453 1.0 (#9)
2006 Bjarne Kallis 61,483 2.0 (#6)
2012 Sari Essayah 75,744 2.5 (#8)
2018 Supported Sauli Niinistö 1,875,342 62.7 (#1)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Uusitalo, Suvi (23 October 2013). "Pääministeri: "Opiskelijaliike on kautta historiansa ollut yhteiskunnallisesti merkittävä uudistaja"". Verkkouutiset (in Finnish). Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Suomen Kristillisdemokraattiset (KD) Nuoret ry". kansalaisyhteiskunta.fi (in Finnish). Kansalaisfoorumi. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  3. ^ "Kristillisdemokraattiset Naiset". kansalaisyhteiskunta.fi (in Finnish). Kansalaisfoorumi. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  4. ^ Niemelä, Mikko (13 March 2019). "Perussuomalaisilla hurja tahti: "Jäseniä tulee ovista ja ikkunoista"". Retrieved 14 April 2019.
  5. ^ a b c "Our goals—Christian Democracy". Christian Democrats. Archived from the original on 9 December 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2009.
  6. ^ a b c Nordsieck, Wolfram (2019). "Finland". Parties and Elections in Europe.
  7. ^ a b "Finland's largest political parties". European Parliament Information. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  8. ^ Environment and Energy. Christian Democrats
  9. ^ Immigrants. Christian Democrats
  10. ^ "Candidates elected". Ministry of Justice. 22 April 2015. Retrieved 24 December 2015.

Further reading[edit]

  • 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.

External links[edit]