Tytti Tuppurainen, Leadership candidate for the Social Democratic Party of Finland
“A moderate reformer at your service – We need to do better!”
We improve the credibility of the democratic decision-making
Social democracy has throughout its history rejected the rise of destructive extremism and offered people a credible vision of a better tomorrow and sensible social policy through moderate reforms. It is necessary to strengthen its power and capabilities right now, when extremist movements based on fear, hatred and ignorance are emerging in Europe and the rest of the world.
Social democracy has the responsibility to offer better policy to its citizens, which is based on scientific research and the belief that only democracy with the equality of people and involvement in the society can guarantee sustainable development. Decision-making must be transparent. Citizens must be provided with sufficient information on political decisions and they have to be provided proper channels for dialogue with policy makers.
We need more open global economy
Peace, sustainable development and the joint care of the planet require international cooperation to succeed. Social democracy is an international movement that has to promote unity and cooperation, especially now. The United Nations’ and other international organizations’ ability to exercise power and operate need to be strengthen and encouraged. We need to keep in mind that in the world superpower nations, Finland is more vulnerable than in the world of cooperation.
An active European policy is in Finland’s interest. The EU must be a strong player in foreign and security policy, as well as a defender of free trade and globalization. EU’s internal market, open world economy and free trade agreements are of vital importance to Finland, as our nation is greatly dependent on foreign export. Going back on globalization would be a disaster to the world’s poor. However, it is essential to ensure that trade rules are ethical and are of high standards. We need to adhere to the rules of working life, environmental standards and the protection of consumers’ rights.
Investments in education is the key to development and full citizenship
Social democracy is built on trust in people and the ability to work together to build a better world. Education and culture are the lifeblood of democracy and free and responsible citizenship. Culture is not an expenditure item, but an investment to the vitality and creativity of a nation.
Early childhood education is estimated to be the most effective education investment. Most importantly it will benefit children with challenging family circumstances. A complete subjective right to day care must be reinstated in Finland, and the goal should be a gradual transition to free early childhood education. The age of compulsory education has to be extended to 18 years, while ensuring that different types of learners have the right tools to education and to experience success.
In a truly equal civilized state, the people have the right to objective information. It is vital to safeguard free media.
Responsibility for the conditions of growth
Social democratic economic policy is built in a market economy. Every able-bodied must have the possibility to support themselves and prosper through their own work or entrepreneurship. The objective is a high rate of employment accordingly to the Nordic welfare model. Female employment needs to be further promoted. Long-term unemployment is combatted with determined employment policy, where the unemployed are not blamed for their situation and people’s ability to work is taken care of.
The state must create the conditions for growth. Essential elements in it are a stable platform for investments and the society’s predictable social infrastructure. The state can have an active ownership policy, but principally the business risks have to be carried by the private sector. The most lucrative investments for the state are skills and education, research and product development. A functioning infrastructure and taking care of public health are imperative for a state when we face times of slow growth.
Our society of cooperation needs to be valued and its continuity safeguarded.
Sociological and ecological sustainability are our lifeblood
Economic growth and prosperity are not sustainable unless our environmental survival is taken into account. Global environmental politics now face a new challenge: economic recession has led states to lean on more and more closed politics. However, environmental threats do not care about borders, so to contain them, we need further international cooperation.
The goal of Social Democracy is the welfare of people and nature. We do not need to choose between our own welfare and the welfare of nature, as both can be achieved through long-term policy based on knowledge and cooperation.