Now it's done! The people have elected a new parliament, and Kokoumus, which has become the largest party in terms of number of seats, is going to assemble a new government. The election uproar highlighted what all the different candidates emphasized in their campaigns, and which issues possibly resonated with the voters and will appear in the government program of the soon-to-be-formed government. There were more and more candidates who spoke in favor of culture, the closer we got to the voting day.
What should an art student think about this?
- Culture is a talked about topic, but of the goals, only the culture budget to one procent is widely known. Culture and art are too often seen as a separate issue from the rest of society, even though culture is the strongest foundation of our society in terms of mental and economic growth and public health
- The likely prime minister's party, the National Coalition, supports raising the culture budget to 1% from the state budget someday, but now is not the time. In the election program of the National Coalition, it is mentioned that, in addition to education, culture is not expected to be put under the funding cutter. In addition to this, the goals had been to strengthen the creative economy and increase cultural exports, for example by supporting the Creative Finland. The government program made with government partners will reveal how serious these election program goals will be.
- Students are campaigning for an increase in the level of student financial aid and soon we will know will it happen. In the current economic situation, students have to live with student loan conditions going rampant. For example, in a poll conducted by SYL and SAMOK to the parties, the National Coalition said they supported and Finns Party opposed the 100 euro level increase. The income limits for student allowance may rise though. Many people who have now been elected as members of the parliament have stated that with the current student income, they would work part-time. If this is to be encouraged, we would hope that the MPs would also think about the impacts it will have on graduation times.
- The therapy guarantee -motion received wide support during the elections. The mental health crisis of our generation needs solutions. Supporting YTHS is needed, but also because the challenges of a student's welfare have a big impact on mental health, the topic requires attention. The National Coalition's election program mentions the reform of the housing support system, which hopefully will continue to take into account the needs of students.
- Are we working in the field of art or part of the creative economy? The cultural policy discussion in the coming government term will affect how culture and art are talked about in our society. Where are we investing, where are we cutting from? How is artistic work seen, how is it valued? Artistic support and social security for artists are just as necessary topics as is the discussion of the broad concept of creative industries. In the coming term of the new government, art students could participate even more strongly in the social debate. The voice of art students is needed
- Olemmeko taidealalla vai osa luovaa taloutta? Kulttuuripoliittinen keskustelu tulevalla hallituskaudella vaikuttaa siihen, miten kulttuurista ja taiteesta puhutaan meidän yhteiskunnassamme. Mihin panostetaan, mistä leikataan? Miten taiteellinen työ nähdään, miten se arvotetaan? Taiteilijatuki, ja taiteen tekijöiden sosiaaliturva ovat yhtä tarpeellisia puheenaiheita, kuin keskustelu laajasta käsitteestä luovat alat. Tulevalla hallituskaudella taideopiskelijat voisivat olla entistä vahvemmin mukana yhteiskunnallisessa keskustelussa. Taideopiskelijoiden ääntä tarvitaan.
Those students studying in Helsinki are spread over a wide area. Voting was the most diligent in the Helsinki constituency as 77% of eligible voters went to the ballot box. The voting percentage of the entire country was 71.9%.
You can get some idea how the students voted when you look at student housing areas. In Otaniemi, where a huge number of students form Aalto University or nearby universities live, the most popular party was the National Coalition, and the Greens came second. Another student campus area to be mentioned is the large area of Hervanta in Tampere, where The SDP won over the National Coalition. Lapland, Turku and Lappeenranta also have their own student housing areas. In conclusion Students are a diverse group of voters, which also shows regional party popularity.
Text: Suvi Vendelin
Art- and culture policy specialist