Finland: From Political Amateurs to Political Class

Ilkka Ruostetsaari

in The Political Class in Advanced Democracies

Published in print December 2003 | ISBN: 9780199260362
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191601873 | DOI:
 Finland: From Political Amateurs to Political Class

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In historical perspective, the history of Finland's political class is one of gradual growth. Parliamentary salaries and public party financing were established before 1967, thus laying the foundations for an increasing professionalization – qualitatively and quantitatively. It is now possible to distinguish an inner core of professional politicians, consisting of about 1,000 elected politicians, their assistants, party functionaries, and journalists, and a much more sizable outer fringe. Thus, despite an unfavourable preferential voting system, improving the individual candidates standing vis-\'e0-vis the party, a Finnish political class acting for itself has been firmly established – at the cost of a deepening chasm between this political class and its constituency.

Keywords: cooperation; distrust; Finland; party financing; party press; political class; political training; power elite; preferential voting; semi-professionalization

Chapter.  8351 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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