Pirate Party Finland Elects New Board
The Finnish Pirate Party (Piraattipuolue) held their general assembly 2016 in Lahti, Finland on the 11th of June. The conference room was packed with 40 enthusiastic people, and about a dozen others attending online. The crowd had spent the last 12 months collecting 5.000 signatures for entering the official party registry of Finland. The Assembly took place only days after the party renewed its official status, resulting in a very competitive and competent attendance.
The general assembly agenda revolved mostly around electing a new board for the Finnish Pirate Party. The previous board had served a full 2-year term and took part in parliamentary elections of 2015, ending up with 0.8% of the total votes (+0.3%) and a general approval rating of 1.3% in 2016.
Undoubtedly, the most important election of the day was for the chair of the national party. Four candidates were running for the position. Most notably, the incumbent chairperson of the party (Tapani Karvinen) and the chair of Young Pirates of Finland (Jonna Purojärvi) ran in the election. The competition between these two candidates appeared to be quite fierce, as the first round of the election was a 15-15 tie. The second round was also a tight match, but it ended with a 22-20 resolution in favor of Purojärvi.
The vice-chairperson election saw an influx of diverse skill sets when seven runners announced their candidacy; among these were the incumbent general secretary Arto Lampila and party “Election king” Petrus Pennanen. They were both elected alongside Tapani Karvinen, resulting in a quite favourable geographic distribution of vice-chairs. Additionally, the assembly chose six regular board members and five vice-board members to complete the board with a variety of skills and experience.
Ahto Apajalahti, a past general secretary of the party, accurately worded the gestalt of the assembly.
“It is always nice to see real competition in board elections in organizations. It shows that the people running for the positions are taking the upcoming task very seriously.”
Even though the elections were challenging for the partakers, there were no instances of mudslinging. Instead, the runners received many appraisal speeches from the audience. Some candidates also wanted to celebrate and honor their fellow runners in the process. The final conclusion from the 2016 assembly is that the Finnish Pirate Party has received a new board forged in strong competition, resulting in firm—but cooperative—leadership for the party. These qualities are essential for winning seats in the upcoming community elections in 2017.
This is a guest post by Janne Paalijärvi.
He was the vice-chairperson of the previous
board and now re-elected as a board member.
Images: Hannu Mäkäräinen, CC-BY-SA 2.0
Featured image: CC-BY-SA, Pirate Times, Modified from original Hannu Mäkäräinen, CC-BY-SA 2.0
Members are interviewing the candidates for chair (in the middle of the picture, from left to right: Pekka Mustonen, Arto Lampila, Tapani Karvinen, Jonna Purojärvi) to help make their decision on elections. On the left corner Markku Brask and Ilari Tuominen are monitoring remote connections and relaying questions and comments from remote participants.