Sunday, 12 July 2009

Political Background of Finland

Finnish politics has largely enjoyed consensus and coalition governments.  Due to a multi-party system, no party has enough power to solely govern the country.  The coalition-style politics have given continuity and consistency on many fronts, including economics, education, and foreign policy.  For most part, the Center Party, formerly the Agrarian Party, and the Social Democrats have been the two leading parties in Finnish politics.  

Parliamentary elections are held every four years.  The 200-member Eduskunta has proportional representation.  Presidential elections occur every six years, and the president may only serve two consecutive terms.  

The 1919 Constitutional Act grants widespread power to the president.  The power of the president offsets the potential instability of the parliament.  When taking office, presidents renounce their political party affiliation in order to take precedence over any political skirmishes between the many political parties.  The president appoints the prime minister.  

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