The work of Demo Finland is based on a resolution made by the Finnish government in 2004, according to which “Respect for human rights, promotion of gender and social equality, democracy, good governance and sound economic management are essential cornerstones of development. […] Improving the circumstances for well-functioning parliaments and party systems to function in developing countries lays the foundation for the development and consolidation of democracy. The government is examining the prospects for making better use of the experience and participation of Finnish MPs and political parties.”
The basis of Demo Finland’s work is the importance of democracy to development, as well as the importance of functional and responsible political parties to democracy. Demo Finland supports Finland’s development goals by bringing the input of political parties into the Finnish development cooperation. Political parties have a key role in supporting a functional democracy.
Parties are necessary to a pluralistic democratic system. Despite the criticism parties face, nothing else could take on all the varied tasks vital to society. Parties form the parliament and the government, parties are the channel through which the political will of citizens is guided into political decision-making, and parties give citizens a chance to take part in politics.
A true representational democracy needs functional and responsible parties. Democracy cannot be exported, but it can and must be supported, because a multi-party system is a way towards a society that’s stable and that respects all human rights.