Demo Finland’s new Chair for 2022–2023 is MP Jouni Ovaska (Centre Party). Demo Finland’s Board is elected for two years and it has a rotating presidency. Ovaska was elected to the Parliament in 2019, and he is also a member of the City Council of Tampere.
“I wish to strengthen the future of multi-party co-operation from my part. On the other hand, I also want to highlight the impact of debate culture on the development of democracy”, says Ovaska. He also sees that Demo Finland has a role to play in raising awareness: “The value of democracy must be emphasised more strongly, but also the trends in democratic development globally. Understanding the current situation as well as trends is an effective way to reinforce positive developments.”
Democracy support has become even more important in recent years as the state of democracy in the world has deteriorated according to various reports. “In terms of democracy, we live in a worrying world”, says the new Chair. “Even in the Western countries, the rule of law, which is an essential part of democracy, has been openly challenged. At the same time, great power politics has made a comeback and respect for international organisations has declined. Reversing such developments requires action on our part. We must not give in to democratic recession. Democracy must be nurtured all over the world.”
Ovaska mentions multi-party co-operation as a good practice of Finnish democracy. It includes listening and appreciating others despite differences. On the other hand, says Ovaska, Finland could learn from others about voter turnout and citizen activism. “It is dangerous if only those with higher income and education vote actively. I also wish that different communities were more active and took part in political conversation.”
The 1. Vice-Chair of Demo Finland’s new Board is Secretary General Juhani Klemetti (Movement Now), and the 2. Vice-Chair is MP Saara-Sofia Sirén (National Coalition Party).
All Board members are listed here (opens in a new tab).