Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

Finnish presidential elections

Finnish presidential elections

As soon as I start seeing those old-timey wooden frames start popping up around town, I know an election in Finland is imminent!

(Seriously, I love the wooden frames. In the US, we use disposable plastic signs on sticks. I would love to know more about the history of the wooden frames here - are they really so old-timey? Or are they a more recent effort toward sustainability? And whose garage do they get carted off to in the off-season?)


This year, it's the presidential election. Finland's presidential election follows the two-round format: there is a first round at the end of this month, and if someone gets enough votes (50%), that's it, they win. But if nobody gets more than 50%, the top two vote-getters move on to a second round two weeks later.

As you can see, there are at least eight major candidates from different parties running for president this year (I don't know why there's not a number one on the posters). I can name three off the top of my head, but I would have to look up the rest. What I like about this array of posters is that it looks like the line-up for some new television shows debuting this winter. Right?

Other interesting tidbits: Laura Huhtasaari, Finland's Sarah Palin, has a slogan of "Suomi takaisin," which we spent a long time last night as a family trying to pin down in English and came up with "Back to Finland," "Finland Again," and "Finland is Back."

Pekka Havisto is the first openly gay presidential candidate. He ran for president six years ago and lost... one of the other candidates you see here, Sauli Niinistö (the incumbent). Sauli Niinistö's wife, Jenni, is due to have their first baby next month after a few years of infertility issues, so these coming weeks must be so fraught for them. Niinistö was in Thailand when the 26 December 2004 tsunami hit and survived it by holding on to a utility pole. If he wins this election, which most people seem to think he will, it will be his second and last term (each term is six years).

Incidentally, based on these posters, Niinistö's television show looks like the one I would most likely watch (poster number eight). But we'll see who wins the election!

January 12th, outsourced

Where we live now (house tour, downstairs)

Where we live now (house tour, downstairs)