I voted for the first time in the 2012 Municipal Elections as I had turned 18 the previous year. When I talked with my parents, one of them said they voted for the Greens and the other for another party. Equality, environment, human rights. These themes of the Green Party attracted me. Before the polling day, however, I had a small political identity crisis. I wondered where my beliefs really came from. Would I vote for the Greens just because one of my parents votes for the party? Or is it because of the way I was raised to see the world? I went through the views of all the parties on their websites. Each party had at least some values that I could sympathize under some circumstances.
After this critical review, I followed my intuition and voted for a green candidate. After such an expedition, I was able to be even more confident: this feels like my political home. I had learned the importance of nature and the environment for the well-being from an early age. My family and I often went outside in the nearby forests of Eastern Finland and also hiked in Koli or Suomunjärvi every year in the summer. On our small sailboat called Minea, we headed to the nearby archipelago to camp. I felt this was all worth protecting.
As the first child, I was able to grow up quite freely without premade models. My father and I practiced boxing on pillows and climbing in trees was my very favourite pastime. In kindergarten, I didn’t understand what made house-keeping so interesting that children played it. I got a role-free upbringing - I got to grow into myself, which I would like others to experience as well.
When my sense of global justice awoke, it awoke big time. Perhaps also partly because we were partly protected from the big world as we grew up - the news was a program for adults, and politics wasn’t talked about in depth. By time, as the outside world influenced my inner world more and more, I realized how so many girls are held captive in their gender roles, whether it meant sitting kindly and quietly, early marriage, or constant underestimation of their abilities. While I was practicing math just for fun with my parents before going to bed, some girl had already heard too many times that girls don’t understand maths.
Through these experiences, I learned to appreciate the nature around us, equality, and unconditional human rights. The Greens are changing the world so that life on Earth can flourish. This is the underlying idea of the party’s new principle program and the title of its first paragraph. Science-based decision-making, taking marginalized groups into account, questioning unsustainable over-consumption, and building a free and open democracy are an integral part of my world view and what I believe is good. That is why the Greens are still my political home, nine years after I wrote the number of the first green candidate on the ballot paper. This time, you can also write my number on the ballot paper. Would you do that?