• Speech at EL Congress
  • Give the struggles of our times

  • Jussi Saramo | 07 Feb 20 | Posted under: Levá
  • When I joined the Left Alliance 20 years ago 13% of the Finnish people said that they could vote for the Left and almost all of them actually did it since in the elections we had 11 or even 12% of votes. Most of those voters were very old so it looked inevitable that the party would shrink and become marginalised.

    But we changed our rhetoric, deliberately, to address the people and society of this century. Because of this, the support of the party among young people went up. When I started it was only 2%, but now it is bigger than the general support.

    The biggest change has been in the vote intention: Initially, almost all the potential voters of Left Alliance voted for us while most of the people in the country hated us back then. But now, more than every third of Finnish citizens could vote and are thinking to vote for us, but for some reason they do not vote for us. Many of them do, but not enough.W

    We have done a lot of research in Finland but I think it is the same in most of Europe, there are people that share the same values as we do in the left but they do not vote for us because they do not believe that we are able to deliver, that we could change the society now immediately. Too many leftist people elect greens or social democrats because they think that those parties can make small changes to the everyday life immediately.

    The European left, and all of us, we have to offer concrete steps and a way out of financial capitalism. And we have to show that we can use the power always when we do have a chance to do it.

    Dear comrades, in the government of Finland now little bit surprisingly Left Alliance has been the solid reliable bedrock when the other parties have been tumbling. I believe that this is the only way to win the trust of the people.

    The extreme right wing has been growing a lot also in Finland in the past months. They do not have any answers to the problems but they have a very clear message. We in the left have a lot of answers, we have solutions but we have to work a lot to make our message more clear.

    The previous government of right-wing government started to change the Finnish postal system and they were trying to cut the already small salaries by 30% or even 60%. Two weeks ago we prevented it. Because of this, 9,000 people did not have cuts in their salaries and now thousands of families have a possibility to have a merry Christmas. It is hard to think more concrete actions than this.

    Of course all our parties are in different places and we have very different situations. But I think that the essential thing is to look forward and not to the past. We have to give the struggles of this century and not those of the last century.

    We have to reset Europe, but we also have to look at the mirror. We have to reset the European Left as well. We, the left, is needed more than ever in Europe. 

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