I was born in Pyhtää, Finland, in 1964, and I have a Ph.D. in Engineering from the Helsinki University of Technology, where I worked as a research scientist until 2003, when I was elected to the Parliament.
I stumbled into politics in 1994. I had been observing the Finnish society for a long time and I did not like what I was seeing. I was whining about the stupidity of Finnish politicians, but I did not have any alternatives to offer. Finally I had to choose: Either I shut up or I put my money where my mouth is.
Originally, in 1994, I got involved with the people founding the new Young Finns Party. In the 1996 municipal elections I got elected to the Espoo city council, but three years later, the short story of the Young Finns Party was over, and I had to find a new political home.
The choice was easy, as I had already collaborated with the Greens in many issues. We were united by liberal values, tolerance and pluralism. The thing I cannot tolerate is intolerance.
We also share the worry for local and global environment. As a scientist I understand what the statistics tell about the state of our planet. At the bottom of the Baltic Sea, there is the largest desert in Europe due to lack of oxygen caused by nutrient overload. Global warming is melting the Greenland glacier and arctic permafrost, which is disturbing the Atlantic Golf stream. If it stops, the average temperatures in Finland are going to cool by seven degrees.
I am a hopeless romantic. I want to make the world a better place, to question the obvious, to bring new thoughts into political debate, particularly on issues where I have such knowledge or perspective that the others do not necessarily have. My particular areas of interest include information society, quality of work life, university policies, entrepreneurship and equality and tolerance.
Information society: What will it be like to live in the Finnish information society? As forerunners we cannot learn from the mistakes of other nations. How are we going to gap the digital divide? How are we going to secure privacy but stop Internet crime? How are we going to fit together freedom of speech and intellectual property rights?
Work life: Finns are not feeling well at work. Disability retirement is the most common reason to leave work life, and mental disorders have become one of the most common reasons for an early retirement. Universities: Finnish children excel in international Pisa-studies, but our universities fare much worse in international comparisons. We must ensure our universities sufficient resources for first-rate teaching and study guidance. Our students have to be able to study on a full day basis without working during semesters or support from their parents.
Entrepreneurship: It is entrepreneurs who create new jobs. If we want to tackle our unemployment, we must stop disdaining them. For example, entrepreneurs deserve as good unemployment benefits and sickness per diems as the rest of us.
Internet politician 1.0
In the web, campaign budgets do not decide elections. The Internet is going to become the greatest upheaval of Finnish democracy since female vote in 1907. In the web, candidates' thoughts will be more important than the generosity of their sponsors.
In the 2003 parliamentary elections my net based campaign was the cheapest of those who were elected: 6500 euros. This was only eight years after I conducted the first Internet campaign in Finland in 1995, when there were only a little over 100.000 Internet users in the whole nation.
I believe in: - Equality of possibilities - Unity of freedom and responsibility - Democracy - Civil society - Pluralism - Tolerance.
Jyrki, if I were a Finn, I'd vote for you! Actually, I do hope to be a Finn someday. I visited Finland last summer and love it. You have good ideas for the future; I only wish my own country thought so much about the future.
Julie in USA (9.3.2007 18.38)
Lisää kommentti if it were not for this slight phrase my myspace would not be so original !!!!!! woot go the greens ftw
Lol (9.3.2007 20.41)
My very best wishes to you but I do take exception to one thing you said, "The thing I cannot tolerate is intolerance." I am a practicing Buddhist and rather than react to intolerance with intolerance (two wrongs do not make a right), I personally would simply highlight the intolerance of others while simultaneously hoping that their attitudes would change. Please do not become a Klingon yourself; becoming a Spock-like Vulcan might be more your style. :-) Thank you.
Bill in California, USA (10.3.2007 20.40)
Green and a Trekkie! I would definitely vote for you if I could! Keep up the good environmental work and Live Long and Prosper!
Good Luck with your election.
Gigi from the USA
Gigi (11.3.2007 18.47)
I really hope that you will continue in your effort to realise your dreams as a hopeless romantic.. after all, if we don't, then we'll never reach the world peace and unity you can see in startrek. Although at that time it's more about world vs world then nation vs nation or even race vs race. So. I wish you good luck with all your endeavors. To anybody who thinks politics and startrek shouldn't be mixed, I'd say 'up your shaft and double dumbass on you!'
Deborah in the Netherlands (11.3.2007 20.17)
Amazin how politics and TV shows can bring light into countries' problems and sometimes solutions to them. Good luck in your elections, and Live long and Prosper!
Mario in Puerto Rico (11.3.2007 22.13)
I know it's not nearly as impressive as getting on CNN, but we added you to our Geek culture blog: http://www.thegeekbeat.com/home/finnish- politician-seeks-klingon-vote/
Thanks for reminding us that politics don't have to be Evil!
The Geek Beat (11.3.2007 23.18)
Thank you for showing us that politicians aren't all huge bores who are too serious for their own good or too corny in their attempts to lure voters... Good luck in the elections... Elections are right around the corner in my country right now, actually. If I vote for you here, do you think it would count there? =)
Fay Gloria in the Philippines (12.3.2007 02.21)
If you cannot tolerate intolerance, are you intolerant? I'm not kidding. If one stands for tolerance, than one must tolerate intolerance or else be a hypocrite.
But I think it's cool that you have a translation in Klingon on your website.
Sue from the USA (12.3.2007 03.45)
Could do with a few more people like you down here. keep up yhe good work :).
Bob in Perth Australia. (12.3.2007 05.21)
Good on ya! Wish I was a finn, would vote for you in a heartbeat,and remember "Time takes all....but memories
Nick from Sweden (12.3.2007 12.41)
Just to play devil's advocate here, is it possible that everyone jumping on the "not tolerating intolerance" phrase is a reaction to a translation issue? The wording may have been different in his first language.
Otherwise, huzzah for liberal trekkies, in whatever country they may be in. :)
CB in USA (12.3.2007 17.48)
March 12, 2007
Mr. Kasvi: I read with interest your goals, and deep recognition of societal pitfalls. And, looked carefully at what you believe must be done to "correct" the international ennui of global failures.
Your sense of humor is a definite plus, as well as your personal obligation-driven desire to make a difference on this planet... starting at home, and creating concentric circles from you to the rest of the world.
My late grandmother was a Finn: Hilja Wiitala, who traveled from Helsinki to New York City via cattle boat in the early 1900s... she gave me many gifts of hard work married to conscientious applications of honesty, morality and patience.
You seem to embody those very strengths... and I personally wish you well.
Asheville, North Carolina, U.S.A.
bobbie_kalbaugh@Yahoo.com (12.3.2007 18.00)
Best wished for your political career! The world needs more folks like you in government. AND you are the first politician I know of to wear a Bette Paige T-shirt!
Dave Hall, Spokane, Washington (the other Washington) (12.3.2007 18.42)
Jyrki, What a cool idea to have a Klingon translation on your web page! If I were a Finn, instead of a Dutchie in the USA, I would vote for you! I wish you much success in your campaign.
Jantje in USA (12.3.2007 21.29)
I would like to offer you the best wishes in your political aspirations of my friends and I from Wollongong, Australia. We are impressed by your ethical stances on environmental and social issues, and also by the fact that you have translated your website into a alien dialect.
Daniel- Wollongong, Australia (12.3.2007 22.22)
Dude - you are entirely too sensitive to be a KLINGON. Where's the old 'Any day is a good day to die' attitude? let's go choke a targ for fun! (best wishes)
Brian in Kansas, USA (12.3.2007 22.31)
Make it so
jovis (12.3.2007 22.57)
Best of wishes and luck to you.
I raelly wish I could vote for you over here! *sighs*
I hope you continue to make strides to help our enviornment.
Kat in USA (12.3.2007 23.00)
In my experience you Klingon chappies only ever want to fight and otherwise wreck the joint! It's unlikely therefore that you are 100% Klingon.