A letter to Åbo Underrättelser: learning from Freiburg for better cycling


I wrote a little letter to the editors of Åbo Underrättelser concerning Turku / Åbos cycling policy. They translated it into Swedish (my swedish is not so god that I can do more then read the newspaper).

But here is the English original:

To the editors of Abo Underrättelser,,

In general there is a good cycling infrastructure in Abo – in my hometown Freiburg about 27% of all voyages are done by bike. We have achieved this through a variety of measures such as giving cyclists the first place in the queue at the traffic lights.
But for this we we have good solution: cyclists can pass the cars and wait in front of them.
This improves safety  for both drivers especially for trucks, as the chance of any person in a dead spot is reduced and it improves the feeling of safe cycling.
The costs are minimal: Painting the roads like this can be done when they are painted anyway and it usually reduces the space for cars by about 3 – 4 meters.

Yours Sebastian Müller


Most people from Freiburg probalby know that the picture was taken at the intersection of Eschholzstrasse and Lehenerstrasse.

Finland as projection space: this time guarnteed basic income

The official emoji for: „meanwhile in Finland“

When you live in Finland but are from Germany, you sometimes find articles about stuff that is supposedly going on in Finland. Most of these things are more or less surprising or even astonishing. We were used to Finland as the land of „magic education“, technological mobile phone wonders and so on. Now Finland has even caught up as the country of amazing social advances and German media report it is about to introduce a guaranteed basic income.

See for example one of Germany leading dailies, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung:

„Finnland 800 Euro Grundeinkommen – für jeden

Die finnische Regierung bereitet offenbar ein monatliches Grundeinkommen für jeden Erwachsenen vor. Sie hat damit vor allem eines im Sinn. 07.12.2015″ (more)

If you read the article you might think this is going to happen tomorrow. But if you dig deeper, then you find this explanation on the website of the Finish state social affairs office „Kela“:

„Experimental study on a universal basic income

A working group of researchers from a range of organisations under the project leadership of Kela is exploring ways in which to carry out an experimental study focusing on the implementation of a universal basic income scheme“ (more)


So the entire thing is an experiment. Right now they are doing research about different methods and modes that this might take (more or less studying books and previous studies..) Then in 2017 there might be an actual experiment in one municipality!

So people stay calm. The Finish Goverment might try this at some point in the future…

Meanwhile Bildblog has also started talking about this.


nice graphics on the Finnish parliamentry elections

Because there was only a shitty graphic on the German Wikipedia Article on the Finnish parliament elections I decided to do my own. Please feel free to use them when you need it. You may find more information about the Finnish Party System here. The original data is from Statistics Finnland, whose people are helpful but don’t seem to know their own website very well.


„nice graphics on the Finnish parliamentry elections“ weiterlesen

The Party System of Finnland

So we had to give this presentation of the finnish political party system. Something I found quite intresting.

For several causes:

  1. a presentation in Germany and France see to be to very diffrent things (and how both countries apporach to structure and prepare one as well).
  2. you can either choose a historical approach or a theemed approach (or as we did try to marry both of them)


But for the oversight slide: The Finnish Party System is competetive. There are currently 8 parties in parliament (excluding the Alands Coalition) in has been roughly this number for long time. There is no dominant party (example for a dominant party see Bavaria and the CSU). There are fairly elastic coaltion, even some coaltions that include Communists and Conservative Parties at the same time. The vote share of big parties is around 20 – 25%. If we use the Paul Lucardie Types most finish parties are either keepers of ideology or pragmatic power managers. There is some volaltility and high cooperation between parties.

The Parties that there are in the system are:


If you look at Stein Rokkans Theory of cleavage. Cleavages as big conflicts or fault lines of society. On this slide I clearl tried to give a representation of where which party is. (the green round flower modell in the country / periphery circle is the center party, te other the basic finns).

My professor and I are not about the same opinion where the Gree League belongs. Some of the German Literature (on the German Greens though) claims the Green Party is past cleavage modell other literature says there is new materiallist – post materialist value set and the Greens are on the post materialist value set part.

The Swedish Peopls party is liberal Party for swedish speking people and sorts of not reall representing any cleavage. Its formed aroudn „ethinic“ or linguistic lines.


More intresting, and unfortunatly we didn’t have time to show this slide. But its about the left right develoment of parties. It ist based on coding of the party programms. I think its quite an intresting project and with it you can research the development of many party systems, including the German.

What you can see for Finland is: the Party System was really most to the left in 1975 (the social democratic party beeing more left then the greens or the left league today! Even the NCP and Centre Party were much more left! With the Christian Democrats beeing an really right wing party.

Fast Forward that to 2003 and we notice a couple of things: All parties have drifted more to the right, except for the Christian Democrats. Most dramatic for National Coalition, which is now economically a really right wing party. And there seems to be hunge policy merging of the Ture Finns, Christian Democrats, Swedish Peopls Party and Centre Party. They all seem to be very close on the left ring specturm. One could ask if this is a neoliberal centre-right consensus.

Annotation: All calculations and the CMP-Code are based on Budge, Ian et al. 2001: Mapping Policy Preferences. Estimates for Parties, Elctors, and Governments 1945-1998. Oxford: OUP and

The graphic is from the German Wikipedia Article about Finish Politics, even statistic Finland didn’t have something like that.

Correspondingly is this graphic of the finish elections results through time. I looked for this for days and then it was on the german wikipedia.

„The Party System of Finnland“ weiterlesen

On the Finnish Local elections

(Yerevan / Freiburg) As the first reports of the results of the Finnish Municipal elections have reached me, some of them by Facebook, some by sms others by phone, it has become clear. Some amitious youth councilors, who ran can now be called councilors. My heartfelt congratulations for Henri Haaksiala,  Ilkka Sasi, and Jerry Träskelin.  Just to name a few.

I’m very glad for them, being in the city council of your home town is a great experience, I have never learned so much and had the ability to work with so many dedicated people as when I was in the city council of the city of Freiburg.

Others were not so lucky, the voters have choose to give them back their freedom. It is difficult in this system of elections, that often disadvantages against people who have not yet a name or a fancy job title to get elected.They can now return back to a normal life. From my personal experience I know that you also make a lot of scarifies when you are in the city council and try to do go work.

Why you should vote for youth councillors

I’m not a Finn. But I travelled that miraculous northern country for more than 10 times now. I’ve been to the Cities of Helsinki, Pori, Kuopio, Tampere, Turku, Rahe, Lahti, Jyväskylä and certainly a couple others I do not remember right now.

But in all my travels I have always met, politically active, motivated, bright and hard-working youth. They were all members of youth a youth councils or former members. Some even got involved in the umbrella organization of youth councils in Finnland, nuva ry.

Sini Korpinen
Sini Korpinen, has a very innovative political campaign

Now some of them like Santeri Lohi, Sini Korpinen, Jenni Similä, Sampsa Aslak Pietilä, Lauri Tarkiainen, Johanna Tahlo, Henri Haaksiala are running for city council.

As a foreigner I will not tell anyone how and what to vote, but I ask you to consider that people being involved in youth council work, have a lot of competencies that will help them with their further political work. Such as the ability to speak, insight into political matters, know-how on how to work with a public administration, endurance and many others.

Most likely they will have more knowledge and political skills then many adults. Also the inexperience argument can not be held against them.

Jugendgemeinderäte in Baden-Württemberg und Finnland

Nun das Werk ist vollbracht, ich habe meine Wissenschaftliche Hausarbeit (Umgangsprachlich Zula) fertig gemacht und zur Druckerei gebracht. Wer sich also für einen kompletten Überblick interessiert wie es nun so um Jugendgemeinderäte steht, der kann sie hier auch als PDF runterladen:


Vielen Dank an alle die mir in den vergangenen Monaten dabei geholfen haben.

from Salo its Nuva ry life

In Finish schools you take off your shoes when entering the building, so we had many visitors and many shoes
In Finish schools you take off your shoes when entering the building, so we had many visitors and many shoes

On the wekend the delegation from the Dachverband der Jugendgemeinderäte in Baden-Württemberg e.V. went to Salo to see our friends from nuva ry and find some new from Hackney youth council in the UK. Hackney is a borough (my indonesian friends would say: kampung) of London. All three groups gave presentations on their work.

I learned many interesting facts on the youth councils in booth countries from this presentations and I will include what I have learned in my thesis.

„from Salo its Nuva ry life“ weiterlesen