Habiba Ali Column: Let’s Vote For A Moral Leader

Habiba Ali is Social Democrat councilor from Espoo. She works with Finn Church Aid and was born in Somalia.

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Habiba Ali / Credit: @hbboali Twitter

This is my first column this year, and I hope you start 2018 like me with recharged batteries.

You might have noticed that we have a presidential election coming up!

Of course we all have known this for quite some time, but for different reasons, this might have been subdued in most of our awareness.

Maybe one of the reasons for not paying much attention to the election, could be that we all assume the outcome is already decided.

The sitting president is doing well in all the polls and his margin is significant, and there is not much likelihood for the elections to even go to the second round.

So in this regard, many people might think their vote does not make much difference. Does party matter in this situation, and what about personal values?

As a young Finnish citizen, having grown up with at least two very different cultures, trying to build bridges and working to prevent hate speech and hate crime, and always having felt obligated to prove myself to my surroundings through hard work and good performance, I think personal values matter very much.

As a mother I believe the attitudes of Finland’s leaders will make a difference to our children.

I would like to see a President who clearly stands for equality and human rights and who promotes good values as a role model and intervenes during moral crises.

A President who understands and promotes the diversity of Finnish society and who is the president of linguistic, cultural and ethnic minorities as well as for people of different orientation.

After all, diversity has been a strength for the country ever since before Finland gained independence. We should remember the recent history of Presidential elections where we had the choice between great moral leaders as Martti Ahtisaari and Elisabeth Rehn or where we eventually elected Tarja Halonen. 

Positive attitude and social cohesion can best be promoted from the position of a President. A leader with those qualities will be able to help shape the attitude the country needs to cope with future challenges, and to provide a safe and happy future to our children.

This will be a great foundation which we can all build upon and which will help to maintain Finland´s reputation as an ethical and moral leader in the world.

I for my part have made up my mind who I am going to vote for, a person who really is close to the people, and who puts people first. She gives everybody she meets the feeling that she is truly interested in them, and makes everybody feel part of this country. A true ambassador for humanity.

Whoever you decide to vote for, please remember that for our democracies sake, it is our duty to vote.

Your vote sends a message. Every vote matters. There is still time for advance voting and on the 28th of this month is the last voting day. So it’s time to get going.

Do you have a comment about Habiba’s column? Email columnists@newsnowfinland.fi