A political movement that wants to change the way Finland does politics has officially become the country’s 18th political party.
Liike Nyt – which means Movement Now in Finnish – was confirmed as a fully formed party by the Ministry of Justice after submitting five thousand signatures which then went through a verification process.
The party currently has just one member of parliament, millionaire businessman turned reality TV show host and party founder Hjallis Harkimo. The party also has two representatives on Helsinki City Council, one of whom is Harkimo’s son.
Harkimo announced back in June that he wanted the organisation to become a proper political party.
He concluded the previous way of working, with a loose affiliation of independent candidates, wasn’t so effective in political and practical terms, and didn’t allow them to guarantee participation in media debates, for example.
“Establishing a party does not change the original purpose of the Movement, but is a form of legal organisation that gives the Movement more opportunities to act and influence the current political system” Liike Nyt wrote in a website post earlier this year.
How is Liike Nyt trying to be different?
The Liike Nyt concept was launched in 2018 by Harkimo after he quit the National Coalition Party.
Some prominent backers included ex-Social Democrat MP Mikael Jungner (a former managing director of public broadcaster Yle); and five other co-founders including TV host Tuomas Enbuske.
The idea was that their movement had no specific political affiliation, and didn’t intend to
become a political party in the first place.
Instead, the founders shared a mash-up of ideologies and a desire to buck the traditional way of doing political business by asking supporters and members of the public to discuss and vote on initiatives online.
“I would say we are like Airbnb. They are a hotel without hotel rooms. We are a party without members” Jungner told News Now Finland at the time of the launch.
“It is a forum where people can talk, interact, vote about different topics weekly and we have one MP in parliament who can look at the interaction and decide himself how he will vote.”
“But the point is not really the voting, it is the discussing and interacting. If you want to get the most out of the skills and knowledge of people, you must interact with people.”