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The Political Class in Advanced DemocraciesA Comparative Handbook$
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Jens Borchert and Jürgen Zeiss

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199260362

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199260362.001.0001

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Finland: From Political Amateurs to Political Class

Finland: From Political Amateurs to Political Class

(p.107) 6 Finland: From Political Amateurs to Political Class
The Political Class in Advanced Democracies

Ilkka Ruostetsaari

Oxford University Press

In historical perspective, the history of Finland's political class is one of gradual growth. Parliamentary salaries and public party financing were established before 1967, thus laying the foundations for an increasing professionalization – qualitatively and quantitatively. It is now possible to distinguish an inner core of professional politicians, consisting of about 1,000 elected politicians, their assistants, party functionaries, and journalists, and a much more sizable outer fringe. Thus, despite an unfavourable preferential voting system, improving the individual candidates standing vis-\'e0-vis the party, a Finnish political class acting for itself has been firmly established – at the cost of a deepening chasm between this political class and its constituency.

Keywords:   cooperation, distrust, Finland, party financing, party press, political class, political training, power elite, preferential voting, semi-professionalization

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