100 years of Parliament

Today marks 100 years since the first session of the Finnish Parliament. In honor of this veritable institution, I've compiled a list of every party that has been represented in the Parliament. The years indicate the elections in which the parties received seats. The translation in parentheses are literal and don't necessarily correspond with the official translations I've used elsewhere on the blog. When a party has disbanded and another party has been founded in its place, I've marked the different incarnations in separate entries.

Suomen Sosialidemokraattinen Puolue 1907-... (Finland's Social Democratic Party): One of three parties that have been represented from the start, the Social Democrats have more often than not been the single biggest party in the country.

Maalaisliitto 1907-1966 (Rural League) a.k.a. Keskustapuolue 1970-1987 (Centre Party) a.k.a. Suomen Keskusta 1991-... (Finland's Centre): Where agrarian parties in other countries have fallen on hard times, the Centre has grown from humble origins to become this decade's biggest party.

Ruotsalainen Kansanpuolue 1907-... (Swedish People's Party): They must be doing something right to retain the support of a large majority of Swedish-speaking Finns for 100 years.

Nuorsuomalainen Puolue 1907-1917 (Young Finnish Party): The brasher of the two major Fennoman parties suffered from division, but was central to the constitutional struggle that defined the pre-independence 20th century.

Suomalainen Puolue 1907-1917 (Finnish Party): You got to admit that it was a truly inspired name for a party.

Kristillinen Työväenliitto 1907-1911, 1916, 1919 (Christian Workers' League): Social democrats who believed in God, basically.

Kansanpuolue 1917 (People's Party): The first of several small parties with a similar name, this one was founded to bring Fennomans of all stripes together. It failed.

Kansallinen Kokoomuspuolue 1919-1948 (National Coalition Party) a.k.a. Kansallinen Kokoomus 1951-... (National Coalition): From conservative monarchists to free market enthusiasts, the Coalition has defined the mainstream right in Finnish politics.

Kansallinen Edistyspuolue 1919-1948 (National Progress Party): This liberal party punched far above its weight for most of its existence.

Suomen Työväen Keskusvaalikomitea 1922 (Finland's Workers' Central Election Committee) a.k.a. Sosialistinen Työväen ja Pienviljelijäin Vaaliliitto 1924-1929 (Socialist Workers' and Small Farmers' Election Alliance): Hey, it's the Communists!

Ruotsalainen Vasemmisto 1930, 1945 (Swedish Left): Despite the name, this was a centre-right party formed by republicans from the mostly monarchist Swedish People's Party.

Suomen Pienviljelijäin Puolue 1930-1936 (Finland's Small Farmers' Party): Economic woes in the early 1930s gave birth to a number of new parties, including this would-be rival to the Agrarian League.

Isänmaallinen Kansanliike 1933-1939 (Patriotic People's Movement): Homegrown fascists who continued where the Lapua Movement left off.

Kansanpuolue 1933-1936 (People's Party): This iteration was a peasants' protest party.

Pienviljelijäin ja Maalaiskansan Puolue 1939 (Small Farmers' and Rural People's Party): Yep, this is yet another peasants' protest party.

Suomen Kansan Demokraattinen Liitto 1945-1987 (Finland's People's Democratic League): Hey, it's the Communists again! This time around there was no banning them, thanks to help from the Soviet Union.

Ålands samling 1948- (Åland's Coalition): Behind the name, Åland actually has a left-wing party and a right-wing party.

Suomen Kansanpuolue 1951-1962 (Finland's People's Party): The less successful successor of the Progressives was basically a slightly more liberal version of the Coalition.

Sosialidemokraattinen Oppositio 1958 (Social Democratic Opposition): Social democrats who liked Communists better than Social Democrats.

Työväen ja Pienviljelijäin Sosialidemokraattinen Liitto 1962-1966 (Workers' and Small Farmers' Social Democratic League): This small group of socialists was mostly in league with the People's Democratic League.

Vapaamielisten Liitto 1962 (Free-mindeds' League): For the people for whom the People's Party wasn't libertarian enough, this party's only MP was Erkki Tuomioja's father Sakari Tuomioja.

Suomen Pientalonpoikien Puolue 1966 (Finland's Small Farmers' Party) a.k.a. Suomen Maaseudun Puolue 1970-1995 (Finland's Rural Party): These populists represented the "forgotten people" and berated corrupt officials.

Liberaalinen Kansanpuolue 1966-1983, 1991 (Liberal People's Party): The result of a merger between the People's Party and the Free-mindeds' League, this was yet another liberal party that didn't garner much support.

Suomen Kristillinen Liitto 1970-1999 (Finland's Christian League) a.k.a. Suomen Kristillisdemokraatit 2003-... (Finland's Christian Democrats): If you think abortion and homosexuality are sins, these guys have got your back.

Perustuslaillinen Kansanpuolue 1975 (Constitutional People's Party) a.k.a. Perustuslaillinen Oikeistopuolue 1983 (Constitutional Right-wing Party): Former Coalitionists who were particularly disgusted by Finlandization.

Suomen Kansan Yhtenäisyyden Puolue 1975 (Finland's People's Unity Party): The majority of the Rural Party MPs got fed up with its leader and eloped to form this short-lived party.

Vihreät Yhteislistat 1983 (Green Common Lists) a.k.a. Vihreä Liitto 1987-... (Green League): Socially liberal environmentalists, is the general idea.

Demokraattinen Vaihtoehto 1987 (Democratic Alternative): This party wasn't democratic nor much of an alternative, but hardline Communists instead.

Vasemmistoliitto 1991-... (Left League): When the Soviet Union collapsed, Communists became democratic socialists. Hey, it's a clear improvement.

Ekologinen Puolue Vihreät 1995 (Ecological Party Greens): Pertti "Veltto" Virtanen - rock star, psychologist, beret-wearer, MP - take a bow.

Nuorsuomalainen Puolue 1995 (Young Finnish Party): Not to be confused with the original, this free market liberal party was founded in response to the early 1990s recession.

Perussuomalaiset 1999-... (True Finns): The successor of the Rural Party has developed in a more urban, though still resolutely populist direction.

Remonttiryhmä 1999 (Renovation Group): Risto Kuisma left the Social Democrats for the Young Finns and then moved on to his own centre-right party.

Looking at the list, I realized that if we make it to 2011 without an election, we'll have gone longer than ever before without a new party gaining representation. Is that a good or a bad thing?

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