In English

Who is Lasse Miettinen?

I am 37 years old, I am Green and I am from Turku. Of the last two facts I am proud. I became involved in politics because I believe in the possibility of a different world. I chose the Greens because we believe that things can and should be changed. The world is not ready. We have little time and a lot of work to do.

I have been involved in building our party organisation for seven years. I started working at the party headquarters in the beginning of June 2004; first as organization secretary and later as organization manager.

I have been responsible for training, support, and guidance, organizational development, and setting up new services. I have worked as immediate superior of up to 15 employees. I have seen the diversity and the varied circumstances of Green activities in different parts of our country. I have observed how the one or two only active Greens in many localities are buried under a load of work.

For the last year I have been working in the frontlines of current politics.

I worked as Special Adviser for the Green Ministerial Group for nearly a year. I have coordinated the Green government policy, directed the weekly routines of the Green ministerial group, and led the team of our Ministers’ Special Advisers. My days have been filled with economic policy, taxation, the European crisis, the future of our municipalities, and the mist-shrouded reform of social and health services.

Since last October I have worked right in the middle of our environmental politics, as Special Adviser to the Minister of the Environment. I have witnessed firsthand the Talvivaara leakage and the justified rage of the inhabitants of Kainuu. I have attended the Doha Climate Change Conference and seen the hope for a swift breakthrough buried in the quicksand of international negotiation process.

I do not believe in miracle cures or conjuring tricks. I believe in persistent, patient working. I believe in changing the world bit by bit. That requires toil and trouble, perseverance, and belief in the goal – in the idea of a better world worth working for.

The years at the party headquarters have been educational.

I have gotten to know the most amazing group of fine people, fine, active Greens. I have been privileged to serve the Green community and work with the most inspiring, skilled people I know. The friendships forged along the journey are strong and important to me. With many of these friends, I have gone through times so difficult that few other things can weld people together more firmly.

I remember the excitement of the 2008 municipal elections where we achieved the best ever municipal or parliamentary election results in the history of our party. I remember the counting of votes at the European elections of 2009 and the elation when our two seats were confirmed. I remember the victories of the parliamentary elections of 2003 and 2007; victories that we may not have valued enough at the time, having expected even better results. I also remember the defeats – the difficult moments of the year 2004 and the most depressing time, the rock bottom year of 2011. Of course, I also remember how proud I felt to work with Heidi Hautala as well as Pekka Haavisto in their respective presidential election campaigns. All these experiences have taught me every detail of electoral campaigning.

After all this I have asked myself: Do I want to be our party secretary. I have often thought I might at some point be interested in the position. I have also considered that the crazy position of a party secretary – one third chief of the party headquarters, one third leader of the party organization, and one third a political trustee, – requires experience of the organization, experience of the party headquarters, and experience of the forefront of Green politics. At this time I do not believe anyone else is in better possession of these qualities than I am.

I have answered myself: Yes, I want to be our party secretary. I love the Green movement. I believe in the Green vision of a better world. It is my wish to advance this party as the party secretary.

Excerpts of the party secretary agenda

1) Promoting the Green agenda

As the party secretary for the Greens, I want to:
• Remind that we represent those who cannot represent themselves: nature, the future generations, the weakest of the society.
• Uphold the principle that social justice, nature’s intrinsic value, non-negotiable human rights, a global viewpoint, and everyone’s freedom to live and be happy in his or her own way are the foundation stones of our party’s policy.
• Insist that we always bear in mind the most urgent, current political agenda: adapting human actions to not exceed the limits of the planet.
• Demand that we have the courage to defend the right things even when it is not fashionable. For example, a feminist policy and humane discussion on immigration are needed right now.
• Promote political discussion where arguments from all sides are heard and good behaviour is upheld.
• Promote our agenda even between elections, one central theme at a time.

2) Involving everyone

As the party secretary for the Greens, I want to:
• Enable online participation.
• Create ways to enable participation in the party’s nationwide activities regardless of place of residence.
• Crowdsource projects to all members who have an interest.
• Create a ‘skill bank’ where our members can announce what they would be interested in doing for the party.
• Make room for volunteer teams and give them tools to execute projects for which the official party does not have resources.
• Ensure that we give more, and better, thanks to our active members. The Green volunteers work hard for us, on top of everything else in their lives. Hard work deserves appropriate thanks.

3) A stronger, more democratic party

As the party secretary for the Greens, I want to:
• Conduct surveys to investigate our members’ views on the most important items on the political agenda, and to ensure that the results of these surveys actually have an impact on the party.
• Give our members as good opportunities as possible to influence the party’s official stances.
• Conduct regular feedback surveys for the active members of our organizations and for our trustees, concerning the work and the services offered by the party headquarters.
• Set up new forums – on the web and outside of it – for discussions related to our party’s ideals.

4) Maintaining the ”machine”

As the party secretary for the Greens, I want to:
• Strengthen training and initiation. Every new Green trustee should be able to embark upon his or her new position better prepared than the predecessor.
• Create nationwide support networks for Green municipal trustees – especially for those who have no peer support in their own municipality.
• Assemble the existing training and initiation material into an easily accessible and reusable format; to found a ‘Green virtual academy.’
• Finally create an easily accessible material and ideas bank for sharing the best practices, ideas, and initiatives.
• Support the competence and welfare or our employees, particularly the regional employees who work alone, and assist our employees in developing their skills. Conduct regular surveys on well-being at work among our party’s employees.
• Ensure that training for good leadership is offered to anyone in the party who needs it.
• Support our small regional and municipal organizations by setting up new support services and by spreading know-how. We can also support each other outside our own local organizations. There is no reason not to relieve the burdens of the local organizations by delegating certain tasks, such as website maintenance, to a wider group of volunteers.
• Encourage us to keep questioning and changing the set ways of politics; we have come to change the political culture and there is no reason why we should not begin with ourselves. I would consider adopting a two-chairperson model, as many other Green parties in Europe have done.