Could you explain to our readers when you decided to become a politician?
When I was young, I couldn’t even imagine myself as a politician. I was over 30 years old already, when I came along. I got interested in politics because of the social problems I faced working as a doctor. I also began to think, in what kind of a society my children will grow up.

Did you have strong political beliefs during your youth?
I had strong ethical opinions about medical subjects. I took part in discussions concerning abortion, euthanasia and the value of human life.

Was the choice of becoming a “full time politician” difficult to make? Why?
The worst part of this change was that I had to leave my doctoral profession which I had enjoyd. The change was not so big to my family, because we live quite near the capital city, Helsinki, so that I can travel every day from home to work. The work in the parliament takes time, but so did the work in hospital, too.

If you had to describe your political convictions with 5 words…
Family, human value, justice, neighbourship, security.

How could you present the Christian Democratic party to our readers who don’t
know it?
The party is highly interested in making better the everyday life of families, elderly, handicapped and unemployed persons, and improving the health care system. We struggle to maintain our welfare state in this globalising world.
For example, we support free system of education, and we try to help small entrepreneurs to come into business. We consider human value immeasurable. The Christian Democratic party was founded in 1958.

As a member of the Parliament, what will be your priorities for the near future?
Since last spring I have been a member of Committee for the Future. That’s why I’ll concentrate on employment, national and international economy, and the problems of Finnish social security system.

What are the positive and negative aspects of being a politician?
Positive aspect is the possibility to influence on different matters, and to participate in the social conversation. This is also a great look-out spot, because we get much information and expert opinions about various subjects.
Negative aspects are the gap between goals and possibilities or resources, feeling insufficient and constant hurry.

Do you consider it as a profession or is it more than that?
First of all I think it’s a responsible position, because I represent a big group of Finnish voters.

If you had the possibility to totally change your profession. What would you
choose?
I would work again as a doctor or become a housewife.

Why do you think that in Europe people become less and less interested in
politics?
It’s a hard question, and to get the answear you probably have to examine the historical continuum and the change in western social life form. I think one reason is that the media is becoming more and more entertaining and people don’t have the energy to get excited of difficult and complicated political questions on your spare time. In fact, political questions are quite fascinating, if you only see the hard core in them. Usually they are about our every day life.
The truth is, that somebody always rules and leads the country, even if the majority of people wouldn’t care about politics. One might think, people don’t care because they are satisfied with prevailing circumstances. I think the opposite on grounds of the mails and letters I get from the citizens. People are very dissatisfied with some parts of the system, but yet they are not courageous enough to vote an alternative party.

What should be done to change this situation?
It’s important to really listen to people’s worries and problems when they contact you. If somebody listens to you and wants to change the world a better place to live, you get much more interested in voting and in politics. Otherwise people get frustrated and that seems to advance the interests of the powerful.

What are your professional or personal projects for the future?
I keep on totally concentrating on political questions. Personal projects are personal…