3 March 2021

Misuse of taxpayers´ money in Finland

I analyzed the visibility of Finnish political parties in the politically oriented programs of the Finnish National Broadcasting company Yleisradio (Yle), which is funded by taxpayers. The time line of my study started after the last general discussion of party leaders in January 28, 2021, and ended yesterday (March 3, 2021).

During this time period, the parties had their representatives in Yle´s political programs as follows. 

Social Democrats: 6 times
National Coalition Party: 5 times
Center Party: 3 times
Greens: 2 times
True Finns: 2 times
Left Alliance: 1 time
Other (minor) parties: 0 times

I also compared these numbers to the parties´ share of votes in the last elections of the National Parliament in 2019. And calculated the percentage of votes obtained by each party per the number of times the party obtained visibility in Yle programs. My hypothesis was that - as Yle is funded by taxpayers´ money - the visibility of each party should reflect their share of votes. 

Social Democrats had the highest visibility as their representative was invited to Yle for each of 2.95 percent of votes. The National Coalition Party needed 3.4 percent of votes to get their representative to Yle programs. The corresponding numbers for the Center Party and Greens were 4.6 and 5.75 percent, respectively. The Left Alliance had only one representative for their 8.2 percent share of votes.

Interestingly, the second popular party - and the most popular one in the opposition - had only one representative per 8.75 percent of votes. That suggests that this party is not among the favorites of the Yle staff. 

If we compare the figures given above between different parties it appears that the Social Democrats had a three time over-visibility compared to True Finns in relation to their share of votes, thus falsifying my hypothesis. It should also be noted that the timing of True Finns visibility was already in the early February, thus timely distant from the becoming municipal elections in April, and therefore minimizing the effect of the results of their results.

Based on above, it appears that the editorial staff of Yle has not understood their job as servants of all people living in Finland. Instead, they misuse taxpayers money to support political actors with similar ambitions as their own. This conclusion is supported also by the very similar distribution of visibility of political parties in a highly similar analysis I made in October 2019 (available only in Finnish).

Previous thoughts on the same topic:
Minister Maria Ohisalo panicked
Twitter account of an remarkable politician was locked

The original thought in Finnish:
Puolueiden kannatus ei vastaa niiden näkyvyyttä Ylen A-studiossa