The Finnish municipal elections are just a few weeks away – I decided this year that I wanted to vote for someone young, with a website in English, and with a foreign background who will properly understand the challenges facing a modern Finland.
So I stumbled across this young guy, Francis “Frane” McCarron – He’s 29-years old, has a MA in politics from the University of Helsinki, and he’s half Finnish, half Irish. Oh, and he agreed to a little Q&A session, and he promised to lurk around the comments section over the next few days, so please feel free to shoot him a question or two..!
Frane, thanks for spending a little time with the readers of Finland for Thought! So, your name, “Francis McCarron” is about as Finnish as apple pie – what’s your story man?
Hey Phil, great to have this chat with you guys!
My story is a typical one: Irish man with jet black hair meets blond blue-eyed Finnish dream girl in Swinging London during the sixties.
The result of that, my sister Charissa and I. Finnish women, eh!
Dad has jet black hair, mom has blond hair, and you somehow have red hair – I bet I could guess the color of the Milkman’s hair. Looking at your website, you mention that you’ve studied in the states, Ireland, and Finland – maybe you could tell a bit more about your background, and why you got interested in politics…
That’s it Phil, as you mention there I’ve been around and have seen a good few things. I was born in Finland and brought up in a ‘finglish’ environment, waking up every Saturday to BBC World service on the radio. Our family was the first to have cable in our neighborhood, so I always felt a bit more aware of the world than my mates. Just that special feeling, you know?!
Anyway, when I got out of the army here in Finland, I definitely needed a brake from Finland. Well, Derry in Northern Ireland was the easy choice for me. I did my BA in International politics there on whatever time was left over from the craick!
During those years I got a chance to do stint in the US. My mate Paddy and I were offered a place in a historically black university – Tennessee state. I.e. 15000 African Americans and us….
Let’s just say, I definitely lost all my small town redneck manners! I do have to add that the American tour was brilliant! I had my 5,7litre V8 Buick, spring break at the Keys, and a challenging placement at UN with the Libyans. You couldn’t beat it with a stick.
I’ve always been active in different political organizations, but coming to Finland to do my Master’s in Global studies, as they call it these days, Helsinki University offered a brilliant chance for an enthusiastic politics buff.
Kokoomus/National coalition party offered an excellent platform to preach a bit of Anglo-American liberalism to an oddly red university crowd! Most definitely Kokoomus was the right choice for me. I’ve had the opportunity to run the Helsinki section of Tuhatkunta (student Kokoomus), the chance to take part in several nationwide campaigns at different universities and towns. I especially enjoyed the Niinistö presidential campaign, a definite eye opener!
The main thing here is Phil, that I enjoy people’s company. I love the debates, arguments and the great times you can have with good people. It’s all about us, the people!