By Enrique Tessieri
As the demonic rumors and stereotypes spread by Finland’s anti-immigration groups lose their appeal among voters, expect a new round of vicious attacks by them as the municipal election nears on October 28. The good news, however, is that using the usual crime statistics and racist arguments that gave some Perussuomalaiset (PS) candidates their ticket to parliament in the April 2011 election will be a hard sell in October.
One of the main reasons is the PS itself, which has given us a good taste of what kind of a party it is thanks to the numerous scandals that have rocked it. Voters are wiser today about the PS than they were on April 17.
Another important reasons is Anders Breivik, who shocked Norway and the world with his outlandish mass killings on July 22. All parties in the Nordic region that are anti-EU, anti-immigration and especially anti-Islam suffered as a result significant losses in recent elections and in the polls.
Racism is like an ogre that you cannot control once you let it out of the cage and give it an opportunity to flood society with hate. It can bite back, and hard, as we saw when Breivik went on his mass-killing rampage.
On a much wider scale racism can as well lead to wars and conflicts as it has in the past, according to the U.N.
“Racism and racial discrimination have been used as weapons to engender fear and hatred,” said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his message marking this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. “Racism undermines peace, security, justice and social progress.”
Another reason why extremist and populist anti-immigration politicians will have a difficult time selling their message in the municipal election is because it is utter baloney based on exaggerated fiction. The media, some politicians and the general public have learned after close to one year of watching PS shenanigans in Parliament the distinction between fact and populist fiction.
Jussi K. Niemelä, a writer and editor of the Vallan vahtikoira blog, told Migrant Tales that the PS has the highest number of convicted criminals among their ranks when compared with other political parties. Many of their MPs are members of the far-right Suomen Sisu association.
Niemelä has been threatened by two PS members for his critical stance against the party. The police are presently investigating the matter.
More and more Finns understand racism, like hate, is a serious threat to our society.