CHEATS!

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PS candidate seeks to buy votes in local elections.

The Board of Elections for the Tampere Region has reported a campaign advertisement to the local police for investigation on suspicion of electoral bribery.

The advertisement was placed in the local newspaper Nokian Uutiset on behalf of Rauno Hautamäki, a candidate for the anti-immigrant Perussuomalaiset party.

It promises that voters who take mobile phone pictures of their completed ballot papers and forward them as MMS messages to the number provided will be entered in a prize draw if the ballot bears the candidate’s number.

Voters receive their ballot papers on entering the polling station, where they complete them and drop them into the ballot box in person. This means that the requested photograph can only be taken in the polling station at the time of voting.

Electoral bribery is a criminal offence under section 2 of chapter 14 of the Finnish Penal Code.

  1. Mark

    Typical of the level of political naivety in THAT party!!!

    Good for a laugh, though. Be interesting to see if this will be taken seriously though, by the authorities.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      JD, in Savonlinna there is a PS candidate called Esko Kontio who wrote on Facebook that Jyrki Katainen should face a firing squad for high treason. His excuse was not the usual “satire” defence but that there is a big difference between words and actions.

      This is another example of the hostility of the PS and how some canddidates fuel hatred in Finland. Immigrants face this constantly, especially from many PS canddates who claim that words aren’t bullets.

  2. Farang

    Why do you have to blame the whole party based on actions of some individuals?

    Isn’t this exactly same thing what you so condemn when some people blame whole nationalities based on actions by some individuals?

  3. Mark

    Farang

    Here is your answer. People who happen to be born black, or white, or brown, or Somali or Iraqi belong to a group by circumstances of their birth in most cases. The people in those groupings have enormous diversity, with differing religious, cultural and political beliefs, such that you really cannot predict just from nationality, race, or even religious affiliation alone what a person’s beliefs, attitudes, or character actually are. That’s a common sense view that 95% of people would agree with.

    A person who is a member of a political party on the other hand belongs to that grouping by choice, and indeed, their membership is based on the idea that they DO share very specific beliefs and attitudes about how society should operate, with some variation of course. It is possible to predict with some accuracy what a person who belongs to a political party believes, on many issues, and to exptrapolate wider shared values too. This too is a common sense view shared I expect by 95% of people.

    It IS therefore quite rational to suggest that you can generalise to an extent about a group of people who specifically represent a party, especially as election candidates or elected officials.

    So that is the reason. Nothing to do with hypocrisy, as you seem to imply, and all to do with the fact a political party IS a club that seeks political power on the basis of specific values, beliefs, attitudes, prejudices and policy proposals.

    Can you equate national or racial identities with very specific party-based political identities? Not really.

    Can you try to reverse the racism argument to deflect all criticism made against a racist party? Well, you certainly do try, Farang! But it’s hogwash really.

    The two kinds of ‘group membership’ are really quite different, and the basis for the criticism is likewise very different.

  4. Farang

    Mark, your answer covers the difference between these groups, answering to the question “how the people become members of the certain group”.

    But that has nothing to do with defining the group based on actions by certain individuals. Even if they have voluntarily joined the group it doesn’t mean that every member of the group shares ALL the same values. Therefore you can’t claim that all members of PS are similar as one certain member of PS.

    There are convicted criminals in almost all the political parties in Finland, but still nobody is claiming that all these parties are criminal.

    • Mark

      Farang

      Mark, your answer covers the difference between these groups, answering to the question “how the people become members of the certain group”.

      That’s a fairly poor summary of my point to be honest. The point was not ‘how they became members’, but the nature of that membership. The ‘how’ tells you nothing, the question is ‘does their membership tell you anything about them?’.

      And on this, common sense should tell you, Farang, that belonging to an ethnic or national grouping makes it very difficult to predict what their views or attitudes are, hence the complete pointlessness of racism or bigotry as some kind of short-cut predictive tool for deciding what people are actually like.

      However, as far as you can predict attitudes and beliefs, then membership of a political party is certainly on the opposite end of the scale, simple because membership IS BASED on specific attitudes and beliefs that the members share, not by accident of birth, but by stated conviction. Do you not get this?

      But that has nothing to do with defining the group based on actions by certain individuals.

      OH, you wish! In this case, one councilman’s totally naive attempts to drum up support in a way that is completely illegal is representative of the naivety of PS political candidates in general.

      Having met several now during the course of these campaigns, it is a common theme that they have one-dimensional and limited understanding of a great many issues. In other words, whereas most people develop their political opinions on the back of established political ideas, like equality, or economic productivity, or even marxism or capitalism, the average PS candidate has a bag full of prejudices as the basis for their political activism. That’s the blunt truth.

      Now this isn’t true of everyone in the party, but it’s what I would call my impression of the general bar for PS candidates.

      There are convicted criminals in almost all the political parties in Finland, but still nobody is claiming that all these parties are criminal.

      This is true. Shame that you and many PS supporters/candidates don’t see fit to remember this when you’re busy slagging off ‘immigrant’ crime and using it as an excuse to exclude individuals belonging to ‘certain groups’.

      However, while all the parties have some dodgy characters, some have more than others. Likewise, some parties specifically attract the criminal type, and I would say that with the typical bag of authoritarian and grievance-based policies that PS put forward, they are likely to attract more than most.

      Likewise, when a significant number of PS individuals have now got criminal records specifically because they have tried to peddle hatred towards certain ethnic or religious groups, and that this antagonism is specifically codified in their political manifestos (e.g. Nueva vaalimanifesti), then you can start to draw direct connections between their political attitudes and POLICY rationales and the tendency to break or flout Finland’s legistation on discrimination.

      Therefore you can’t claim that all members of PS are similar as one certain member of PS.

      No you cannot, and I haven’t done that. But you again seem all too eager to forget that each individual political candidate REPRESENTS their party. You can only stretch this ‘they are individuals’ so far when it comes to people standing for election while representing a party. If they stood as independents, then it would be a different matter.

      It reflects on the party, both through the party’s response, and through the very specific characteristic policies of a party, which naturally attract certain kinds of people.

      You know, it is not accident that the Far Right have such a poor reputation. Only a very brief study of history would tell you that Far Right politics feeds divisiveness within societies and attract authoritarian and bigoted individuals.

  5. JusticeDemon

    We have discussed this before.

    The important difference is not in misconduct by party members, but in how the party reacts to such misconduct.

    This difference was made absolutely clear by two cases that came to public attention on Friday 26 October. The first concerned the electoral bribery attempt of the PS candidate noted in this article, while the second concerned homophobic remarks made on Wednesday by Centre Party candidate Risto Räty during a high school election panel debate in Turku.

    The reaction of the PS to misconduct by its candidate has been to seek to trivialise the offence and complain about the criminal investigation in the familiar Charlie Brown style. An interview with Mikko Nurmo, the Chairman of the Tampere PS, was reported in Friday’s Iltalehti as follows:

    What do you think of hinting in an election advertisement that a voter could win something?

    “Well, it’s just a fact that you always win by voting PS. Reporters have yet again got an awfully loud bee in their bonnet about the PS. I’m quite sure that similar cases occur in other parties,” Nurmo reponds.

    The offence was nevertheless reported by the Board of Elections. What do you think of that?

    “Let’s see how this turns out in the end. I do consider it rather amazing that this issue is being treated in such a manner.”

    A further Iltalehti report on Saturday indicates that PS party leader Timo Soini is similarly unconcerned:

    The party intends to take no action of any kind in this matter. That’s what the authorities are for

    The report also quotes Nurmo again:

    I think a person is innocent until proven guilty. In my view the matter does not seem as serious as the media are implying

    In contrast with the PS, the reaction of the Finnish Centre Party to the distasteful comments of its candidate was a swift and forceful condemnation. Local Chairman Matias Ollila immediately stressed that the views expressed were those of the candidate and not those of the party. The Centre Party Head Office in Helsinki also issued a communiqué strongly condemning the remarks made by Risto Räty, with party public relations chief Matti Mönttinen expressing profound regret in the following terms:

    The Finnish Centre Party is very annoyed and saddened at the offensive and ill-considered remarks made by Räty.

    We do not accept Räty’s assertions under any circumstances, nor do they represent the view of the Finnish Centre Party. We unequivocally condemn Räty’s remarks.

    The Finnish Centre Party does not accept improper treatment of people based on their skin colour, ancestry, disability, sexual orientation or any other corresponding factor.

    We require Räty to make a public apology.

    Obviously this is a model of the correct and proper way for a political party to express its disapproval of misconduct by a party member and election candidate.

    And all that PS can offer instead of this is Charlie Brown’s famous lament: Why’s everybody always pickin’ on me?

  6. Farang

    You got a fair point there. I didn’t know that even Soini had commented in that way. Shame.

    Glad we had this discussion today, before the elections. I still have chance to change the candidate I give my vote for.

  7. JusticeDemon

    Rauno Hautamäki received a total of 42 votes and secured the lowest alternate position for the PS on Nokia Council. He is therefore highly unlikely to serve as a local councillor.

    11 of those 42 votes were cast in advance, and were therefore not affected by the advertisement that was published on Friday. The remaining 31 votes were cast on the election day itself. It is not known whether any MMS messages were sent during polling hours to the unlisted phone number 040 245 8866.

    A total of 14789 votes were cast in the Nokia local election, of which the PS secured 12.8 per cent, corresponding to 7 seats on the council. The full election result may be viewed online here.

    A loss of up to 31 votes potentially gained by electoral bribery from the total of 1888 votes cast for the PS candidates would not appear to make any significant difference to the outcome of the election. On the assumption that these votes would otherwise all have gone to other parties, the PS share of the popular vote would have fallen to 12.6 per cent. Some other unsuccessful PS candidates may have cause to feel personally aggrieved that they might otherwise have secured the lowest alternate position for their party.

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