I still remember vividly right after the 2011 parliamentary elections, when the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* won 39 seats from 5 previously, that some weren’t worried by the result. “You’ll see,” one person said. “It’s only a matter of time when they implode.”
It’s clear after last month’s elections that the PS hasn’t imploded but become the second-biggest party in parliament after winning 38 seats.
What does the writing on the wall say? Can we read what it says? (Photo by Enrique Tessieri)
It is surprising to see after April’s elections how much some people’s attitudes towards the PS have changed. Some think that maybe this party isn’t that bad after all. Possibly in government we could see their popularity sink, some argue.
However you look at it, the PS in government will be a more dangerous and hostile party to our ever-growing culturally diverse society than when it was in the opposition.
Take a look at what different PS politicians have said in the past, the sentences they’ve got for ethnic agitation, and the party’s latest immigration program, which is considered racist by experts.
Do you think with the PS in power that racism will diminish in Finland during the next four years? Will life get easier for the most vulnerable migrant community members of our society who are struggling to get by? Will tough family reunification laws get tougher? Will it be easier for migrants and minorities to get jobs in this country and be treated as equal members of this society?
In my opinion you have to be naive if you think that matters will improve for migrants and minorities in Finland in the next four years, especially with the PS in power. The situation will get worse because we as a group still have too little political and economic power in this country. We count little. All we can do for now is to rely on sympathy.
We have seen the real face of the PS during the past four years in the opposition. Being white obfuscates and plays down the eminent danger.
I have dealt with the PS personally in Mikkeli, the city where I live. Forget ever debating with them about one of their pet topics, migration.
As far as they are concerned, some members of the PS can hurl insults, label and victimize migrants and minorities wholesale but when you disagree with their xenophobic views some get offended and won’t speak to you.
Matters are not going to get better if the PS are in government. On the contrary, they will get far worse especially for migrants and minorities since the message of the PS is a hostile one. And that hostility is what feeds their popularity.
If intolerance has survived in our society for decades and appears from the gutter every now and then when it comes up to breathe the foul air outside, do you honestly think that the new government will do anything significant to tackle such a social ill?
Today as a Finn I don’t feel proud of my country. It’s more of a feeling that I don’t want to be a part of this country that comes at you as microaggressions, hostility I see but you may not see on a daily basis directed at myself and to members of my fragmented community.
* The Finnish name of the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The names adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We therefore prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings.