Homophobic Finland? Thank the Perussuomalaiset

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Some weren’t too worried when the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* won their historic parliamentary election victory in 2011 by raising the number of MPs to 39 from 5. “They’ll implode like the Rural Party did in the 1970s,” and “This is only a passing [political] fad” was what one heard. 

One matter is clear after almost four years of bitter-tasting PS politicking: Attitudes towards migrants, minorities like gays has stiffened; such attitudes have made Finland ever-intolerant and thereby less attractive to skilled migrants and foreign investment.

It’s clear that if the PS ever get into government, they would spearhead and breathe new life in this country to the conservative economic policies of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, who brought us mass unemployment and exacerbated social and economic inequality.

One of the best examples of hardening attitudes in Finland – thanks to the PS – is against gays and the long and winding road of approving same-sex marriage is a good example.

Näyttökuva 2014-11-23 kello 10.07.13
One of the most outspoken voices against same-sex marriage is the Perussuomalaiset party. Read full story here.

 

It’s clear that if the PS wouldn’t have won in 2011, same-sex marriage would have already been legal in this country.

Taking into account that recent polls show the Center Party to be the clear favorite to win the next parliamentary elections in April and the party’s voting record, Friday’s parliamentary vote for or against same-sex marriage will be the last for a very long time.

The PS has tried to pull many fast ones on the public. One of these was a recent claim that migration costs Finland near-2 billion euros. While such claims were conjured by the PS for obvious reasons, has anyone asked how much the populist party has cost Finland in the way of lost skilled migrants, jobs, opportunities and investment?

Finland has a problem: It’s population is aging and we need skilled migrants to fill the gap as well as new jobs. Why would any person in his right mind move to a country that is suspicious of migrants and foreign investment?

One problem with racism and ethnocentrism is that it distorts reality.

The Finnish name for 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.

  1. Yossie

    “Homophobic Finland? Thank the Perussuomalaiset.”

    Excuse me? This pretty much proves your Perussuomalaisetphobia and hate for them. Now tell me how exactly opposition party of 39 members can exactly stop ruling parties to pass the bill? Stop putting all the blame of PS.

    “It’s clear that if the PS ever get into government, they would spearhead and breathe new life in this country to the conservative economic policies of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, who brought us mass unemployment and exacerbated social and economic inequality.”

    Is this once again your own prejudice talking? Have you even bothered to check their economic stances? If anything, PS economic policies are rather leftist.

    • AudreLorde

      That’s precisely what right wing parties in Europe are doing these days. Pushing leftist economic manifestos while holding onto regressive social beliefs about LGBTQI issues, women and so on. The PS thinks it’s special and new. It isn’t. It’s doing what others are doing across Europe to pull the wool over the electorate’s eyes. It’s how right wing parties are gaining credibility in mainstream politics. Through the back door.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Hi AudreLorde, the PS is copying what other far-right parties are saying in Europe. The latest example is Timo Soini’s use of the “cultural marxist.”

      The PS claims to be a nationalist party but all their rhetoric is copied from other far right parties in other countries.

    • Mark

      This is quite true. This seeming ‘adoption’ of the oppositions clothes has been a mainstream political tactic forever.

      When the greens started to gain public support in the 1980s, all the political parties stopped calling them environmental loonies and started to become ‘green’, at least superficially.

      The Labour Party in the UK adopted a more ‘thrifty’ economic policy after having been defeated three times by the Tories in the 1980s and 1990s in the UK.

      Then came Bush and his ‘compassionate conservatism’ in his Texas governorship and later presidency, which in turn was adopted by the UK right wing as Cameron’s compassionate conservatism, following years of the Tories being in the political wilderness.

      And now that anti-immigration sentiment has political currency once again in the UK, the Tories, (and even Labour) have ‘toughened’ their stance towards immigration, again, rather superficially, blaming rather the ‘outsiders’ at the EU, even though the large influx of recent EU immigrants has had a very positive impact on the UK economy in the last decade, a fact they well know.

      It always amazes me how poorer people can be persuaded to vote for a party that actively work’s against their interests, i.e. anti-minimum wage, anti-collective bargaining, anti-gender equality, anti-taxation of those that can afford it.

      Clearly, appealing to their sense of grievance while directing it away from real issues of inequality is the way ahead.

      • make it about the immigrants, so talk about an erosion of ‘national identity’ at the expense of the much broader and more inclusive debate about universal human rights;
      • make it an issue of law and order (always a strong card for an authoritarian government), while pushing further and further a ‘surveillance’ society that infringes on the basic freedoms of individuals;
      • make it about ‘defending’ women even while you work to keep the glass ceiling intact, child-care a female responsibility, and attacking organised women’s interests groups (e.g. feminism);
      • make it about fighting the ‘foreigner’ for your job security, even while those jobs are being turned into part-time, casual, temporary or zero-time contracts, thus making it difficult for people to make ends meet and leaving them even more vulnerable to economic market fluctuations caused by the economic gambling of the wealthy;
      • make it about feeling secure against terrorism, even while exponentially more people are threatened by or are dying from alcoholism, inadequate health or social care, cold weather, or poor lifestyle.

      Combine all these together and you have a debate fueled by hatred, prejudice and fear, and focused almost exclusively on immigrants coming to take our jobs, commit crimes, enslave our women, impose extremism, and destroy our economic and social security.

      Talk about a confused, backwards and misleading debate!!

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