Comment: If there is a political party that I would thank in the last election it would be the Center Party. In her May Day speech, former Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi blamed the party’s election setback on its decision not to jump on the anti-immigration bandwagon.
The Center Party was the biggest loser in the April 17 election. It lost 7.4% of votes compared with 2007, or a total of 16 seats to 35.
Said Kiviniemi: “My message was that the Center Party should not ride its campaign on an anti-immigration platform. Not even if it would cost us in the parliamentary election.”
Some analysts believe that the Perussuomalaiset was one party that exploited the country’s anti-immigration sentiment to its fullest and was therefore able to make important gains in the election. Factors like the bailout of Greece, Ireland and Portugal played important roles as well in luring voters to the PS’ side.
Even though politics is a dog-eat-dog world, values do matter. US President Barak Obama was one of the few senators who voted against the invasion of Iraq in 2003. In the presidential election of 2008, he was able to capitalize on his leadership on this front.
When better economic times return to Europe, the Center Party could be gain from its courageous stand against racism. Parties like the PS, who capitalized on anti-immigration and anti-EU sentiment, would be the biggest losers.
Thank you Kiviniemi for not giving in to anti-immigration sentiment and racism.
Many will forget what you did.
Keskustan puheenjohtaja Mari Kiviniemi sanoi toivovansa, että keskustelu maahanmuutosta jatkuu aiempaa monipuolisempana. Kiviniemen mielestä vaalien alla keskustelua käytiin pitkälti kriitikoiden ehdoilla ja erilaisilla nimimerkeillä internetissä.